O my soul, come, praise the Eternal with all that is in me—body, emotions, mind, and will—every part of who I am—praise His holy name. Psalm 103:1

καρδία (kardia) is Greek for “Heart” — and yet it is all-encompassing in meaning. According to Strong’s Concordance: “universally, καρδία denotes the seat and center of all physical and spiritual life and the vigor and sense of physical life. [It is…] the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors.” When Paul wrote “let the eyes of your heart (καρδία, kardia) be opened” he meant for our entire being—every part of who we are—to be open to the movement of God’s Spirit within us.

Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care: Integrated Spiritual Direction and Caregiving for Mind, Body, Spirit & Soul is designed to provide spiritual direction, compassionate care and integrated instruction in order to live a more fully embodied, whole-hearted life—the καρδία, kardia life! One of the ways we do this is through Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care REtreats, hosted by Jody Thomae, author and teacher on creativity, spirituality and embodiment, at her private home studio, Rooted & Reaching Lakeside, at Pleasant Hill Lake near the Mohican Forest in beautiful North Central Ohio.

lakeAt this incredible soul-renewing location, our greatest hope is to provide a safe and sacred space for you—the whole of you—to come home to your own self, to embrace your body as a BEaUtiful part of your spiritual journey, to nurture the creative spirit within, and to go deeper into the heart of God.

Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care REtreats are designed as an opportunity for you to withdrawal from the demands of daily life and set aside sacred time for rest and reflection, prayer and worship, movement and mindfulness, creativity and exploration. Together we journey with sacred rhythms—again and again—in Christ-centered community, spending time in embodied prayer, mindful creativity, YogaFaith practice, Biblical teaching and exploration, and worshipful movement—all along the shores of Pleasant Hill Lake.

Limited to eight participants and two staff members, the REtreat is designed to encourage deep connection with others also on the path seeking to live a more fully embodied, whole-hearted life—the καρδία, kardia life! 3 laughing

This series of Christ-centered retreats revolve around embodied and creative exploration of the following themes: EMBODIED (embodiment); WOVEN (identity); KINTSUGI (healing); WISDOM (discernment); ONE THING (simplicity); and BEHOLD (purpose). These retreats are a chance to withdrawal from the busyness of everyday life and set aside time to return to the heart—the καρδία, kardia—of who you are, in your fullest embodied expression. Spend time in the beauty of creation as together we explore a sacred rhythm that allows both our embodied selves and creative selves to play a greater role in our spiritual lives.

Retreat activities include:Lake 3

  • Mindful Movement including Movement-based Scripture Meditation, Circle Dances, Candlelight Dances & Sacred Dance
  • Christ-centered, faith-based restorative yoga and/or gentle flow (YogaFaith)
  • Nature Walks and other Embodied Spiritual Practices
  • Creative Spiritual Practices including Mindful Coloring, Music, Movie Night, and Color Exploration
  • Teaching, Bible Study and Devotional Times

You’ll notice we capitalize the RE in REtreat around here. The prefix “RE” is used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion. REtreats are planned with this in mind, and themes reflect this as well. 

REtreat Themes:

1 EmbodiedEMBODIED: the journey of RElease, REverence & REclamation (Embodiment)
For too long we have moved through many aspects of life (work, play, church) with less than our whole selves. But God wants us to worship him with our heart, soul, mind and strength. Come join us on a journey of reclaiming, revering and releasing our embodied selves.

WOVEN: the journey of REmembrance, REvelation & REformation (Identity)2 Woven
Beloved of God, it is time to walk in your true identity! Come join us as we journey together towards remembrance, revelation and reformation as we remember and re-form our identity in Christ as God reveals who we are created to be in and through him… fearfully and wonderfully woven together by the hands of the Master Creator into the trUly BEaUtiful creation you are!

3 KintsugiKINTSUGI: the journey of REscue, REdemption & REstoration (Healing)
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold-infused epoxy. Rather than discarding the damaged and broken, the pieces are mended, and cracks are filled with precious metal and, in many ways, make the object more beautiful than it was at the start. As a philosophy, it is rooted in the inherent beauty of all objects, no matter what they’ve endured. Come join us on a journey of rescuing, redeeming and restoring with Jesus, as we explore the connection between healing and creativity, prayer and redemption, surrender and beauty, worship and wholeness.

BEHOLD: the journey of REsurrection, REnewal & REaffirmation (Purpose)4 Behold
You were created for a purpose! Are your ready for God to do a new thing through you, your life and ministry? Join us as together we explore our personal mission, serving Christ in the kind of incarnational ministry that brings heaven to earth. Together we will resurrect, renew and reaffirm the plans and purposes for which God has uniquely created us as his trUly BEaUtiful masterpiece.

WISDOM: the journey of REcognizing, REceiving & REvealing (Discernment)
What does it look like to live life with more wisdom, discernment and understanding… and to make decisions in a more whole-hearted, fully-embodied way? Join us as we learn to recognize the voice of God, receive wisdom, light and guidance from the Holy Spirit, and allow God to reveal his hidden mysteries to your heart.

ONE THING: the journey of REturning, REfining & REfreshing (Simplicity)
We live in a world that applauds busy lives with hectic schedules, but God calls us to a slower pace. How do we pursue the one necessary thing that Jesus asks of us? Come join us on the journey of returning to Sabbath rest, as we seek to refine the pace of our lives to find refreshment in simplicity…. learning to live with a Mary heart in a Martha world… and living out the BEaUty of an uncluttered soul.

CampfirePlease come join us for this creative, embodied, spiritual journey!

Individual REtreat Cost: $250 each
Includes Friday evening (6pm) through Sunday afternoon (2pm) retreat; lunch on Saturday and Sunday; snacks, coffee, tea; all programing materials; and special gifts centered around retreat themes. Dinner and lodging not included.

Lodging is available for an additional cost at one of two options. First, “Grandma Violet’s Country Home” is a five minute drive from the studio and runs $160/person for two nights lodging with private room, shared bath and light breakfast options. Second option for a little more privacy is the Blackfork Marken Inn Bed & Breakfast in the quaint and quirky village of Loudonville, Ohio, a 12-15 minute drive from the studio. Cost of two nights lodging with private room and bath and full breakfast ranges $225-285 depending on room. Bring a friend, share a King room/bath and share the cost ($150/each). Add an extra night to your visit to enjoy some nearby hiking and recreational activities by contacting the Inn directly.

Private Group Option:
Come enjoy a Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care REtreat for your group alone! If you have a group of six to eight people who would like to experience this retreat together, please email Jody at for more information. Limited private group REtreat dates are available for 2023.

EMBODIED: the journey of RElease, REverence & REclamation (Embodiment): November 4-6, 2022
WOVEN: the journey of REmembrance, REvelation & REformation (Identity): April 21-23, 2023
KINTSUGI: the journey of REscue, REdemption & REstoration (Healing): Coming in 2024
BEHOLD: the journey of REsurrection, REnewal & REaffirmation (Purpose): November 3-5, 2023
WISDOM: the journey of REcognizing, REceiving & REvealing: Coming in 2024
ONE THING: the journey of REturning, REfining & REfreshing (Simplicity): February 24-26, 2023
To be notified of retreats and other offerings, please sign up for the Rooted & Reaching email list.


Looking forward to hosting you or your group for an EMBODIED REtreat at Rooted & Reaching Lakeside sometime soon!