Hello again! Welcome to spring….I think it was still officially winter the last time I posted. I’m not the best blogger, sorry. As I write this I am taking full advantage of this sunny day in the pacific northwest as I sit outside a coffee shop studying. I’ve been purposefully carving out some time these last few weeks because I am hosting and co-leading my first-ever women’s retreat. I am thrilled. I have the opportunity to get away for a weekend with a great group of gals to rest, be refreshed and hopefully at the end, walk away changed for the better. My amazing mom will be co-leading with me and I am grateful for this opportunity. We have always thought being in ministry together would be amazing, but my ARMY life and the thousands of miles that separate us make that a real challenge. But not this time! She’ll be heading up to hang out with us and grace us with her wisdom, spunk and passion for Jesus.
The theme for our retreat is BELIEVE based on 1 Peter 1:8-9 – “Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.” You can read some of how it came to be here. As we plan and prepare, I go through different emotions. I am excited as I think of what God can and will teach us. And then, I’m scared as I remember that I am “leading”….oh man, what words am I supposed to say. What words am I not supposed to say? I am oh-so-human and I really don’t want to get in the way. But God in His grace reminds me that it isn’t about me, it is about Him. My fear subsides and I’m once again giddy as I daydream about much needed girl time – both silly and deep.
Here is one story of God’s grace in reminding me that He knows all and sees all. A few weeks ago hubby gave me a beautiful bracelet for our 11th anniversary. I noticed that in the box was a little charm that was at the bottom of the box. It said, “believe.” I asked hubby what it was for and he said it came in the box as an added gift. How sweet. It never crossed my mind that it was the theme for our retreat. I blame that on my mommy brain – I am s.l.o.w. these days. Anyway, last week I was standing in my kitchen looking at the beautiful bracelet and the charm, wishing there was a way to give each gal at the retreat a gift that said believe. I would have loved to give them a bracelet or a simple necklace, but at this rate there wasn’t enough time to order them and I wasn’t entirely sure it was necessary. A bit bummed out, I let the idea go. Jump ahead 12 hours…I am getting ready for bed when hubby tosses a package on the bed, “These are for you.” Oh, okay, what is it? As I opened the envelope and the little plastic bag, my heart leapt. Had he heard me? Did I say it out loud? He couldn’t have known. But God did. He heard me. Que tears …. inside that little bag were charms. And each one said, “believe”. Hubby ordered them a week prior because he thought there might be something I could do for the ladies with these little charms. How amazing is that?! What a gift from the Lord via my husband. Feeling the love I tell ya.
Why do we doubt. I mean, why do I doubt? God spurred my heart on in planning this retreat. He is not going to leave me hanging. I am His and I am willing. That is what He asks of me. I do believe the theme for our retreat is what it is supposed to be. I BELIEVE God will show up. I BELIEVE we will find rest. I BELIEVE we will be refreshed. I BELIEVE we will walk away changed, different for the better. And, I BELIEVE our bracelets will be a perfect reminder of God’s amazing love for us through his son Jesus.