What's cool is that the winner gets to go for free!!!
The topic: Retreat, retreat, retreat...
I got the email and thought, "Wow, is this not right up my alley this week?
We all need a time to get refreshed and breathe again. Mine came last week up in the hill country of Texas.
Living with the Rodriguez's while in transition had taken its toll on all of us and I so hungered to be back in the country, listening to the music of silence.
What a beautiful symphany...where had it gone? Amidst the sirens, grackles, traffic, t.v., speeding trucks, that annoying music, over and over again, of the ice cream truck sitting in front of the house daily waiting for someone to buy overpriced confections, and the loud garbage truck brakes screeching every Monday and Thursday morning; I never thought I'd hear that magnificent sound again~silence.
Add to that all our 'stuff' in boxes piled high in the garage, longing to be unpacked and put to use; yet our life is on 'hold' !
Soon and oh, so very soon, I believe we'll be back on our feet and able to step, once again, into the world of home ownership or better yet, someone else can pay the taxes while I redecorate and/or remodel their home!
But, in the meantime, Daddy gave me a gift I could have only dreamed of; a week in the 'hills'.
I drank deeply of the beauty, smells-(cedar everywhere-can you smell it?), hummingbirds whizzing overhead,
trees swaying in the breeze, the cat hanging from the window screen every morning trying to communicate hunger pangs~ the rooster stalking me every single time I walked outside (I carried a long stick for protection!), the hens clucking as they gave us morning nourishment and the delicious taste of Starbucks coffee anytime day or nite with Black Cherry Strudel creamer...mmm!
But, beyond all these luxuries, there was the Presence of God wrapping me in His love and demonstrating that He is in control of EVERYTHING!--Particularly my desires... He promises that He will give us the desires of our heart if we delight in Him and that's exactly what He did for me. If there is a place of intimacy with God, that place is in the country for me. I find He's here in the city, too, but I am so much more attentive to His touch there. I feel it when I look at the cedar trees dancing, the birds singing melodies that only heaven understands, as I just sit still and listen to Him speak to my heart about what He's doing in me...healing me, strengthening me, filling me with Himself...He speaks:
'Will I not meet those deep desires you have, Daune?'. ' I, the Creator of the Universe, know what sparks your passions, your dreams, and what brings you joy?' "Do I not care about every single detail of your life?'
"But, Daddy, am I always going to be fighting? When does the victory come and the rest begin? How long must this battle go on before we can, as David did, rest from all our enemies?' Is there ever a time when my adversary is completely driven away never to return again? (Do I have to wait for heaven?) Perhaps silly questions, but I have them and answers come...
"That's why you're here...this is my gift and you need to enjoy it for what it is. Sit and soak up all I have for you; then go back and be with those that need you and give what I've put in you.
'My Presence is the place that keeps you safe, sheltered and joyful...this place is temporary, but My Presence is eternal and you don't need the 'country' to have that...I sit with you in this room and am waiting to hold you on My lap and kiss your forehead.'
This is the definition of a retreat to me; away from the craziness of what we call 'life'...it's His Life in me.
Retreat, to me, is a place of finding God in silence, beauty, solitude, rest, and then returning to the battle lines to display and pour out His glory to an empty world starving for hope, peace and fulfillment.
I would love to be able to give the grand prize to Cleto and Lynette for all their love to us and allow them the privilege of getting away together to enjoy the gift of His creation and the solitude that speaks loud and clear. They need this vacation time to rejuvenate and prepare for their future...a new baby in December, a new chapter in Cleto's career and prayerfully a new home for all of them. I love them and am eternally grateful for their love for us. They have demonstrated to us what living by faith really is; being on the front lines of the entertainment industry with unbelievers all around is a grand battle only God could have hand-picked them for and linking arms with them in this time has been a tremendous gift to us.
Thanks for reading to the end...rather winded but I've tried three times to shorten it and it seems that that's not possible!~
Just a note:
As part of their sponsorship, Laity Lodge is offering a 25% discount to all readers of High Calling Blogs for three retreats. (Just ask for the “HighCallingBlogs.com discount.”)