Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lessons Learned at Retreat

First of all, the Women's Retreat was AWESOME! I was not expecting to be moved quite as much as I had been. I am so glad I went. Paulette and Jackie were the perfect companions and we really talked a lot about what God was speaking to us on. Each was different, which is another way I fell in love with God in a different way this weekend. I realized just how INDIVIDUALISTIC He is. He is amazing, speaking to each of us in our own unique situations.

The first session was good, but not terribly moving. Saturday morning is when God hit me with a 2x4. He worked with me at prayer time in the morning. Some ladies and I met in a room off to the side and we prayed. I asked for prayer for Josh and his learning issues. I cried a lot and was surprised at the deep welling of emotion that sprung up in me. I felt myself letting go of him. Then during worship God started breaking me down. It first started with my pride. We were singing and this lady turned around and said what lovely voices Jackie, Paulette and I had. It was very sweet, but the enemy used it big time. The next thing I realize is that I'm singing to impress the lady in front of me and forgetting all about singing for God. God spoke to me and told me to stop singing and pray. I sat down, and just buried my head in my hands and cried. I need to do that more often. Stop what I'm doing, think and examine my heart before the Lord to see if what I'm doing is right. It was a pivotal moment for me as a singer. Praise God, He is so good to help me with this.

During the session with Pam (our speaker) she talked about how we are just ONE TOOL IN GOD'S TOOL BOX. She was speaking about anyone we were having trouble with. God spoke to my heart about me homeschooling Josh. I was taking too much on emotionally. I was hit so hard with this, it felt I could barely breathe, I was crying so hard. Later, we were asked to take an hour of individual time with God. I have always honestly dreaded this time in past retreats. I just want to be with people and go and do things. I was uncomfortable sitting alone with God for an hour. This time, I couldn't wait to go to the beach and be with God all by myself in a peaceful and beautiful setting. This is what I journaled on the beach that day as tears rolled down my face for an hour...

"Lord, I feel so fragile, so raw emotionally. I need to know you are here. That you are my friend.

You have used many different ways and people this weekend to scrape out some impurities that have sunk to the bottom of my soul. Take them! I don't want pride. I want your humility. I don't want to be "in charge" of Josh's education. I want you to be. You made him. You love him. He is unique. let me love him like he is and stop trying to change him. Show me what that looks like. For as a teacher, it is my job to shape and to mold his life. I want to don't do that without you.

I pray for Marcus and his snotty attitude. his angry spirit that is so much like Steve and I's. Temper it. help him to remember that he has power when he asks for it.

I am ONE tool in God's toolbox that will shape my children's lives. I am not their ALL in ALL, You are.

Psalm 72:12 says, "He will deliver the needy who cry out!" I am needy and I'm crying out (literally!).

Help me to walk in your Truth. To align my mind with Christ.

Psalm 73:2 says -"But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold."

I was slowly sinking back into self-sufficiency, yet you wouldn't let me. you were there pulling me back to you. "Walk with me", You say. O.K. God, how can I resist such a lover? Someone who loves me so completely, so sacrificially, so amazingly. you are my ALL in All. The one whom I love and take refuge in. The vine that I cling to. Create in me a pure heart and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. I'm trying too hard to be a godly wife and mother. I need to be plugged in to you. I need to pray more and to take that time out somehow. Show me where it is.

Psalm 73:28 says, "But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds."

As I finished writing this, I noticed a beautiful wild flower under the piece of driftwood I was sitting on. I plucked it and thought to put it into my journal for a keepsake. God gave me a word picture. He said, "This flower is going to die if it is cut off from it's stem. So will you. You can put it in water and it will stay alive for awhile, but it must remain on the stem or vine to flourish and live. So it is with you." I put it to my nose and smelled it and it had the sweetest fragrance for a wildflower. It was a special gift from the Lord.

I am now determined to "remain on the vine" even as I am home mothering my children and in the thick of it.


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

That was awesome! I didn't know about the wildflower. What a special gift from God. I'm so glad you invited me. It was just what I needed!

Naomi said...

Wow Stace it sounds like you really had a great time with God.

Cat said...

Well, my sweet friend, you set the example for us. We all need to be drawn closer to God in a way that allows Him to reveal what we need to know about Him...and about ourselves! Pride is such an insidious infection lodged in our hearts, and to be able to see it, ask for its removal and accept the pain of the removal is a blessing we still are unable to count because it is so large. Thank you for clarifying all that went on at the retreat. I'm going to take a little from it too.

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