Abiding in Him... Devotional Day 5

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Yes, this IS the place we explored on Tuesday!

Good morning everyone. It’s Day 5 of our devotional and Day 5 of our blog post on the retreat from last month. I can’t believe it’s been a month since we said goodbye to everyone already! It was such a great group of people and we miss them dearly. You can skip to the bottom if you are here just for the devotional, or you can join us as we share more from our Art & Faith Creative Retreat last month in Italy. If it’s something you’ve been following for a while and would like to join us, then stay tuned for an update on next years retreats that still have some space left.

Like I said yesterday, Tuesdays are one of the days we set aside during the week for NO classes, so we can explore Italy! I mean we are IN Italy, right? So we hopped on a ferry and took everyone to Varenna, which is about a 7 minute ferry ride from Bellagio.

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Varenna is one of the most beautiful villages on the lake and has a picturesque walkway that trails the lakefront. We all huddled for a bit and decided who was going to hike up to the top of the mountain in Varenna for the castle ruins and who was going to take a more leisure approach to a monastery by the lake front. Surprisingly most of the group went with Rebecca to the castle ruins and I took the rest to the Villa Monastero. Here’s Isabella and I taking a photo in their amazing gardens.

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And here is Rebecca with some of the group at the Castello in Varenna

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After we all were done with our excursions we met back by the lake for lunchtime. There was time for lunch and a little shopping and then we were back on the ferry to Bellagio. We like to give people time during our week for “free time” so usually that is in the afternoons on days like these.

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So the rest of the day was free for them. Some signed up for a cooking class with our friend Elisabetta and met up with us again later that afternoon. This is a “momma” style cooking class where she teaches you how to make a family style meal from scratch. This has become one of the highlights of the trip for people because it’s not only a fun class to take but a great time with the other ladies that turns into a late night meal full of laughter and memories shared.

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Having a day to explore and have time to relax is the perfect break in the week for everyone, and you can’t get a much better location to enjoy Lake Como from… looking out from this beautiful village at the stunning landscape below:

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Thank you again for letting us going through and reminisce about our retreat. I mentioned that I would share with you the retreats we still have available for 2020, so I thought I’d take a minute to do that here.

We have THREE Art & Faith Creative Retreats next year and they are all very different!

First we have our France & Belgium retreat that we do every other year:

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This one will be held in April when the lovely cherry blossoms are all blooming in Paris! We will start our retreat off in Bruges, Belgium and then make our way through the countryside of France and then end the 10 day retreat in Paris. You have the option of spending Easter in Paris with us or ending before so you can be home with your family. The link to the details and pricing for this retreat is HERE.

We only have 5 spots left for this retreat, so let us know if this is the one you are thinking about!


Then second one we have is back in Bellagio, Italy!

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This one is the one to sign up for if you’ve been enjoying our posts this week on Bellagio! It’s truly a beautiful place to spend a week with other believers… but the Lord has put it on our hearts to host this one in a little bit of a different way. We want to make this a smaller group, and only women, so that it can be a place that you can come just as you are. The theme of “restoration and healing” is to give the women premission to rest, to play and to be still. To “let go” of things we’ve carried for far too long… and to draw closer to the Lord through our hearts, minds and spirit. I know the “new age” realm claims to have the market on “mind, body and soul” retreats, but we want to take that back and share biblical ways to heal and restore and find purpose!

This retreat has only a few more spots left and it’s really going to be a special retreat, so find out more and sign up HERE

It will be held June 6 - 13, 2020 and it’s the lowest price we have EVER done for a retreat in Bellagio, Italy! We really wanted to make this affordable for those who are feeling lead to come.


The last one for 2020 is actually SOLD OUT. Sorry to say it but it sold out in less than 5 days!

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Yes, our very first Marriage Retreat sold out in less than 5 days and we were so shocked! We are so excited about this and since we’ve wanted to do this for years, we know it will be something we will do again. So check back for another Marriage Retreat in the future…


But, let’s end with some GOOD NEWS…

Our Fall Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Woodstock, Vermont just had 1 SPOT open up!

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It’s only a few months away and has been sold out for quite a while, but one lady who was joining us had to back out so now we have ONE space available! This just happened so I know this spot will go fast. It’s for a shared room and I don’t have the details and pricing up on the website anymore, so if you’re interested in taking this spot you will need to contact us via the CONTACT page at the top of the page!

The dates are October 6 - 11, 2019

Again, if this is something you would like to join, please email us asap.


Here is our Abiding in Him Devotional:

Abiding in Him - Day 5

Abiding in our busy lives.

This week is such a gift of TIME.  Our prayer for these retreats is always that you come away from life for a bit and take this time to “be still”, to draw closer to the Lord and be refreshed in His Spirit here.

But back at home, we know life is busy.  We know this time that you have taken away from that busy life is HUGE.  As women, we are so quick to serve our families, our churches, our friends  and everyone else and we don’t take the time to rest and replenish ourselves.  That fact that you are here means a lot and I want to thank you for seeing the need to come and “fill your cup.” Taking time to rest yourself and replenish your spirit allows you to serve others from an overflowing cup.  Because like I said on Day 1 - we can’t serve from an empty vessel.

So let’s talk about the key ways to abide in our every day lives.

1. Focused Time. Staying connected means taking time TO connect.  Focusing on God’s Word daily means taking the time away from our busy lives to spend that time in His Word.  Speaking from experience, this is not something I did for most of my adult life.  I did not see how I could carve out time early in the morning to do this before the day began, or late at night when I was exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep…  So I didn’t.  But I will tell you honestly, not until I did start to carve out that time did I see the Lord really awaken me and work in me and bring me to a place where He could use me. 

2. Abiding in continual.  It may be hour-by-hour or moment-by-moment, but we are constantly looking to Jesus as we abide in Him.  Yes, focused time during the day to meet Him there is one of the main keys of spiritual growth, but also continually praying, talking with and seeking the Lord throughout our day is vital.  As we do this, we see how dependent we are on the Holy Spirit working in our lives and we crave more and more of this deep connection.

3. Our Helper is there to HELP us.  Do we really understand that the Holy Spirit is our guide throughout our busy days?  I know I didn’t for many years and I am still learning to be “Alive in the Spirit” like A.W. Tozer talks about. But know this… we can depend upon the Holy Spirit to help us!  

  • He helps us walk by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17)

  • He speaks truth to us through our focused time in God’s Word (John 16:13)

  • He teaches us and helps us understand God’s Word (John 14:26)

  • He guides us in our actions throughout the day. (Galatians 5:16)

  • He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26)

  • He brings forth the fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23)

  • He gives us HOPE (Romans 15:13)

Ask yourself today:

  1. Today take time to look over each one of the above verses and meditate on them.

  2. Pray for the Lord to help you going forward and that the Holy Spirit will bring forth new fruit in your life.

  3. Journal or draw what you see the Lord doing here this week that you want to remember.

    I know this was a LONG blog post today, so thank you to all who stayed until the end!

    Enjoy your day,

    Laura