The Gift of Years: A Desert Sojourn Retreat

The Gift of Years: A Desert Sojourn Retreat

FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 2, 2022

The Gift of Years: Transform Your Story of Aging with Mastery & Purpose

The GIFT OF YEARS retreat helps you transform your story of aging with mastery and purpose and learn to live abundantly in your remaining years.

Are you struggling with the concept of aging? You’re not alone. Let this retreat help you transform your story of aging from one of loss, disappointment and decline to one of possibility, mastery and purpose. It is really all about learning to live each day fully. The goal is that you leave with a new perspective on your own remaining years and a commitment to continue to grow on your path as you age. You will leave knowing your self better and you will be more connected with your inner spirit.

“Our spiritual obligation is to age well, so that others who meet us have the courage and spiritual depth to do the same.” –Joan Chittister


The goal is that you leave with a new perspective on this stage of your life and a commitment to grow on your path as you age. At this retreat you will learn some tools to help you live abundantly in your remaining years.

Our tool kit for Aging Abundantly:

  • Awareness
  • Acceptance
  • Appreciate
  • Accessible
  • Accomplish
  • Abundance
  • Attitude


Monday, February 28

  • 2:00p Opening & Welcome
  • Devotions
  • Introduction to Our Tool Kit
  • Private Time for Reflection & Setting an Intention
  • Introduction to Awareness with Q & A and time for journaling
  • Enneagram Assessment
  • 5:30p Dinner
  • Private Time
  • Labyrinth: Closing Devotions
  • **Quiet until Morning Devotions**

Tuesday, March 1

  • Yoga (optional)
  • Morning Devotions
  • 8:00a Breakfast
  • Presentation & Discussion on Enneagram types
  • Break
  • Small Group Discussion on the Enneagram
  • Awareness summary
  • Discussion
  • 12:00p Lunch
  • Story Time
  • Sharing Your Story in small groups
  • Introduction to Acceptance
  • Small Group: What is it that I need to accept about myself, my situation, someone else?
  • Break & Free Time
  • Introduction to Appreciate with Q & A, Gratitude Journal and small group time
  • Break
  • Introduction to Accessible
  • 5:30p Dinner
  • Closing Devotions
  • Evening Free
  • Private devotions available all evening

Wednesday, March 2

  • Yoga – optional
  • 8:00a Breakfast
  • Introduction to Accomplish
  • Q&A
  • Journal – What do I commit to?
  • Introduction to Abundance with small group time
  • 12:00p Lunch
  • Story Time
  • Introduction to Attitude
  • Summary
  • Closing Devotions

Recommended Reading

The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister


Monday – Wednesday, February 28 – March 2, 2022


Price per person:

  • One person, private room : $385 per person
  • Two people, two in a room : $315 per person
  • Three people, three in a room : $275 per person
  • Four people, four in a room : $250 per person

Price includes: Three days of programming, two nights lodging and 6 meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners)

Guests may arrange with Spirit in the Desert to arrive early and depart late for an extra fee.


Call 480.488.5218 or email to register.

All are welcome to this Desert Sojourn Retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona!

Retreat Leader

A life-long learner, Margaret Schroeder grew up in southern Minnesota on a family farm where she began her learning in a country school. This is also where her love of nature was first kindled. She began her formal education at St. Olaf College, and then transferred to the University of Minnesota where she received her BS. She began her varied career as a teacher, then transitioned into the financial services industry and finally to retreat leader and minister. Along the way, Margaret realized having wealth does not always bring peace and security and was drawn to study theology. She received her Master’s in Theological Studies, became ordained, and is also a trained spiritual director.

Today, Margaret believes retirement is for moving on to the next time of growth and adventure in your life A believer in the importance of community and diversity, she encourages everyone to continue to learn and evolve. Helping others view aging as a time of new adventures and personal growth spiritually and mentally, she facilitates retreats on prayer, solitude, and positive aging.

A mother of two and grandmother of three, Margaret’s days are full with retreats, traveling, entertaining, time with her grandchildren, and riding her Harley motorcycle. She continues to believe that using the wisdom of our elders can help save our world.