“He refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:3a

If only we could hit the ‘refresh’ button of life each day to find an easily renewed vision and sense of purpose. As we stumble around through our morning routine, reality threatens to sap our energy and our desire to live the abundant life. To successfully get awake and dressed seems the equivalent of running a marathon. The seemingly lofty goal of partnering with God or our husband quickly falls prey to the clock, the scramble to find our keys or cell and then - if you're anything like me - you have to quickly deal with the mess just made as our morning coffee flows freely toward the ground just narrowly missing a wardrobe crisis.

We all need to hit "pause" from time to time and catch our breath.

Sometimes, that pause is a prayer. 
Sometimes, a moment of quiet reflection.
Sometimes, a day away.

If you are ready to do more than just "regroup" and press on to the next activity of the day, here's a few awesome vacation spots - and one Rest & Renewal Ministry - that we've visited for absolutely FREE or for a very reduced cost.


1. Ministry Haven
This multi-family retreat center is tucked away in a 'high desert' location of SW Colorado. Near a small community with some fun local flavor. But, you'll also be in driving distance of some great National Parks as well as the tourist towns of Silverton and Telluride. We enjoyed simple suppers around the campfire, day trips for fly-fishing and some amazing alpine elevation hikes!

2. Coffee & Counsel
This private home is just a short drive from the Denver airport, and within reach of Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. We enjoyed some amazing hikes on the trails nearby and spent a morning at the local library. The home is fully furnished, welcoming and warm. Everything you'll need to relax and refresh.


1. Deer Ridge Ministries

This retreat experience is especially designed as a time of Rest & Renewal. David & Louise Decker create an elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere. We instantly felt at home - and spoiled - with the accommodations! The Decker's intertwine their gift of hospitality with a healthy dose of humor and affirmation. There was a true sense of partnership and understanding that grew with each encounter around the table, on the deck or just passing in the hallway. Before the week was over we had been prayed for and with several times. If you're ready to unplug and spend some quality time with your spouse and your Savior, this is a great place to fulfill that desire for rest and restoration!


1. Mountain Top Retreat
These little cabins are nestled in the mountains outside of Bozeman, Montana, and are just 'around the corner' from our personal favorite - Yellowstone National Park! This getaway is not free to pastors, but the lodging costs for a family of four are great. Consider this option if you enjoy nature and want a little splurge beyond a night at a local motel.

There are many other choices available, just do a search online for "free pastors' lodging" to start dreaming and exploring!

If your schedule, finances or vacation days don't allow for a getaway, there are always locations near home to explore. Relook at your locality and consider what you might do if you were a visitor. Oh, and don't forget to take advantage of the free parks, festivals, lakes and hiking trails that many communities and states have to offer. Enjoy the resources God has made available to you now...while you dream of the future!

In the meantime, rest in His promises -

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10


For additional opportunities check out this website of resources and reviews!


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