One week after driving to the mountains...
I arrived with my sweet, scared little boy after an added hour of driving the wrong way and finally arriving in the dark. Thankfully, we were not both in tears by that time! My adventurous spirit has not fully rubbed off on him yet!
But…it felt like coming home to these people we have only barely come to know in the last two months. It was a good feeling. Warm chicken tortilla soup helped too. Of course, a couple I have known for about 20 years, the rest were new to me and mine. I left baby girl with her grandparents and auntie for our first time apart and that was not easy either!
What a blessing to be called part of this Grace Group. Thank you Lord for us all; love, imperfections, and grace. We are blessed. We were asked to meditate on Psalms 63, 71, and 139 to prepare our hearts for the retreat. WHEW…I don’t know what I expected, but God met me and I think, all of us in some wonderful ways.
Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you. In a dry and weary land where there is no drink.
God called me to come sit by a sunflower to meet with Him. He is so sweet, so gentle, why would I ever want to miss the chance to come to Him-my oasis in the desert of this daily life. He met me, because He loves me. A friend there said, “Even when I know I am not earnestly seeking Him…I know Him,” tears in her eyes. How beautiful that is to me, because HE KNOWS ME, I can confidently say: I KNOW Him (to the greatest degree of my small knowing.)
Another person said he needed to find his identity in Him (Jesus) my water, my source of strength. It’s so authentic for us to find ourselves in him-like looking through a car manual-we find out things we didn’t know, because we have come to the creator of our souls for strength and identity. And, HE is well-pleased!
Psalm 71:1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.
I walked on from the sunflower, and followed some more up a street. I came to a house that seemed lived in, but unkempt. I felt the Holy Spirit saying, this is like you right now. You feel like everyone sees your messy outsides, but if you are following me, you will NOT be ashamed. It does not matter what my life looks like to anyone else. Another friend reminded us that when you are in a refuge, you just kinda wait (be still). You don’t have to “do” anything, but rest in the arms of the one who called you under His wings. What peace He gives us when we but rest in Him, our refuge, our strength and shield. That person also reminded us that Psalm 71 is all about how David leaves all the work to God and just tells how He worked. That is all God wants us to do: share about His amazing love for us through the cross, the resurrection, and our daily lives with others.
Psalm 139: 17-18 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
This is like my second favorite Psalm! I never really meditated on it like we did at retreat though-wow! God’s amazing love just shines out to blind us in these verses. It so struck me about sand, probably because I recently saw a picture of sand under a microscope. When I imagine the vastness of the seashores, I cannot fathom how he loves me, and you, and all of us on this earth! He is truly awesome. Yet, it was all brought into reality when a friend shared about her disbelief in her own ability to love another foster child about to come into her home. Whoa! Her love, time, resources, and family all stepped up to the plate and have worked hard, but been utterly blessed. They show us Christ’s love physically every time we see them and I am awed by Him shining through them. His love grows more for each of us just as theirs did and it is truly mind boggling-like those sands…Oh, how He loves us, how he loves us so.
It was just incredibly fun to laugh and feel light, not over analyze everything I do, think, say, and just be…Thanks for the singing of praises and karaoke, games, hikes, fishing, loving of all the children, organization, the word, and communion of saints. I so appreciate and love you all!