Extreme (Internal) Makeover – “Timber Creek Edition”
Drexel retreat house transforms guests from the inside out
By Lysa Allman Baldwin
Driving along the undulating asphalt on Junction 00 between Holmes Rd/Highway D and Highway O is an apt metaphor for life: Sometimes the road is sunny, dry and flat; other times steep and slippery peaks and valleys.
On the horizon, is Timber Creek.
Set on 80 spectacular wooded acres in Drexel, Timber Creek Retreat House feels like a world away. A place where you don’t do anything – you just be.
This 501(c)3 non-profit is the dream of founders/directors Tom and Beth Jacobs, spending almost two decades laying the groundwork for this contemplative home.
Their time-honored dream to build a place where people from all walks of life could get off the merry-go-round of life’s ups and downs, to discover their deeper purpose, embrace their own gifts, and be transformed, was supported by many family members and friends. Literally, only a pencil drawing in existence and not a single shovel of soil yet overturned, $36,000 in monetary gifts were given at their 1996 wedding planted the first tangible seed. (Additional support was generated every year since at their annual benefit concert fundraisers.)
In June 2012, the Jacobs’ welcomed the first guests into this awe-inspiring, 10,800 square-foot place of rest and reflection that truly lives up to its mission: Renew, Refresh, Return to Life.
“Timber Creek is a retreat house, not a retreat center,” Tom explains. “Retreat centers have multiple rooms and conduct conferences and multiple workshops. Timber Creek was designed and placed in nature to emphasize an environment that’s intimate, cozy, private, and quiet.”
January 2016 Retreats
Jan 8-10 – Yoga Retreat
Jan 15-17 – Renew, Refresh, Return Retreat
Jan 22-24 – Meditation Retreat (this flier)
Jan 29-31 – Renew, Refresh, Return, Retreat
That distinction speaks volumes.
“Although we offer an array of meditation, yoga, divorce recovery, and other retreats,” adds Beth, “the main idea is to gift yourself, whether for the day, overnight, a weekend, or an extended stay, by just coming on retreat.”
Where Rustic Meets Zen
Crossing the entryway threshold, it’s evident great emphasis was placed on transporting nature inside.
Graceful stone archways adorn the main level hearth and sun rooms, complete with oversized leather furniture, rocking chairs, natural wood tables, and a library.
The focal point is a natural stone, 10-foot high fireplace flanked by expansive Prairie windows soaring up to meet the crossbeam, pitched roof ceiling.
Seven comfortable guest rooms––Sycamore, Walnut, Oak, Hawthorne, Cedar, Redbud, and Evergreen––each evoke a rustic log cabin feel.
The décor features handcrafted woodwork and hardwood floors with modern amenities, including California King-size beds with oversized pillows, beautiful writing desks, large leather chairs and reading tables, ceiling fans, and individual temperature controls.
Dual sink vanities, roomy closets, 8-foot high tiled glass–enclosed showers, and earth tone towels and floor mats accentuate the spacious bathrooms.
Amenities include almost two miles of hiking trails through lush woods and pasture, a spiritual cinema room, and complimentary yoga classes for weekend guests.
Budget-friendly extra comforts include soothing massages and spiritual mentoring sessions.
“We teach practices that assist the shift and/or offer a spark of support to areas where one wants to aspire,” explains Tom. “These are practices that help people get ‘un-stuck’ and move forward.”
Weather permitting, guests can read, unwind, and gaze at the captivating landscape on any of several intimate patio areas.
The ambiance, inside and out, beautifully ties into the effortlessness of it all.
Beyond the instrumental music playing softly overhead in the dining area, the only other melody comes from the 3-1/2–story high Tom O’Sullivan Memorial Tower Bell signaling each of the three regular, daily meditation sessions.
It rings in memory of the Jacobs’ dear friend and former board member who bequeathed his funeral memorial gifts to Timber Creek.
No matter one’s faith, the solace of the Meditation Room overlooking the pond and woods beyond invites you to reconnect with your own internal guidance.
“Beth and I have observed the high stress and deadlines in people’s lives, and have created a place and a space for people to experience a quality rest-stop, from the hectic pace,” says Tom. “The retreat environment is meant to better equip them to return to their lives, conscious of their purpose and to help enhance the world.”
Each meditation session is 15 contemplative minutes of silence, a reading, and perhaps a song, all designed to open the channels for deep inner listening.
An Attitude of Gratitude
The Jacobs’ attitude of gratitude delves deeper than a simple “be-happy-with-what-you’ve-got” mantra. It is for the love, wisdom, grace, abundance, and consciousness that comes to, and flows from them, with every guest experience.
Other “internal nourishment” encompasses the wholesome, gourmet, family-style meals, part of the retreat package, prepared by Executive Chef Patti Lowry, Tom’s younger sister.
“Patty infuses a lot of love into every meal she creates, and loves how that generates joy,” Beth says.
Jeff, Patty’s husband and former luxury homebuilder, invests his creativity into the care of the building and the land. “The amazing bridge in the woods crossing our creek is but one example of his artistry,” Beth says.
If the guestbook comments are any indication, folks from across the country and as far away as The Netherlands and England, they are being transformed:
~ I’ve been blessed to have experienced the renewal of purpose within me.
~ We felt so at ease, so nurtured and soothed after visiting your retreat house. It delivered the great respite that we needed!
~ My favorite moments were every moment, and the space in between.
Timber Creek Retreat House, 32303 Timber Creek Road, Drexel, MO