Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Women's Retreat

We have already had a very busy a full month at our house. September 5-7, I went with my friend Lynette to a Women's Retreat held at the Quaker Ridge Campground in Colorado. We had a wonderful time. The main room where we listened to the speaker had an amazing view of Pike's Peak. Amy Smith, a mother of six, spoke at the retreat on the Disciplines of a Godly Woman. My heart was convicted in so many different areas. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband who stayed with my three older kids so I could be refreshed from the Word at this retreat. I'm also thankful for the church members who were willing to sit with my kids in church so I could attend. The above picture is of my friend Lynette, Ezekiel, and me standing on the porch with another amazing view of Pike's Peak.

Between sessions we had some free time. I went hiking with a few of the ladies. I admit I would not normally go hiking three weeks after giving birth, but since I only had this one opportunity to get out and enjoy God's beautiful creation, I felt I needed to take hold of this opportunity. We did have a beautiful hike, and I am afraid that I did slow the women down a bit. I carried Ezekiel in the sling, and did have a picture of us hiking on the trail, but it must not have taken since I can't find it on my camera :(.

Some of the women took the opportunity to do the ropes course. It appeared to be quite strenuous requiring quiet a bit of upper body strength to be able to balance oneself and walk on the ropes. Thankfully they were harnessed to a lead rope so they weren't able to fall.

Ezekiel had a wonderful time being the only baby at the retreat. I think I only needed to hold him if he was wanting to eat :) I also was challenged in the area of learning to accept help gracefully. I don't know why I always feel like I need to do things myself. It felt very strange having women volunteer to go change Ezekiel's diaper, carry my plate and cup up to the window for me, and many other tasks I could easily perform.

I do have to give props to my husband for being such a wonderful father and pastor. I called him Sunday morning before church just to see if he needed help finding anything. Lydia had woken up sick Sunday morning. She threw up three times before Sunday School. I tried calling a couple of people to see if they could come and stay with her during the morning service, but I was unable to get in contact with anyone. I can't tell you enough how faithful a God we serve and how He LOVES to answer our prayers. JA and I, and the women at the retreat were praying that Lydia would be able to make it through the service without getting sick (since JA was the pastor, there was no way he could stay home with a sick child). My kids were the only ones in Sunday School, so we didn't need to worry about exposing other children to Lydia's illness. She made it through Sunday School wonderfully. During the morning service she had some dry heaves, but no vomit (Sorry, I know it may be TMI). Less then fifteen minutes after JA and the kids got home, Lydia was throwing up again. I can only say it is by the Grace of God that they made it through church. We were able to get Faith to babysit for us Sunday night, so Lydia was able to stay home in bed.

Lynette and I made it safely home at about 10:00 Sunday night. Another answer to prayer while I was at the retreat was the gift of an infant carseat. The carseat we had been using was a five-year-old three point harness (no longer meeting safety standards). While at the retreat one of the ladies came up to me and asked if there were any baby boy items I needed since they were in the process of getting rid of their baby items. I asked her if she was getting rid of an infant carseat -- and she was! We stopped by her home in Colorado Springs on our way home.

I am excited about the truths that we studied during this retreat, and I am excited to see how I can continuously apply them to my life.

One of Amy's key sayings for the week was -- "Start practicing to be the kind of older woman you want to be." I'm not going to wake up one day and be this godly older woman ready to teach the younger women. I need to begin practicing to be a godly older woman now.

I have much more to blog about, but that will have to wait until another day.

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