life after a women’s retreat

lifeafterawomensretreat

By Heather Spring {Gilion}

A weekend full of estrogen, chocolate, giggles, tears, hugs, new and old friends, a themed t-shirt, songs in the female key, and—the centerpiece—JESUS! Is that a piece of Heaven on Earth? All the ladies say, “Whoop whoop!”

On Friday, we travel to the mountaintop to meet with God—pressing our ear upon His chest, conversing with Him about it all (the good, the bad, the ugly), pouring out our love and then letting Him fill us up with more of Him!  Ahhhh… He.is.more.than.enough! On Saturday evening, we travel back down the mountain. We return home, swing open the door all the while singing at the top of our lungs, “*THIS GIRL IS ON FIIIIRRRRE!” {*google Alicia Keys if you aren’t familiar with this song, you’ll be singing this chorus for the rest of the day… you’re welcome} And in true Moses-style, your face beams so brightly that your family, friends and coworkers have asked you to “Cover that thang up!” I love sporting the you-can’t-handle-this glow! He rubs off on us!

• I’m sure the things He put His finger on in your life, have all been neatly resolved.

• You’ve said, “Yes” to Him and haven’t wavered in your obedience.

• You’ve confessed and reconciled with those you’ve wronged.

• You’ve continued to dive into His Word, and every so often, grab the thing and pressing it against your chest declaring, “Oh, I LOVE THIS BOOK!”

• You’ve been the kindest you’ve ever been.

• Moms, you haven’t raised your voice once!

• Wives, you’ve served with a smile: making his favorite food while washing his underwear.

• You’ve been in constant conversation with God.

• You’ve given to the poor.

• You’ve loved on every stranger.

• You’ve cooked a meal for a neighbor.

• You’ve signed up for a mission trip.

• You’ve achieved having a Mary heart in a Martha world! {Shout out to Joanna Weaver. You rock!}

• You’ve done it all without complaint or an entitlement mentality.

Right? No?!?!

Oh…

Well, then you’re human. Congratulations!

But… good news—He’s NOT! Our Hope anchors in His strength alone, not in ours.

We surrender.
We surrender again.
And again.
“I don’t measure up!” He does.
“I wish I could…” He can.
“I want to be perfect for Him!” It’s not about perfection, it’s about progression, a friendship that deepens and grows as He grows fruit in us.

apples

Speaking of fruit… Remember Eve?

She was a masterpiece. The Master’s piece. Created last like a lovely bow that ties things together. She was the crown jewel in the King’s headdress. Lovely. Made to display attributes of God unique to the female kind. Unashamed in her nakedness, flesh of Adam’s flesh, walking along in the Garden of Eden with her Creator God by her side. Did they laugh? Did she see herself in His eyes? Did she gaze at her God in abandoned admiration? Did she feel comfortable to take His hand? Did she feel such security in their relationship that as He spoke she ran her fingers upon the tops of His hands—maybe examining His knuckles? Did she open His hands and trace the lines in His palms as she thought about how He used these very hands to make she and Adam out of dust? Did she catch herself staring at His lips as she pictured Him speaking everything into existence with simple words?

She must have been so full. Complete. Satisfied. He was enough. Right?

But before she knew it, she was engaging a conversation with a snake! What was it about his words that left her entertaining a lie?

I picture Eve sinning on a Monday. I don’t know, I just think about how sweet my Sundays are—Sondays. I know what you’re thinking—EVERY day can be a Sonday! You’re right. But there is something sweet about raising a unified voice with a group of hungry and thirsty people declaring to their God that He is enough. Singing melodies—truth on their lips and love flowing from their hearts. The Word of God open and spoken over a room full of eager listeners. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” {Matt 18:20}

But I know sometimes it’s on my Mondays that the whiplash occurs—my faith is put to the test. The very words I was pouring out over my King become stabbing reminders of how I don’t measure up to the desires of my heart. I engage in conversations with the snake. I eat my apple. I wrestle with my flesh. I follow my own desires and so easily forget the good news of the gospel.

Here’s some good news for you today:

1. He’s still enough. Whether we live like He is or not. He is.

2. Where we are weak (and we will be), His grace is sufficient and His power comes to the forefront! The “snake” tempts us to disbelieve, to follow our own hearts, to push against the freedom that Christ came to bring us. Satan attempts to get you down, but in fact let him push you down… down to your knees. {2 Cor 12:9}

3. Our God is faithful {period}… {EXCLAMATION POINT}! Even when we are unfaithful, He’s still faithful. He can’t ever be something He’s not and His goodness doesn’t depend on ours. {2 Tim 2:13} And His mercies are new every stinkin’ morning… ahem… every glorious morning! {Lam 3:22-23}

4. This kind of piggybacks #3, but I think it deserves it’s own number: “He who calls you is faithful; HE will surely do it.” {I Thess 5:24} I’ve always loved this verse because it reminds me He’s doing the doing in me. He’s got this! He’s got me! He’s got you! The things that He’s called you to, He will do… just keep saying YES to Him.

5. Whatever He’s revealed to you on the mountaintop, cherish it in your heart, let it ruminate in your mind and settle into your belief system. And put a little accountability in action by sharing it with another Jesus-lovin’ *frister. {friend + sister}

You know, I can easily cast my imaginary stones at Eve, but she and I will be good friends in Heaven. After she wiped the apple juice from her chin, I bet she was a grieving mess. She messed up. She lost a lot on that day. But even then, grace had already been set in motion. God has crazy love for us… at times this makes me think He must be crazy. But it’s this love that won’t leave us alone. It’s His love that beckons us to the top of the mountain for sweet moments with Him and it’s the same love that calls us down again.

Spend time with Him today. Maybe your face will be a little brighter, your heart a little fuller, and your load a little lighter. May you keep singing at the top of your lungs, “THIS GIRL IS ON FIIIIIRRE!”

heidi

I love this picture Posy Creative captured of my sister Heidi! She IS on fire… on fire for her God. OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE! Burn baby, burn.

{Photos in this blog were taken at Inspire’s, the Heart Retreat, held at the Winderemere Conference Center, Roach, Missouri. Fab photos taken by the lovely and talented Holly Hyde of Posy Creative!}

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3 thoughts on “life after a women’s retreat

  1. This is great…especially when I’m stuck in the middle of post-retreat/plan-the-next -one-life. I like your use of a newly-created word (frister). Also, “Heidi Laughing”. (I’m dying over here!) Finally, I was leaning over the night stand(which happened to have a candle burning on it) to pick something up off of the floor and I heard a crackle. In my best Alicia voice: “My hair is on fire!” I have a new hair cut to show you. Do you want to blog with me sometime? I think we’d make a great team!

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