Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flourish

A few weeks ago I was in Mt. Vernon, Texas.
At a ladies retreat called Flourish.

I've seen pictures of the past retreats and always had a desire to attend one of them.  And in God's goodness He allowed that to happen.   He opened a door for me to not only attend but also to be "the speaker" for the weekend.  I had the opportunity to teach and share pieces of my story with the 12 ladies who were there.  


The way they kept it small and intimate was one of my favorite things about the retreat. 
That… and the beautiful lake house we were blessed to stay in.



That… and the laid-back pace that is conducive for lots of time to spend with the Lord.
In your pajamas.


 That… and evening worship on the deck under the stars.

That… and sharing morning sunrises with new friends.

In fact… the friends the Lord connected my heart to was my absolute favorite.
Hearing their stories strengthened my faith.

It once again opened my eyes a little wider to how big our God is and how unique He has made each person and the stories He is writing through each of us.  They are all full of redemption…each full of triumph.  And none of us are exempt from the hard stuff…the afflictions and the trials.  As I listened to each woman throughout the weekend,  I was once again reminded how needful the hard stuff is in our lives.  It's what grows us.  What makes us strong. What makes us tender.

" For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
You laid affliction on our backs.
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment."
Psalm 66:10-12

 Some of us were still going through the fire and the water and some of us had already come through to that place of rich fulfillment…. with  wisdom. strength. peace. confidence in our God. Unshakable faith.

The rich stuff.  The wealthy stuff. The good stuff.


I'm so thankful for the many conversations around the table (and the counter).


And I'm thankful for these two.
I know they wouldn't want to be singled out. And that's not why they do what they do.
But I'm just blessed by their obedience to the Lord when He put it on their hearts to host the very first Flourish Retreat.  I mean, they could have said no…that they were too busy…their plates were already too full.  They are young moms smack dab in the middle of motherhood with 9 kids between the two of them.  But they didn't give God all the excuses.  They said yes. And because of them many ladies have left this retreat over the years feeling refreshed and equipped… ready to take on whatever the Lord has called them to with a renewed joy and passion.
So thankful for what y'all are doing for the kingdom K.K. and Emily! xxoo
You are leaving your mark and making a difference for eternity.


All of that was incredible enough but then God went and did exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask for or even imagine. (eph 3:20)

"The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself" 
 Proverbs 11:25

Here I was going to water these ladies with the word God had given me and little did I know that He had someone coming just for me.  One who was gonna water me with wisdom and encouragement all weekend.

You see, usually when I go to these kinds of things, I'm often the oldest one there or at least the one with the oldest kids.  Very seldom do I have someone who is further along in motherhood who can mentor me or offer an understanding shoulder from experience.  But not this time..

Not only did he have a (beautiful) older lady there,  but in  grand fashion as only God can do….
she was a Honey just like me!
Two Honey's under the same roof.
And our hearts and way of doing life were sooo similar.

Meet Kaye.
She's been married for over 40 years, has 3 grown children and 11 grand children who call her Honey.
 Our stories are so similar yet very different while both have the same ending of God's redemptive grace at work in our lives and families.  She has a passion for some of the same things God has burdened my heart for and my faith was strengthened and my heart was quickened as I listened and learned as she shared the ministries the Lord has her involved in.

Now I will be transparent here, when I learned another grandmother was gonna be there and I knew what the Lord had given me to share over the weekend…practical things I've learned through the years to help equip us to flourish in our  walk with the Lord, marriages and motherhood.  Well, I was concerned if she was gonna be a "been there done that and let me tell you how I did it" kind of person with everything I shared with these younger moms. (just keeping it real…you know what I'm talking about)   But she was the farthest possible thing from that.  She encouraged and validated the things I taught and at just the right moments sprinkled some of her wisdom here and there.  I felt like we made a great "team".   Like God has more in store for "The Two Honeys".  I'm so thankful she was there.  And not just for me, which was a nice surprise, but for all the ladies who gleaned from her sweet spirit and wisdom.

Now even though my life's motto is "soak it up"… to enjoy every last drop of every moment God gives us….I still wasn't planning on getting in the Lake.  I had to speak just a few hours later and didn't want to get my hair wet.  But the other Honey said she was going for it and this Honey wasn't gonna miss a thing.
So we jumped in! 


And it must of been contagious….next thing you know KK and Emily did a cannonball off the pier and joined us.  

And isn't that what this life is all about?  Our walk with Jesus should be one of soaking it up…every last drop of whatever He has for us…not putting anything off or missing out because we don't want to get messy or be inconvenienced.  And then we take the plunge,  it's attractive to those around us who are watching and it encourages them to jump right in with us!
So many lessons that day in the lake.


Perhaps God has given you an invitation to jump in to something He's involved in. And you've been holding back.

Jump in.  Get your hair wet! 
 You won't regret what the Lord has waiting for you when you do.

 I love this line from the song "Oceans" by Hillsong.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

Jump!!

  

5 comments:

  1. what a beautiful experience. and TWO honey's! there could never be another;)

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  2. I love this...especially the part about jumping in. You're right...so many times we miss out because we're fearful or dont want to be inconvenienced. I need to hear that in my current season of motherhood! :)

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  3. Ohhh, I got chills reading this! Inspiring once again my friend! Let's all just JUMP! 😘

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  4. Oh, sounds like my kind of weekend. I know it was such a wonderful time of inspiration and I'm really jealous I wasn't there. :o)) And, how cool that those gals were blessed to have not ONE, but TWO, honey's to share it with. Blessings!

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  5. LOVE this :) Thanks for sharing your heart! xoxo

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