Sunday, May 8, 2011

ICC Women's Weekend

I had a few intrigues about the women's weekend that I hosted at our home. Taylor of course cleared the area and headed to Seoul for a memorable night with some buddies and Corin.
The ladies started arriving Friday night, the 29th of April. We had snacks, played games and just enjoyed each others' company as we awaited the arrival of all our Friday nightr guests. Saturday morning, we woke up to what we thought would be a rainy and dreary day, but God is Good, and he held off the rain inour part of the countryside. We all had a yummy breakfast with a nice warm cup of coffee to get us up and going. Then we decided to go for a walk as we waited for the rest of the ladies that would be coming out to join us. It was on the walk that I was thankful again for our rural placement. The ladies really enjoyed getting out in the fresh country air. When we got back, a few others had joined our numbers and soon we were diving into God's word together. I gave a short devotion on Colossians chapter 3, focusing mostly on renewal. I felt as though it went really well. Then we split into small groups and had a time of discussion, reflection and prayer. Sooooo good. I love hearing what God is doing in the hearts of others and how the scriptures move each of us individually. It just goes to show that God's word is LIVING, constant, and applicable. (and so much more)
We then shared a feast at lunch since our numbers dropped from the original head count. There was plenty to go around and we were all quite satisfied by the time the table was cleared.
I had asked a friend if she might be intereseted in creating a devotional for the ladies as well and she (Melody) presented hers just after lunch. She focused on Ezekiel 47:1-12. Mel had us close our eyes as she read the passage and encouraged us to take that opportunity to envision the scene described. She then lead us to John 7:37-39, showing us how the river in Ezekiel represents the Holy Spirit and then to 1Corinthians 3:16 to relay that our bodies are the temple spoken of in the original passage as well. We then went back to Ezekiel and reread the passage, this time envisioning ourselves as the temple and the Holy Spirit as the river constantly flowing from us. It was a great, refreshing, and vivid reminder of the LIFE we have that is constantly flowing in, through and out of us.
We then, of course being ladies, moved on to crafting time. We made fabric flower broaches and hair clips. It was so fun to see God's creativity displayed through the creations of these women.
Then it was time to pack up and head out. I was sad to see the time go so quickly, but it was quality time indeed.

My reflections: As I prepared for the devotional, I was very much tried in the ares that I was intending to teach on. The sin seems to bubble up throughout the weeks leading tot he retreat and I knew it was Satan trying to deter me from presenting the TRUTH through the word of God. (Melody also mentioned some defeat in her preparations as well.) Satan is a sly one, but God is triumphant!!!
I was slightly discouraged by the number of attendants. Last year we had a fairly large group where as this year, our numbers dwendled down to only 11. I felt as if I had failed to make the retreat sound enticing or that the distance to travel was a deterant, but come Saturday morning... when we sat down for the first devotional and then split for our small discussion/prayer groups... I was so thankful for the number of women that God had encouraged to come. I was reminded that it was not about me and what I wanted out tof the weekend. The Lord was using this time for His Glory and so I was pleased to have the opportunity to host a time of worship and fellowship. I also found that I was very much less stressed this time around. I made most of the food ahead of time, which helped a great deal, but I also just felt more spiritually prepared that day. I was very encouraged by the weekend and always love growing closer with the ladies in the body. I look forward to hopefully squeezing in one more women's weekend before February... just in case we decide to head back to the States.

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