Your Very Own Personal Retreat

Published Categorized as english, Home making, Silence

You are a God of distance, and yet very near.

I do not see You, but I want to experience You.

I invite You into this room and into my writing.

May I be aware of Your being here with me.


Maybe it is not possible to join in on an online retreat, and yet, you might be curious as to how such a retreat works. So, I decided to give some insight and share my preparations so you can make Your Very Own Personal Retreat at your best time.



You will probably miss out on the most precious part, though—that is the sharing after our hour of silence and contemplation. So, if you feel like sharing anything after you have your own Retreat. Of course, feel free to do so and write to me. This way, we can still experience a bit of community around the table, even if it is online.

* Please, set some time apart, preferably a few hours. For example: 19.00–21.30 pm. But any other time is fine too of course. Make a small, clear corner with a candle, and create an environment that you feel at peace in.


19.00–19.20 Meet and Greet

One question for you:

How have been these last few months, and is there any time that stood out for you in which you experienced something from the Lord in a new way? It can be that you met somebody or had an encounter in nature or in another way. Feel free to share it in an email.

This photo was taken at a small monastery in Kinderalm, where we spent a few days this Summer. This icon is very dear to me and the one I used on the front cover of my book.  It shows the hospitality of God.

Contemplate with some Art: 

Focus on this icon of the Trinity for a bit and feel invited around this table of the Lord while we listen to music and Psalm Four.


19.25–1930: Song

19.30–20.00 Lectio Divina with entering into Contemplative Writing.

We listen tonight to Psalm 4 and read it four times in the original Lectio Divina way

Answer me when I call to you,

my righteous God.

Give me relief from my distress;

have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?

How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;

the Lord hears when I call to him.

4 Tremble and do not sin;

when you are on your beds,

search your hearts and be silent.

5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous

and trust in the Lord.

6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”

Let the light of your face shine on us.

7 Fill my heart with joy

when their grain and new wine abound.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,

for you alone, Lord,

make me dwell in safety.

Now it is time to enter further into Contemplation. You can choose from:

  1. Contemplative Writing 
  2. Write your Own Psalm, and pour out your heart before the Lord. / Free write a letter to the Lord looking to the past.
  3. Write your dream. What are you hoping for in the coming season?/ Free write a letter to the Lord looking to the future.
  4. Or maybe this is the moment to start your own Spiritual Journal. 


Here is a song and a prayer to help you enter into silence:

Dear God, 

You are a God of distance, and yet very near.

I do not see you, but I want to experience you.

I invite you into this room and into my writing.

May I be aware of Your being here with me.

Show me something new, and reveal Yourself to me in a new way, as You have intended me to be.

You are my Creator, and I acknowledge You for that.

Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Thank You for being here with me.

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 



20.00–21.00 Independent Quiet Contemplative Writing

21.00–21.30 Feel free to write me an email about your experience at this very personal retreat as a replacement for the time of sharing. If you write in the subject, “Response to My Personal Retreat,” you will certainly get a response from me.

Close with a prayer:

Good Lord, we give You thanks for this time. We pray that you remain with the whole wide world and your whole creation and each of us in it. 

Merciful God,

your Son came to save us

and bore our sins on the cross:

may we trust in your mercy

and know your love,

rejoicing in the righteousness

that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord.


If you prefer a setup like this in your very own Small Corner, know that I am sending you all my love just the same from the Netherlands!

Warm greetings,  Janneke

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *