My time at the create for care retreat feels in alot of ways unexplainable. I told Ryan I didn't quite realize how much I needed it until I got there and as I sat in my first breakout session and got to just soak in truths about my identity in Christ. Sometimes I forget how intense this whole "motherhood" thing can be. I forget to come back where it all really starts. I forget it begins with God and me . . .not in who I feel I am as a wife or a mom.
Motherhood is hard. It's intense. Some days it feels bigger than me. And while I love my girls and couldn't imagine doing any thing else, it's been easy to become discouraged lately as we face some of the same struggles over and over. So to be able to just sit there and let the truths of my identity in Christ wash over me again and step away from the busyness? Such a blessing. And it gave me such an excitement to come home and keep working to make sure I build a solid identity in Christ in the hearts of each of our girls and the children God may still bless us with.
God's been showing us a lot lately - so can I just ask that you keep us in your prayers? That we can know God's continued direction in our life as a family and keep seeking Him first? He continues to show He is faithful in everything.
I actually took very few pictures. So much of the first day was a lot of soaking in, meeting some incredible women and just God doing a lot of peeling back some layers. A lot of tears and a lot of worship.
Plus I did mention there was some incredible women speaking and teaching incredible truths? Lots more tears. Lots of laughs. And so much learned.
A few of my "AGCI" family. I firmly believe there isn't another adoptive community out there like the AGCI family within our adoption agency. To be blessed with women who are so honest, prayerful and willing to walk the trenches of adoption with you? I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am as this journey stretches out further in front of us.
One of my roommates, Catherine. She has two little girls right around the ages of our own monkeys and she was a friend from the get go. It was so fun to walk into the room technical strangers (although friends through facebook : ) ) and have an instant friend to share the weekend with.
One of my favorite moments of the entire weekend.
One night after the evening's events were over, most of the moms from AGCI who were at the retreat were able to spend time together "officially" introducing ourselves and just spending time in prayer together.
My roommates for the weekend - so neat to meet these girls and hear how God has moved in their own adoption stories. We can't wait to see how He continues to work.
My other favorite of the weekend? Worship.
I felt like the pictures couldn't begin to capture how much God used this time to speak to my heart. One of my recent favorites you can hear here. Love to let the words just wash over me.
Love these girls and their hearts . . .and yes, this is sunday afternoon.
I'm half sleep walking and I think about cried out . . . : )
Catherine, Cheri and I all got in thursday night and were roomies that night before the rest of retreat came in and started on friday. I loved the chance to get to know these ladies, their stories and just relax before it all began.
On my way out of the lodge, you have to drive down this lane that overlooks the huge lake. The sun was out and shining beautifully and it just matched so much of what I felt God had done for me: the renewal and the promise of His faithfulness.
It's all I can do not to head back in March : ) but am already praying God can make a way for me to head back next year.
But SPEAKING OF MARCH, I am SOO excited and SO thankful for the support given through the Ordinary Fundraiser/Give away I posted about. We DID win - and I am so excited to know that my own friend, Mindy, will get to go and be blessed in so many of the same ways I was and have that time with her sister-in-law too. Not to mention I feel blessed by the support raised towards our own adoption. The sales that are sending them to the retreat (the prize for winning) helped raise a little over $500 to apply towards our still remaining adoptions costs!!! Did I mention God is faithful? Can't wait to hear about their own trip.
How He loves us!