Thursday, October 8, 2009

That time of year...

Each year my church holds a women's retreat. For 3 years I was a member of the team. And the next four years, I was the coordinator, working closely with our women's pastor, as well as a team of women, to put it all together.
And this year I had every intention of coordinating it again. But a few months ago during my prayer time one morning God told me it was time to step down from that position. It was really hard to do as the retreat is very dear to my heart. I've been going to this church for 8 years...I've gone to 7 retreats...and I've coordinated the last 4. Needless to say stepping down was going to be hard. It took me two weeks to be obedient. But I finally did it. I stepped down.
After a few weeks of being really sad about it I finally got a grip and realized that God was moving me on for a reason and that I just needed to trust Him. I don't know what that reason is, yet. But I'm trusting Him. And I know He'll show me what to do next when He's good and ready.
In the meantime, I am going to attend the retreat as a guest. I have not planned one detail of this year's retreat. I have not attended one meeting, one prayer group, nothing. I haven't had any say in any aspect of anything in regard to this year's retreat. And I cannot wait to GO! How nice it will be to just take my time arriving (I'm riding with four of my crazy friends...we're making a day of it!), to go to my room when I want and leave the conference room when I want, to not have to answer to anyone all weekend long (except God, of course). I don't have to worry about a thing. I just need to be with God...and accept all that He has in store for me for this weekend.
Don't get me wrong...coordinating the retreat has been one of the biggest blessings I've ever experienced. God is so good and He shows up, let me tell you. It's an honor and a privilege to be a part of it. But sometimes you just need to be there. You know? Sometimes you just need to show up and let God do the rest. Sometimes you just need to be taken care of and cooked for all weekend long.
So you're probably wondering why I'm showing pictures of a necklace and a book and a pretty package. Well, each year, a big part of the retreat is the secret gift exchange. We're supposed to bring a gift that we've prayed about...that goes along with whatever the theme is (this year's is "Chosen"). This year I had no idea what I was going to give. In years past I've known exactly what I was supposed to give. But not this year...not until I wandered around Joanne Fabric for a bit, anyway.

And then suddenly it hits me...I am going to make this person, whoever she is, a necklace. Uh...huh? Um...but I don't make jewelry. Well, I do now! I purchased items that I thought were beads and lockets and black ribbon...then I went to work filling the lockets with sweet words clipped from a very old book. Along with the necklace I decided to also give this sweet sister in Christ a that has been making itself bold in my line of sight for weeks. So, I bought it. And not only is it an amazing was also on sale! (You know me...always frugal!)
I finally finished the necklace tonight. And I wrapped it in a plain brown box with a pretty piece of paper. Then I wrapped the devotional in kraft paper and bound them all together with pretty ribbon. I hope she likes it...whoever she is.


Anonymous said...

seriously, that is an amazing package. I even love how you wrapped it. that necklace is something I would wear.

I am curious - what did you "hear" that told you not to coordinate this retreat? I do hope you really enjoy yourself.

A Friend Across the Miles said...

A lovely gift. I'm sure she'll love it...whoever she is.

Enjoy your time at the retreat - I'll be praying for you.

Wren said...

So very special. She is one lucky lady. What a treasure. Have a wonderful time at your retreat.

sarah said...

You don't make jewelry? Yes you do! That is beautiful, and wrapped up so pretty too.
I hope you have a fun time at your retreat. Weekends like that with friends are so good.

Elaine said...

That is a beautiful gift, package and all.

I pray God's favor on your heart this weekend.

Love to you my friend!

WhiteStone said...

What a lovely, lovely use of the lockets! The recipient will be so pleased. Have a great retreat!

Unknown said...

I love this necklace idea! It is so sweet and beautiful! This would be a great project for my girls and me to make for sisters or friends!

Having helped coordinate many retreats, I understand that you don't really rest at them - you work. It is a blessing to serve, but sometimes you need to go and just listen to Jesus. Enjoy your time with Him and friends!