Today I had the privilege to disconnect for a few hours here.  Something about nature rejuvenates me like nothing else.

I hiked.  I sat at the foot of the falls.  I read.  I actually swung on that swing.  I prayed.  I talked aloud to the sounds in the woods.  I didn’t talk to another human soul.

I feel refreshed.

When was the last time you pulled yourself out of the normal routine to pause and reflect?  What kind of environment refreshes you?

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  • melissalove December 30, 2008  

    Beautiful pics….where is that?

  • Andy Borgmann December 30, 2008  

    I talked aloud to the sounds in the woods.

    So if you talked aloud to the sounds in the woods, but no one heard, did you really talk at all? 😉

    On a more serious note, I am glad you had a good time getting away. I have a real hard time and it usually takes traveling 12,000 miles away and leaving the laptop at home to do it.

  • Janice December 31, 2008  

    Beautiful pictures! There’s something about getting alone with God’s creation that refreshes like nothing else. Man can build some spectacular things, but none to match God’s natural world. Glad you had a chance to get away.

  • Jenni Catron December 31, 2008  

    @melissalove – this is Evin’s Mill in Smithville, TN – gorgeous. Great getaway place!

    @Andy – Ha! I’ve been known to talk to myself a lot… at one point, I laughed out loud because I caught myself talking to the sounds around me… I guess I really needed the time away. 🙂 Like you, sometimes I assume I need a massive trip to disconnect. This was just an hour from Nashville and I was only there 3 hours, but it was completely refreshing.

  • Linnae Hoppe December 31, 2008  

    This time last year I went away to the Smokies all by myself for a weekend and stayed in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I brought nothing with me but food… no books besides my bible and journal, no music, computer, etc. It was one of the most refreshing things I have ever done. I didn’t really have an agenda for it either. Just felt like I needed to do it and just be quiet. I hope to be able to do it once a year, at least while I am still single. Thanks for reminding me about it today =) I think I will try and plan my next one!

  • kevin December 31, 2008  

    What beautiful places. I am heading to Texas today to see friends and family. I will be sneaking away atleast one morning to the woods to spend some alone time with God! I call them vision retreats! I got out and see all the wonderful things God can do, and just beg him for things.

    On a side note, I will be in Nashville on Feb 26-29. I cannot wait to visit your church. I will be downtown, is there a close location?

  • Rachel December 31, 2008  

    Ah, Jenni, I’m jealous. That is my favorite way to ‘refresh’. Whether its a foreign place or Radnor, I love being in nature, breathing fresh air and letting go of the stress. Good for you for taking the time to nurture yourself. Happy 2009!

  • tam January 1, 2009  

    i cant remember, jenni. dang, thats terrible.

  • Monica Hunt January 1, 2009  

    Just a few weeks ago- my husband and I went up to Hilton Head, SC. It was beautiful, relaxing and so quiet. The absolute opposite of our normal lives! It was great to get away for a bit.
    Btw- your pics are beautiful!

  • jan owen January 1, 2009  

    My favorite quote on solitude comes (I think) from Henri Nouwen when he says “Solitude became the furnace for my own transformation.” I have learned it is imperative for me. No laptop, no music, just quiet, a book maybe, my journal and the Word. I avoid it at times because I almost always cry and – honestly – I am tired of crying. But it is in solitude and silence that I have come face to face with myself in the loving presence of God and have been transformed.

    I think the last time I got away was in October and I am leaving again January 25th. I’d like to do it monthly and am figuring out a way to do that.