So I haven't done a very good job of getting into the habit of writing on my blog yet. But I think about it alot and am trying to get it into my habits. I have to come today though and write about my weekend. Hubby and I left Friday afternoon around 1:00 for a weekend away with our Sunday School class. We visited Springmaid Mountain in Spruce Pine, NC and we had a ball!!
The theme of our retreat was "Change." How do I make changes in my life? How can I help and encourage friends who are doing the same? My special friend Charlotte taught us from some of the Christian counseling courses she has taken. Not only was the message and the material timely, but the fellowship and time away was exceptional. We had 19 people on retreat with us and we stayed in Springmaid Mountain's large bunkhouse. Two other great friends, Scott & Sue, planned and prepared all our meals. I especially love retreats like this one where we are all in the same building the whole time. It seems to offer a certain closemess that staying in separate rooms/cabins lacks.
Yet another dear friend, Donna, sprinkled much spice over the weekend as she offered games for us to play. Most of them made us laugh and it can be so good to laugh together. It won't be near as funny here as it was there but my sweet husband spoke up during a session and commented that there was one big thing in his bedroom that was keeping him from making a certain change in his life that he wanted to make. I sat beside him and I thought long and hard (all of three seconds... maybe!) and for the life of me, I could not picture any "big thing" in our bedroom. And then it hit me! He was talking about me! I looked at him and I said, "Just what 'big thing' in our bedroom are you talking about?!" If you didn't read that with all the sarcasm you can mutter, go back and try it again for the full effect. Someone later told me that they would have given just about anything to have had a camera to take a picture of me at that point. As soon as I said it, the whole room bust out laughing, hubby was doing all he could to convince me that's not what he meant, and I realized my silliness. Think of all the stress that was relieved as we shared that good-natured laugh together. God is good!
But now for what's really important. I went away to spend time with friends, to spend time with my husband, to be without my kids (can I get an amen?), but the most important reason I went was to spend time listening for what God was going to say to me. God spoke to me about two things. First was to encourage me. Change is hard and it takes time. My goal for this year was to improve my walk with Christ. I want to improve in all the areas that are important: prayer life, daily quiet time, in-depth Bible study, tithes and offerings, and scripture memorization. But taking on all of these at once was only setting myself up to fail and I could not do as well as I had planned to. So I refined my task. I tackled just one of these: scripture memorization. And I have improved!! And this is pleasing to the Lord and these verses I'm learning will bring abundant blessings to me now that I have hidden them. Thank you Beth Moore for a fun and easy way to learn 24 verses in 2009!! ( See sidebar on right for my list.) I came away from this weekend feeling that "I can do it" feeling! I have tackled learning scripture and I have changed. I am currently working on my sixth verse this year. Watch out prayer life! You're next!!
I am also encouraged in another area from this weekend retreat. Hubby and I are struggling with a family member. It's not appropriate to get into all the details here but it has caused us much stress, sadness, and disappointment. But guess what? I can pray for the family member. I can love the family member. I can encourage the family member. I can even, as the Bible says in Matthew, go to the family member and show him his fault, but I cannot make him change. I cannot make him want to change. I cannot do the work for him. This is hard. But I was encouraged this weekend as I was reminded of my limitations. I need to be obedient to God and let him do what only he can do. Did I mention how good my God is?