It was a beautiful weekend—
The sun shined radiantly on the mountains each day and even when the rain came down it was warm and refreshing on my skin.
Psalm 104:24 “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all: the earth is full of your riches.”
I was invited to a retreat for women by my Besty and without knowing any other person who was going to be there, who the speaker was going to be, nor really any detail at all—I accepted…purely because of her.
These last couple of months have been pretty rough for me personally. Different situations going on were just crazy-making. I felt like so much time had been spent asking God for clarity, guidance and strength…asking for understanding, wisdom and to help me get out of the way…and yet I was so tired. In my prayer time I kept giving these things over to God, though daily or maybe even multiple times daily, I found myself taking back these situations that I had given to God, trying to manage them myself. These things weighed heavy on my heart, mind and emotions so the prospect of spending a couple of days around my beautiful friend sounded like heaven to me. I needed to be refreshed.
As the weekend got closer I found out that I knew (and love dearly) the guest speaker for the weekend, Gwen, and I couldn’t help but look forward to the upcoming teachings. AND then come to find out I did know another woman who was going to be there so I went into the weekend knowing three other people and that was super cool!
The topic of the weekend—Who I am! A perfect topic for me as I found myself asking just that question because of reflecting on the situations going on in my life.
What a joy to listen, to be shown and reminded of the truth by this gifted teacher. Real. Authentic. Funny. Insightful. Truly an anointed teaching.
If I only sat in the room listening to the teaching of this lovely lady it would be rewarding indeed. However, God loves me so much that He had abundantly more in store for me!
I got to meet some incredibly fun and wonderfully insightful ladies.
I got to laugh…ok, lets get real…I got to have those times when I had a deep (from the belly), roaring out loud laugh…not a little bit—but a lot!!! (There was even a time when Susie and I got in late and of course we were giggling…ahem…as quietly as possible of course. And the next morning one of our cabin mates came up to me at breakfast with a smile and said, “my roommate and I were talking when the two of you came in…we heard your giggle and said between ourselves—awww, Jewel is home.” Which of course did nothing but make me laugh out loud…again!)
We played games (I blame this part on my Besty)—I don’t usually play games, I never really did that as I grew up. But it was ridiculously entertaining!
The group of 4 us that knew each other going into the weekend got to spend time together when given free time—taking walks, taking a drive, taking selfies (that was hilarious!) enjoying immensely the beauty of God’s creation both in the world He created and the women we get to journey with.
Job 28:10 “He cuts out rivers among the rock; and His eye sees every precious thing.”
There were still some challenging conversations that I got to have with those ladies that love me. I didn’t forget about those things that had weighed me down because the group of us even talked at length about what loving myself and my family well, looked like…however, in the middle of those conversations I got to enjoy the friendship and love of the women around me.
My beautiful Besty and I—we got to have some intentional and truly life giving conversation. We shared times when tears came. We got to laugh until we cried. We got to meet and get crazy (the crazy part was her—just sayin’) with people we had never met before and it all was very, very good!
I laughed much—
I loved much—
I lived free to be who God made me to be—(something my lovely friend has been showing me being a tangible example)
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We found joy in so many ways—
What an incredible gift…such an extraordinary gift.
You know what the truth is—God spent the entire weekend pouring out His crazy love on me which in reality was no different than any other day–this time though, my heart and eyes were open to seeing it!!!
It was a beautiful weekend—