In January, I spent almost 4 weeks at the Christian study community L'Abri. For me, it was a retreat after 5 years of working really hard at my PhD. A time to reset and create room in my mind for other things than just work. I had a really good time, enjoying the lovely people, the good conversations, the quiet and the great cooking ;-)
Some of you might know L'Abri from the works of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, who started the first L'Abri community in Switzerland in the '50s and whose books are quite well known. Nowadays, there are 9 L'Abri communities all around the world where everyone is welcome to come to think, relax and talk. Half of the days you study (everyone comes with their own question/subject) and the other half you work in the house and the garden. All the meals are communal and there is lots of room for discussion. In the evenings there can be a lecture or a movie discussion or just a relaxed evening in front of the fire with a book.
To share a little of my L'Abri experience with you, here are two 'tips' from me to you!
1. If you've always wanted some time for yourself to ponder life's big questions (or just a small personal one) and you have some days or weeks to spare: visit a L'Abri near you! At labri.org, you can find out where all the communities are
2. I understand this might not be possible for many people. Luckily, L'Abri also has an online 'library', where you can find 1500 lectures from L'Abri workers to download for free. From biblical and spiritual subjects to lectures on current culture and art, there's a lot of interesting content to be found here!
Just a few examples of the lectures you can find here:
Denis Haack - Screening the past - Discern how film treats history
And one from a worker at my 'own' Dutch L'Abri
Wim Rietkerk - If only I could believe