Wow. We are so thankful to be embarking on this journey of spiritual growth, self-discovery, and the development of spiritual discipline in our own lives. We’re about an hour away from the monastery that we’ll be at for the next four days!
This weekend has been defined by its slow pace. The ten of us have enjoyed our time meeting with various spiritual directors and contemplative influences as we prepare for our time of solitude, silence, and stillness. On Saturday, we met with David and Beth Booram, spiritual directors that live just outside of Indy (Fall Creek Abbey). The team was welcomed by TU alum Chris Chang (’16) and his family at their restaurant The Oriental Inn. Our day was spent responding to a guided self-reflection; questions that moved us each into spaces of prayerful contemplation and personal discovery. We began to practice the art of giving ourselves a lot of grace as we learn and grow into this new practice that many of us are unfamiliar with.
On Sunday, we had a slow and relaxing morning, eating brunch together at Good Morning Mama’s before heading over to the beloved Hightower-Yoder’s residence to meet with Travis and Sara. There, we were given permission to get curious about what the contemplative experience was like. Travis and Sara have done a lot of work and personal development in this area, and so they were our guides and resources for the day. After asking some initial questions, we were given an hour to practice the art of purposeless time with God. We then shared our experiences, asked some final questions, and went back to the home where we are staying.
After leaving the Hightower-Yoder’s, we ate dinner at BruBurger with Taylor alums Dara and Jason Burkhalter. So many great people are speaking into our lives and supporting our personal journeys. It is amazing how this growth process is happening on an individual basis but corporately at the moment. The evening at the house we have been staying at (graciously offered to us by the Bookmyers, a family closely connected to Taylor University) was spent differently by all of us. Some went on a walk, some processed through writing, some read books on contemplation, and others still practiced the spiritual discipline of sleep by going to bed early.
This morning and early afternoon have been spent travelling down to Kentucky. We hit the road around nine, got brunch at a cute little restaurant called Le Peep, and picked up some cupcakes to celebrate the birth of one of our own (Happy Birthday Brad!). We spent three hours in the van commuting to Louisville, where we drank some coffee, ate our cupcakes, and just enjoyed one another’s presence in some of our final moments before we practice a deep solitude.
We couldn’t be more excited to be where we are right now. We are all approaching this time at the monastery from different places, and so it will be a truly unique experience for us all. We deeply appreciate all for your prayerful support back home. We are so thankful for each one of you!
We have arrived! Here’s to entering into silence, solitude and stillness at the Abbey of Gethsemani! We are following the way of peace.