Monday, April 19, 2010

~ Our weekend where we retreated, renewed, and reconnected ~

DSCN2920 The sun setting as we drove down the interstate. I love being able to see the sky without buildings in the way!

This weekend, David and I were given the opportunity to leave the city for a retreat in the country. I love the country. David and I have such a longing to move to the country. This is really funny because we both grew up in rural towns and I had quite a bit of access to the country…and I didn’t want to be a part of it. However, years ago, we both began longing to live in the country again. For some reason, God keeps us here in the city. We know that we need to be where God wants us so we try to find contentment here. Notice that I said try!

So back to this weekend…

DSCN2928 David and I headed out to a camp for our retreat. It was really a much needed thing for us both. I have not shared this much here but I have been going through a spiritual desert for about a year and a half. I truly believe that it has been a spiritual warfare. Aside from my brother’s death, it has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Here recently, I have felt this “cloud” of darkness lifting and my joy being restored to me. I’ve even had friends and family notice this change happening. I am so very thankful to God for bringing me through it. I am sure…no, I know that I have been refined. I am curious to see how God is going to use the changes that have been made in me.

So back to the weekend…again…;0)

We had various sessions and each one taught me something or revisited old lessons for me. I was amazed at what I was able to learn in the few hours that we were there.

DSCN2937 The lodge where we met for our sessions and the motel rooms where we stayed.

In one session, our pastor shared with us a book that he had read. The book was One Month To Live by Kerry & Chris Shook. When you stop and think about having only 30 days left on earth, it really puts things in perspective for you. I have found myself thinking about this a lot here lately. I worry about so many things that don’t really matter much in the long run. Some of the questions that he asked us were:

  • Make a list of five things you’d change about your life if you knew you only had one month to live.
  • If you only had a month to live, with whom would you want to spend the time? To whom would you need to apologize? ~Ouch~ To whom would you need to assure of your love? What keeps you from spending the time and saying these words right now?
  • Make a list of the people in your life for whom you are most grateful. Do they know how important they are to you? Why not tell them?
  • If you knew you only had one month to live, how would you simplify your life?
  • How would you like to be remembered?

There were others but these really struck home with me. I have set about to make things right in my life with others and my family. I want these people to know how much I love them. I am all too aware of the fact that “life is but a vapor”. I don’t want to wait and miss my opportunity with the ones that I love.

DSCN2939A Saturday morning country sunrise

The whole weekend focused on relationships. I know it’s a God thing because relationships have been heavy on my mind for a while. I love it when God does that…you know, when He sends others to say the thoughts that you have been thinking. It’s really, very cool!

Some other thoughts from the weekend:

  • In talking about encouragement: Good can flow from me: good does not always flow to me. ( I can give to others and it is ok if it does not flow back.)
  • Overlook insignificant things
  • If you have someone to love, love them today
  • Treat people as valuable ~ focus on individual’s personhood, not performance

DSCN2938David and I left the retreat feeling very encouraged and recharged.

We went home after running errands and started working in our yard. I love working side by side with my husband. He is my best friend and I love working with him. We would work a bit, stop and chat, work a bit more, run in for a glass of lemonade, work a little more…I just loved it. I have visions of us as an old gray-headed couple working in our yard & garden. It sounds perfect to me!

DSCN2955 I started working in the front flower bed and David started painting the stoop and front porch. Then we heard thunder rumbling and we quickly tried to finish what we could before the rain rolled in. Dave got the side stoop painted and it mostly dried before the rain began but the front porch didn’t fare so well.

DSCN2956 I was so excited about planting my front flower bed because it is in desperate need of some love but I realized that I needed to get strawberries in before the rain. So my shade loving plants are waiting for me to find the perfect spots for them in the front beds.

DSCN2947 After the rain began to pour, we moved indoors. I really had a list of things that needed to be done but I decided to sew. I love to sew but rarely have time for it. I made my Baby Boy these shorts and appliqued the shirt. I am not finished though. I waited to hem the shorts after he had tried them on and I need to finish the applique too. My machine decided to mess up and I just had to walk away. I was really a bit put out with that silly machine!

DSCN2941On Sunday after church, we drove to our parents’ homes to pick up our children. On the way, we saw fields covered with these yellow flowers. It was so pretty and once again, made us long for a country home!

So that is our weekend ~ our weekend of retreating, renewing, and reconnecting. It was a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. glad you had a chance to be refreshed -- I know it was much needed, and it was also great seeing your younger three! Dave and the big boys will LOVE Mike's sculptures -- they are so super cool.


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