I'm back home after a wonderful, uplifting weekend with the ladies in my church. Thank you to all of you who prayed for me. My devotional went really well and seemed to bless the ladies. It always amazes me how God can use my imperfect words to touch others. And of course, His Word, the Bible, is powerful and relevant.
I had a really rough time earlier this week as I was preparing. My devotional just wasn't coming together the way I wanted it to. It was Tuesday night, and I'd been up several times with the girls. At about 1:30 am, I was lying in bed, unable to sleep and crying because I was so worried about speaking at Retreat. I spent some time praying, asking the Lord to help me, because things just weren't working. I finally decided that I might as well get up, since I couldn't sleep anyway.
I went out to the living room and picked up my Bible...and the Lord was so gracious. As I read through the New Testament, I found verse after verse that related to my devotional. There were at least 3 or 4 passages for each point I wanted to make! I figured it would be a good idea to type all of the references out while I was thinking about them. I went to bed at 2:30 am, but I went to bed with a smile on my face.
The Lord even worked things out so that I had an hour by myself in my hotel room the morning I was going to speak. I always do better when I have a chance to go over my entire devotional in private. That way, I can make sure that I can flow smoothly from one point to the next. The Lord is so good! I love how He works out even the small, seemingly insignificant needs we have. :)
I had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. My mom and my aunt went, and my longtime best friend was able to come too. My mom was in charge of the retreat, so she had her own room next to the conference room, but my aunt, best friend and I all shared a room. We had a great time acting like teenagers at a sleepover. ;) I can't even remember the last time we've had that much time together (without kids and most of our responsibilities). :) And as an added blessing, my other aunt, who lives in the same town where our retreat was held, was able to come and hear me speak and sing. It was great to have her there. :)
As I just mentioned, I also sang some special music, and the ladies enjoyed the message of the song so much that I ended up singing it for 3 different meetings (I was only planning on singing it once!). The words fit really well with our theme, which was "Destination: Paradise". Our messages focused on persevering and pressing on as we look towards our final home: Heaven. The song was called "Blessings" by Laura Story. Here's a link to the song, if you're interested. I didn't sing it exactly like she does, though. :}
The whole group of us had some great fellowship as we sang, listened to testimonies, performed impromptu skits (not everyone was thrilled with this) ;), ate out, played games, and shared what was on our hearts. We all left refreshed and ready to get back to the grind after our rest.
Yesterday, I got back in time for dinner. It was great to see the girls and my hubby again. Then, I was initiated back into motherhood at 5:00 this morning, when I had to change wet sheets (my youngest daughter had an accident in her sleep). Welcome back, Mommy! :}
We are just going to stay home as a family today instead of going to church. We're all tired...it's been a pretty big week. The good news is, that will give me some time to work on some posts.
What posts, you may ask? I have several in the works. I took Tess with me and took lots of fun pictures, so there will be a post up on Tess and Maggie's blog about her trip very soon. :)
I also got a message from Hubby when I was still at retreat (on Friday, no less!). "Hi Hon. Hmm, there's a big package here. Let's see, what does it say? Oh...American Girl." (He's such a tease!) So yes, Hayden has actually arrived...3 whole days early!!!! :D I opened her last night and took lots of pictures. She's absolutely beautiful! I'm hoping to get a post on Hayden done by this afternoon. I know you guys have all been waiting as eagerly as I have to see her. :)
I'll talk to you all again soon! :)