Well, I had originally planned to pack yesterday and get here early today. However, there were many wrenches thrown into my day. I didn’t get anything done around the house (because I wasn’t able to be there) that I like to have done before I go on retreat. Then, I ended up with a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE headache that made me nauseated all night and has bothered me all day today. But, I made it. I ended up leaving at 2:30 instead of 10 am as I had hoped. However, it isn’t such a bad thing because I take this time of retreat to get alone with God and get direction for my life…to hear from Him…away from the chaos of every day life. I got that today as I prepared to leave. I found pleasure in getting my home in the best shape possible for my Hubby who is so amazing and lets me go on these retreats. I am so thankful for him. He is such a treasure and I KNOW I am so blessed because he is my Hubby. He is God’s gift to me….a gift prayed for for so many years. No, he’s not perfect…but he is perfect for me. He is so patient, gentle, thoughtful, an awesome listener and wonderful provider. He is a man who strives every day to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Our strengths and weaknesses provide such balance in our relationship. God knew what He was doing. So, when I take these trips, I like to leave our home in the best shape possible for him as he baches it with the Zoe poochie (who just lays around depressed because she misses her mummie). I find great contentment in having the home welcoming when he gets through with a hard day’s work. It’s much easier to do this now that I don’t have kids at home and ball games to attend and college classes and a full-time job myself. It brings me joy and peace…and fellowship with God as I serve him. I love being a homemaker.
If I had my journal with me, I’d look back to the last retreat and see how God spoke and connect it to now…but I don’t have that option. I do know that there was a retreat when I was struggling so hard to let go of people/things that I held so dear (perhaps it was this time last year). I had to adjust to having an empty nest…and a husband! It was difficult to settle into my new marriage because of all the drastic changes that took place so fast. My kids moved away, friendships were lost (one…my bestie…was lost to death). Nothing was familiar. The bottom fell out from under me. But, before I crashed, God sent a wonderful man to me who reached out and grabbed a tight hold on me. That man whom I call Hubby, played a big part of pulling me out of the pit I was falling into. I have adjusted to my new life. I hardly remember what it was like in the old life. More and more, my reality is here and what I held on to so tightly, I have finally been able to let go of. In doing so, it opened the door for so much more. It opened the door to freedom in so many ways. God has blessed me above and beyond all that I thought I was losing…all I was afraid to let go of. He has restored broken relationships, given me new, wonderful friends and made good ones even better. More than anything…I got to experience the fellowship of suffering. I got to connect with God like never before…by experiencing the cross with Christ. No, my suffering was nothing compared to His. But, the pain of the suffering was excruciating enough to help me to realize how much He loves me…that He willingly went through what He did…so that I could be spared an eternity of suffering. He died to save me…and He taught me how dying to myself is the only way to peace and contentment. The more I do it, the deeper I get to feel… His heart…beating inside me. I want my relationship with God to be such that if my Heavenly Father lays His head on my chest…He will hear the heartbeat of His Son.
Tonight, the Artist of My Life painted the most beautiful sunset behind miles and miles of beautiful, colorful rolling mountains. Such a perfect picture of the harvest season. I look forward to how He will speak to me on this retreat. Since I forgot my journal, I guess I will just have to write about it here. This year…something new…I get to take my readers on retreat with me.
Tomorrow, off to hiking and waterfall hunting (hopefully without this headache). I’ll go with the headache if I must. I’d rather have a headache beside a beautiful waterfall than sitting in my hotel room. It’s a good life. I am so thankful for so much.
I covet your prayers as I listen for that still small voice in the midst of creation tomorrow. Please pray for safety, wellness, and a receptive heart.