This weekend was the ladies retreat for the women of the church. I'm terrible with numbers so I can't really tell you how many were there, maybe 40? Maybe less.... However many there were, I definitely had ample opportunity to meet people and make new friends. I met Katie - she and her husband lead a worship service at the nursing home here. I met Laura - she reminds me a lot of my mentor from Gospel for Asia, Debi, though I can't pinpoint why. I met Kathy - we got to discuss the public school system among other things. I also got to know some ladies I already knew even better, most especially Erin and Stephanie - I had the chance to hear their life stories, of how they came to the church.
As for details of the trip, we drove about an hour north to Truckee and stayed in two separate cabins on the mountain. I'm used to youth retreats where the food is kind of junky most of the time, but these ladies made great salads, quiche, chicken and rice, I mean, it was wonderful. :) Friday night we sang and listened to Laura talk about the importance of real friendship with one another. Saturday we had two classes in the morning, one with a different Kathy about meditating on God's word instead of negative things, and the other with Alice Ruth about living a servant lifestyle. We had a lot of free time, so I went with a group to downtown Truckee to look at the quirky little shops. Some of them went out to eat, but us cheap girls cooked spaghetti at the house. We had a lot more singing and chatting until bedtime. This morning we had a service with Kelcey about Hebrews 12:1-3, took communion, sang, and prayed. Then it was time to pack and clean and go home!
I wish it could've lasted longer, honestly, but I know I have plenty of time to get to know the women here. I need to seek to spend good time with the friends I have already, and also with the women I have yet to get to know and learn from.
The main thing God spoke to me during this time was to really spend my time loving him with my thoughts. I've been dwelling too much on things that have hurt me in the recent past, and I need to choose every day to forgive others, accept God's grace on myself, and love him and praise him instead of worrying or moping. Jesus did say, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted," but I think I've been focused on the first half and not letting myself receive his comfort. I've been scared to let go of my pain because in an odd way it makes me who I am. But now I really want to define myself with good things, godly things, instead.
This is totally cheesy, I'm warning you, but I also wanted to add that I was listening to Beyoncé's "Smash Into You," one of my favorite songs of hers, and suddenly had the thought of singing it to God instead of whoever else. It was really powerful for me to be reminded that my longing for love can be fulfilled in God, truly. Here's some lyrics: "I'm soaked in your love, and love is right in my path, in my grasp, and me and you belong. I wanna run, smash into you." (It's better when she's singing it, I promise. haha)
Thanks for reading, really. I love you guys.
Hello out there!
7 months ago