Tuesday, April 29

Ladies Retreat

This past weekend about 75 ladies from our church went up to Camp Co Be Ac for a retreat, and we had a great time. Previously we have gone to a hotel in West Branch, and although there were some things about being at a camp that were not as comfy or convenient as a hotel, it was really nice to be in an environment where we could all be still and enjoy the camp and just be all to ourselves for 24 hours. I left my camera home, so this is going to be a photo-free post. So sorry!

I missed Michael and Aaron dreadfully, but I do have to admit that I definitely underestimate how much brain power it takes to be thinking of the care of a child. It was so nice to be only responsible for myself, and be able to fully soak up the weekend. But I was THRILLED to come home to my boys.

Debbie Pryde was the main speaker, and Mrs. Marla Hanna, missionary to Taiwan, shared some things that God had taught her in regard to her thinking. Mrs. Hanna's testimony was amazing, as she transparently shared how her wrong thinking patterns had built up until the family had to come home from the field temporarily in order to get some biblical counsel. She reminded us from Phil. 4 about the things we should be thinking about, the things we know to be true and real. (by the way, if you haven't read this book on the topic, you NEED to get a copy!!)

During her testimony, she mentioned that God is going to accomplish His work whether or not we are participants, but that He chooses to use us. I'm not sure why, but that truth that I've had in my brain for a long while hit my heart in a different way this weekend. And it hit with a big "WHY?" Why would God choose to use me? He wants me to see Him working in an up close, front row kind of way, in order that I can know that it is HIM doing the work, in order that I may give Him glory. He lets me help Him so that I can know Him, so that I can praise Him for His works. Amazing.

During the weekend, I was very convicted that I need to be putting 100% into the ministry God has given me here at home and be content with His will for my life in this season, and not be looking back or forward to what I've been able to do in the past or what I might be able to do in the future. Or as Dr. Olilla used to remind us in the words of Jim Elliot, "Wherever you are, be all there." This is something I've been struggling with a lot since Aaron was born, and God is gracious and merciful to continue to lovingly and patiently guide me along, reminding me of His Word.

I know that the ministry of home is VERY important, it is just my wrong thinking that convinces me that it is not so very "full of action" or "exciting" especially in the results category. As you moms know, we can be easily tempted to think that our job is thankless and tedious at times (especially during the 49th disciplinary session of the day).

So, God showed me that I need to be relying on the Holy Spirit and the Word to retrain my thoughts, to rejoice in the ministry at home, to give it my all 100% of the time. It was a GREAT weekend and I was thankful for the opportunity to attend.


Rosemary and Dale said...

You DO have the most important job in the world right now...and you're doing a great job! In any job, it is important to take care of yourself too. So glad that you had a great weekend. "He leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul...".

Rachel said...

AMEN!! I could just cry because of my wrong attitude (sometimes) towards my calling - I cry at lots of things these days though:). I so needed to hear these wonderful thoughts today! Thank you for the encouragement:).

CLComstock said...

Jenny, thanks for sharing what you learned, I needed another reminder. I love my calling as a SAHM but you are definitely not alone in struggling with false thinking. Anyway, this was encouraging to read.

Stephens said...

I am so thankful for the time with you this past weekend and being able to have us share what God is doing in both of our hearts. Thanks for the shoulder to cry on. :-) I'm praying for you and appreciate your prayers too. May Christ be glorified in all the different ministries--home, church, etc.--we each are involved in. The Jim Elliot quote is one that has been an admonishment to me for a while now, and, praise the Lord, we can live that way through God's grace and strength.