Live on Purpose Retreat
Last weekend I went to the Live on Purpose women's retreat put on by Fulfilled Ministries. Fulfilled is our women's ministry at LCF. There were a handful of women not from LCF, which was really cool.
It was in Shell Knob, Missouri at Camp Table Rock. We drove down Friday morning and got there that afternoon. It's such a beautiful place in the Ozarks. It's primarily a youth camp but they do let groups use the space. The food is great, the beds are cozy for camp cabins, and the showers were hot. Can't complain at all about this place. The story behind how it came to be gives me chills every time I hear it. Which now is twice.
That night we had an awesome time around the camp fire singing songs of worship and drinking hot chocolate and eating s'mores.
The next day we began our sessions. The main speaker was awesome! She talked about strongholds and how we as women can't live freely in our purpose without letting go of the things that hold onto us. I don't think that one of the 40 women there had a dry eye. Powerful stuff! Strongholds are ways of thinking that aren't correct but we believe and in turn that thought holds us back. For example, someone may think they aren't good enough or they aren't smart or they are unlovable.
After the first session we had some time for personal devotions. Below is a photo I took to prove to Matt that yes indeed I was in the woods. I mean, I could see the path from where I was. But I was in the woods! I think being married to Matt has helped me appreciate nature besides the beach.
I was asked to speak in the breakout sessions to a small group about our journey with infertility. I wasn't sure about it but Matt really encouraged me to share our story and how God has been working in our lives since. Selfishly, I kind of enjoy people not knowing our whole story. But if even one part of it blesses someone else I cannot hold on to that.
This is getting wordy and I am sorry about that. But I have to back up. I got to choose where I wanted to have my class. I knew exactly where I wanted to be. I was at this same camp in October of 2015. There is an outdoor amphitheater that over looks the lake. Beautiful! In the fall I laid out on a bench and really felt the presence of God as I prayed. I felt like God had told me to read Isaiah 48:17. I didn't really know what that meant until I read the entire chapter. I realized I had made an idol out of motherhood. I wasn't really believing what I told people about being okay in the waiting. I put the idea of having a baby way over God. I have since had dreams where I am childless and fine. Not a complete mess, in the loony bin, curled up in the fetal position. Just fine and dandy. I had forgotten to leave that desire at the feet of Jesus to let Him have and decide what to do with. I was still trying to live on my own terms.
I had forgotten about that until I went and sat in this place again. I flipped my Bible open to Isaiah 48 and read it all again. I was only going to talk about our infertility but I was reminded of all the times God has been so faithful and how great things turned out when I gave them up to Him. Not always on my terms but I always learn that God's way is so much better than anything I could dream up. I shared about our infertility journey, about my career change, about Isaiah 48, and how much we love the family we have now.
I went to a class on Immanuel Journaling. It was really interesting. You ask Jesus to remind you of something to be thankful for and then write Him a thank you letter. Then you use what you know about the nature of God and scripture to write a response. It was really cool. My thing was thanking Him for being so present at that camp. His response was a reminder that He's not only there. He's with me here, there, and everywhere.
We had a Zumba party that night. You know how much I loved that!
The next day during our personal devotional time I went someplace different. I thought I'd get a different view of the camp and the woods. It was right next to the septic system. Ha! I kept hearing a rustling in the bushes and my imagination was getting the better of me. Do you see what is sunning itself on the concrete?
Below is a picture of some of the sweetest friends a girl could ask for. God has blessed me more than I deserve with these ladies. Plus, one is a new friend! This photo is missing a couple ladies from our small group. Small cabin 2 is our cabin, it's the second time we've stayed there all together.
There is a beautiful scenic outlook on the way. It's tradition to stop and take a picture.
Scenic outlook selfie!
I came home refreshed and reminded of how loved I am. I was also exhausted and in bed by 8pm.