It's finally summer and we are looking forward to serving you with the best we have to offer. Gorgeous sunsets and sunrizes. Lots of places to sit and walk. A time just to chill and sit at Jesus feet and listen.
We are glad you found us!
If you are looking for a private spiritual retreat spot close by the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area, then you have found it! Just off I-80 East we are easy to find and very private.
This is the Carriage House Rest. A private two story, three bedroom original carriage house completely furnished and supplied that is ready for your private or small group retreats. We can accomodate 1-8 guests, but 4-6 is best. Day retreats, over night retreats and a host of options can customized for your stay to what you need and want. Take a peek at retreat options.
We are in the process of developing some specific workshop all-in-one retreat packages that will include focusing on specific subjects such as food addiction recovery, deepening or begining your prayer life, learning the practice of solitude, soul formation and care and understanding Sabbath Rest. Stay tuned and look to our retreat options tab to see what's we currently offer.
A Little About Us
We are Arnie & Peg Christensen. We have walked with Jesus for close to 40 years and now that we are empty nesters,we want to make the best use of what God has given to us, so we have developed this sacred space for others to come and "turn off and tune into" God and themselves.
The historic farm was called the Headquarters Farm in the early 1900's and was well known for owning over 2000 acres of farm land which was rented out to local small farmers. Still a working farm with row crops it is a beautiful slice of the Iowa farming heartland. If you are lucky enough to be here in late July and early August we have all the sweet corn you can eat FREE!
We have lived in our home on the main property for 38 years and the Carriage House Rest sits behind our home on our property. It has been used as a private retreat house for three years. Before that God had led us to use it for a variety of uses, from missionaries on furlough to homeless familes. Many have enjoyed this house of rest and comfort. It is now specifically used for personal private or small group retreats. Used for day time or over night retreats, it's cozy charm is irresistable! Nothing fancy here folks, just super clean and comfortable. Details in Retreat Options tab.
We are not a B & B or hotel, but rather a sacred space meant for intentional time set aside just for YOU to be with God. The house is completely equipped and supplied with everything you need. The house will be prepared for your specific needs and ready for your arrival! When you arrive the house will be open and prepared just for you or your group.
We can customize your stay for each person or small group of up to 8. Enjoy solitude, privacy and experience the relaxed comfort this sweet place has to offer. It is the ONLY private non-denominational Christian retreat house in the area. It is set in the Iowa countryside just outside of Council Bluffs and is located on our old farm estate traditionally called the "Headquarters Farm". We are just about a 40 minute drive from West Omaha.
Who Comes Here?
A large variety of men, and women, singles, married couples, pastors and professionals all come to renew, refresh and to "turn off" for a day or two. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons or a friend or two come to enjoy a special time with the Lord.
We can offer sabbaticals as long as a month if booked far enough in advance. We have many REPEAT users that think of it as "their place" to get alone with the Lord. Details of cost and options are under the Home & Cost tab.
We have hosted writters, song and worship leaders, musicians, artists and spiritual sojouners of all types.
Make sure and look under each tab at the top of the page to see cost and complete information. It's all there!
The calendar will show you which dates are available and to make a request (contact us) for a date request, then once we approve the date you go to the reservation page scroll down to fill it out completely nand them make your depsoit and you are set. (KEEP READING :) and you will find all the information on the site under the different tabs at the top of the page.
How Long Have We Been Around?
Though the house was built in the late 1890's, it has been remodled and restored to full use sine 1987. The house was recently described as the "Anne of Green Gables" house complete with dormered windows, green shutters and red doors it comes equipped with all the comforts of home. Of course it has central air and heating and all the modern conventiences of home. (Minus the TV!) From the minute you walk in you will feel at home!
It has been lovingly restored and redeemed; it is now a fully equipped retreat house meant for solitude, rest, and prayer. Everything you need is there! Stocked pantry, equipped kitchen, linens, fullsized washer & dryer and amazing comfortable beds. Read on!
What Else Do You Provide?
We provide either guided or self-guided retreats. Day retreats or over nights. Sabbaticals or quick renewal retreats for regular soul care and formation work. This is actually the perfect description of where less is more. No schedule, nothing to produce, nothing to accomplish except stillness, rest and soul care, which may be a whole new experience for you. If this is a new concept to you, we would love to be your guides!
The practice of retreat has been around a long time but with the emergence of technology and our insane schedules, it is needed more than ever. A place to turn off and tune into God and your own heart and mind.
It was created with the idea that solitude is not just about being alone, it is about being alone with God. We all need time alone with God regularly, but sometimes you need to get away in order to accomplish this. Every detail for making this time conducive for prayer, soul care and rest has been considered. So when you arrive you can quickly enter into the time with him and all the details are taken care of!
Read on for more details about this ancient practice of solitude, silence and prayer.
Our pace of life operates at a break neck speed and we often don't take time to care or tend to our souls. Many are actually AFRAID to get alone with God. Going to the gym or on a run can feel like a better fix. He is a gentle loving Father who becons you. You can trust him!
When was the last time you spent time, intentionally alone with God just to rest, pray and just listen to what He might say? If you want to come away to intentionally sit at the Lords feet and learn to listen, God will speak. We all need help hearing God at times so you are not alone, we can help facilitate. Turn down the noise. Turn off the technology. Step away from your addiction to activity and production.......He is waiting for you!
Come experience the beauty of time meant just for him in an environment that surrounds you with comfort.
Who Are We Affliated With?
We are not aligned with any particular denominational affiliation but are definitely Christ centered and Bible believers. So the whole house is geared toward Christian belief.
We reserve the right to deny any requests that are not within the stated purposes of the Carriage House Rest.
How is the House Supplied?
You could actually come with just your Bible and journal and toothbrush and you would be good to go! The house is stocked with all the basics including a food pantry. Everything in the house is meant to be used and a place to find soul care and comfort. From the softest blankets to wrap up in, to the most wonderful teas, coffees and cups are there. A fully stocked pantry is there for you to cook from,(U-Meal) or a home cooked meal by me, (Us_-Meal) all designed to bring delight,convenience and comfort!. We believe in REAL food, so all the basics are there, but you can certainly bring your own food. We are sensitive to food allergies and preferences, so just include them in your reservation!
The house has been lovingly restored with repurposed materials and furnishings. It is completely furnished and modestly simple and yet have all the comforts of home.
All you need to bring is an open heart. (We even have extra journals.)
There is no technology by design.
No TV, DVD's or Blu-ray's! You can fully unplug, go dark and have complete privacy. Even though there is excellent cell coverage, there is no WI-FI. You may use your "hotspot" feature if you need to for internet coverage if you are a missionary and need to converse with away teams. By simply coming over to our covered pavillion. But the whole idea of the house is to disengage and get decompressed from the normal rhythms of life.
We even have recently provided a SABBATH BOX to place your electronics in along with your watch, IPAD, or you may even want to write something on a piece of paper like "my future"; to take a break and a rest from it occupying your mind and heart while there. You can pick them up again when you leave. :)
Perhaps you are contemplating a big decision and just need a break from thinking about it while you are there with the Lord. There is a wonderful book called, "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly" in the box as well as simple instructions to help you better understand Sabbath rest.
Jesus is our now our Sabbath Rest, but learning to cease from our labor is a great reminder of what he has accomplished through the gospel.
"So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God [it is available to us now]; for whoever enters God's rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his." (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Where is this place?
We are located just outside Council Bluffs near Underwood, Iowa. Just two miles off I-80 East we are very easy to find. About 40 minutes from West Omaha. The Carriage House Rest is located on our country estate and we live on the property, but you are completely separate and private. A map is at the bottom of this page.
With a large three acre yard to walk on and a private path mown in our timber, we encourage "slow walking" for prayer. And of course lots of sitting on the various benches.
We are also offer spiritual coaching/prayer with you at any time during your stay. If spiritual coaching is needed you can schedule a session with Peg for an additional fee of $35. Peg is also trained in the lastest version of Transformational Prayer Ministry, formerly called Theophostic Prayer Minstry.
We have a variety of Bibles lots of books and some specifically on retreat and soul care. Some are even for sale. We have an easel and giant post-it tablet and markers for brainstorming or for facilitation to bring your ideas to life.
The kitchen is also fully equipped,supplied and stocked with condiments and dishes and/or with paper products if you want to go even easier. We even have a "silent" dishwasher!
Everything in the house is meant to be used and we have made every effort to pay attention to details to have most anything you would like to be comfortable. So when you come, explore all the house has to offer! All we ask is you care for things gently so the next person can enjoy it as well and to return them to the spot they were found.
One Full Bathroom & Three Bedrooms
There is one full bath with a shower and stack-able washer & dryer. All towels and linens are supplied. There is one Queen bed, a full sized hide-a-bed in the white couch downstairs, three twins and a two roll-aways. We can sleep eight of one gender but you better really like and know each other! Six is a better fit and four is ideal. Depending on the amount of private space you desire. Each room has a desk, sitting chair and spaces perfect for journaling and prayer. There is only one mirror in the house by design. Our gaze and focus is meant to be on him!
Get off the treadmill of life, come away for just a while, and see what a difference it will make in your life.
Call or text us to custom design your own personal retreat!
Provide a private sacred space for spiritual retreat, rest and soul care.
To be the best local option for small group or personal Christian retreats. Our passion is to provide comfort, great food and a sacred space for soul formation and development. To be the favorite place of retreat to return again and again to enjoy.
All the comforts of home without any of the cares. Look around and find all kind of delightful things for your comfort. Great books and you may even find some chocolate!
Where sunsets and sunrises inspire...
The sunsets are simply amazing here and you have full view to the west and east for both sunrises and sunsets if that is your thing. His mercies are new everyday and there is something special is in his sunrises and sunsets that speak to our hearts if we slow down and just listen. It has been said that nature is the second book of God.
So come and sit and see what the Lord might say to your heart as you sit at his feet in quiet meditation.
It is so quiet and pretty up high on our hill, you will have a 360 view of the beautiful Iowa countryside.
So whether you are alone on your own private retreat or in with your spouse or with a small group day retreat there is plenty of space to stretch out, walk, sit and journal and best of all listen to what the Lord might say to your heart.
The main grounds has about 3 acres and there is private woodlands with paths mowed for you to walk. A new orchard has been planted and we hope to supply fresh fruits from it in the future.
Sunrises to Greet the Day...... "Your mercies are new every morning"
Being in nature has been called "the second book of God". So we encourage folks to sit outside, walk on the grounds and even walk in the timber on the path to take in the wonder of God's creation.
Visitors will have ample opportunity to marvel at God's creation....breathtaking sunsets, stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Most of all, rest and get quiet before the Lord.
We invite you to come away to be alone with God for a time of refreshing. Details & pricing on the reservations.
The Carriage House Retreat is easily accessible from Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa located just 12-35 miles out side the metro are. About 2.5 hours from Des Moines and three hours from Kansas City. Please view the calendar for availability and contact us if you are interested in scheduling a retreat.