Tuesday, April 25, 2006

oh, Oh, OH! MY! GOODNESS!

Never... NEVER take away a woman's computer when she's just returned from a retreat and wants to share, share, share!!! Never!

My computer has been down and being fixed and I just got it back today ... about 1 hour ago ... and I thought I would DIE without it!

Needless to say, I missed you all very very much! I feel so out of the loop! So after I post, and as I sit here sipping my Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and munching on my healthy salad (oh, BLASTED -- I can NOT lie ... I also have a cupcake. But it's white -- not chocolate, so it doesn't really count), I'll slowly start catching up with each one of you. 'Kay?

So, sure enough... satan attacked me on Friday. I had an attack of the PCOS way with plenty of abdominal pain, lower back pain, and ... other stuff ... don't worry. I'm seeing my doctor this afternoon. But as the trooper I am ... life went on and satan did not keep me down or win this fight!

The weekend was a cold, rainy, WONDERFUL and PERFECT weekend to be in a bed and breakfast (well, we think that's what it was) with a bunch of women!!!

So tell me something ... what do you get when you mix 12 women, spinach dip, salsa, chips, vegetable platter, chocolate chip cookies, rice cakes and macaroon-chocolate-raspberry tarts together?

You get 12 very giddy, talkative, animated women having a good ol' time ... oh yeah ... and a platter of untouched rice cakes. Duh!!! (our pastor's wife brought them ... I love her DEARLY, but... what was she thinking?!?!?)

God started working Friday night. And, I mean WORKING, girls! I love big retreats, but there is NOTHING more intimate than a small group of women! The devotion opened all our hearts to an honest time of sharing and ministering to each other. It just amazes me ... no one ... and I mean NO ONE ... can tell me they don't have a problem or a single care in this world. Because if they do try to tell me that, I just won't believe them! Everyone, no matter what your age, has a concern, whether it's your health, an unsaved loved one, a problematic marriage, a troublesome child, job dissatisfaction, hurt feelings, aging ... everyone has something. I was just amazed, because my fears were erased that night.

You see ... my message the next day was called "Knowing the Shepherd's Heart" based on Psalm 23, and learning to lay our worries at the Shepherd's feet and walk away without them. My testimony was intertwined, which was, of course, about my marriage and my battle with infertility. And I went to the retreat knowing it was what God wanted me to share, but wondering if anyone would relate to it (because we had women from 30-something all the way up to 60-something, and no one really dealt with or understood infertility). And the devotion that was shared Friday night, and all the prayer concerns and problems that were shared opened my eyes to the revelation that we all have "issues," no matter what stage of life we're in ... and women worry. We all do.

Most people view Psalm 23 as the "death Psalm" or a "Psalm for the dying" -- but really, there is so much to learn from this Psalm that can be used on a daily basis! I can't possibly condense three hours of sharing into a small post. I tried ... but came up with three pages (top to bottom), so if any one wants to know about the lesson, and has any suggestions on how I can share it without having a mile-long post, I'm open to suggestions!

I think we came away from the weekend with renewed hearts to pray, study God's word, and lay our troubles at God's feet. We ate, played, laughed, sang, cried, cried, oh, and did I mention, cried? And last, but not least, we all came away with a deeper love and understanding for each other. We ministered to each other in a very special way, too. Through our own trials, and examples of our personal dependency on Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful weekend. If you ever have the opportunity to go away for a small retreat (or a large one) ... go. Don't ask questions. Just go. God will truly bless your socks off.

By the way ... the bracelets we made were an absolute hit! There are 10 colored stones, and each color reminds us of a verse in Psalm 23 ... kind of like the salvation bracelet. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow.

Okay ... I have 1-1/2 hours to catch up on all my blogs before I go to the doctor's office.... Hopefully, I'll get to all of them!

Have a blessed day!

21 comments:

Heather Smith said...

I'm so glad you are back GiBee! Sounds like you had an awesome weekend!! That is so wonderful. One of the preachers from my church just spoke on Psalm 23 a couple of weeks ago. It was a great message. I actually wrote a song about it. Maybe I'll post it on my site this week. How about breaking down your devo into pieces. You could do it everyday or once a week until you shared it all! I definitely want to hear about it.

Heth said...

AWESOME!

*whining* I want to go..... waaaah.

Sounds like a wonderful time. I love when God knits our heart together with other women. So special.

Susanne said...

Glad you had an awesome weekend with ladies & the Lord! But I'm glad you're back, too! I think Heather had a good idea: break it down and post a little each day or once a week is great!

Stacey said...

Wow, what a post... I can tell you're on top of the world after that retreat. It sure sounds like you had a wonderful time learning, growing and trusting each other with things in your lives! There is something special about being with other women and knowing you can just be yourself!! Glad it all went well, can't wait to hear more : )

Faith said...

I missssssed you!!!! So glad your back!!! I want to hear every detail!!

shannon from rocks in my dryer said...

Hooray, hooray, GiBee's back! I'm so glad it went well. Wish I'd been there!

Shalee said...

God is sooooo good! I'm glad you're back, even if it is in between the retreat and a doctor visit.

I bet many of the ladies are praising God over the greatness of the weekend. Congrats for letting God use YOU!

aggiejenn said...

I'm so glad that the retreat went well. I agree with Heather...post a little at a time--we want to hear it all!

Susan said...

Welcome back! I am so glad that you had a great weekend retreat.

Did you miss us?

Oh and HEY - where is MY bracelet? :o)

Kristen said...

It sounds like it was a wonderful, blessed time. And you were worried! ;-) I'm glad it was a success, that God was there, and that your message spoke. ;-)

Visit me again sometime. Haven't seen you in awhile. I miss ya!

Peach said...

So glad it went well! So glad you're back! I love Psalm 23 and think far more about being a lamb than being dead -- that's wonderful that God used you to minister to people's hearts. Looking forward to hearing more about it. Maybe you could make it a series of posts. I'd stick with you to the end of it!

sarahgrace said...

Sounds awesome! Praise God for working through you, and for you sticking it out!

I never thought of Psalm 23 as the "death poem" I always thought of it as a a psalm for strength...interesting.

Love to hear even more about it, and hope your doctor visit goes well.

Chaotic Mom said...

I'm so excited for you! What great news, to hear from you after the retreat!

Glad to hear you're going to the doctor, too.

Wow! I'm really just so happy for you! :)

momrn2 said...

You could post what you shared any ol' way you wanted to and you know I'd be there to read every last word!!

So glad it went well! AND, I'm so very glad you're back!! YEAH!!

Mama D said...

So glad everything was a success! I knew it would be. This post was great. I can't wait to see the photo of the bracelets!

Perri said...

Sounds like it was a great weekend. Makes me long for a retreat of my own.

eija said...

I hope your doctor told you good things...

Me too, I've never thought psalm 23 is something about death or for dying! I've always thought of it as a encouragement or consolation, when things are tough :)

Morning Glory said...

I'm so glad it went well for you. I love this thought you posted: "learning to lay our worries at the Shepherd's feet and walk away without them." What a powerful few words.

Welcome back!

Addie said...

Yay! Yippee! Hazzah! Praise God! Sounds like it was fantastic. I love that you followed God's leading and got your socks BLESSED OFF!!!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

so that was why you weren't posting...that makes so much more sense. It wasn't like you to leave us hanging!

I am so thrilled that your weekend was such a blessing! Praise God!

PS we knew all you would do great!!

Carol said...

That is so cool. Everything from getting your computer back to the bracelet with the colored beads to ... everything in between. Yay, God!

I would have eaten the rice cakes.