Come Away {retreat for women} 2018

My sister and I spent a lot of time with our paternal grandparents when we were children. Many Saturday nights found us at their home while our parents went out to dinner with friends. It was a Saturday night ritual that gave me wonderful memories of love and laughter.

Because of the time I spent with my grandparents, I had a window into their lives and faith. My Grandma, especially, had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus. It was not a faith that was easy-come, easy-go. No, she had seen some heartache and trouble in her life and had found Jesus to be faithfully present through it. As I circled around her life, I got the sense that Jesus was her best friend and that she really, really trusted Him. She spoke of Him in an easy, familiar way that caused me to wonder how exactly one would go about having Jesus as a best friend and confidante’.  It would be a few decades before I would understand how to have with a full-on, intimate relationship with Jesus like that of my Grandma.

 

What about you?

Is Jesus your best friend?

Do you trust Him completely with your life…with the life of your family…with your money…with your health?

Do you tell Him everything?

Are you willing to fling open your arms and say “here I am….I am yours…do with me as you will, even if it hurts”?

 

Once you have asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins, then you will be able to journey with me into this post. But, if you have not yet done that, you will never have an intimate relationship with Him. If you want to know more about why I believe in Jesus and made Him my best friend, please see THIS POST.

Today in our time together I am seeking to take you to a deeper place of intimacy that comes after you have established that saving relationship with Christ. A place of complete trust in Him….more trust than you have ever placed in any human. A place of obedient surrender to His desires for your life.

 

Come Away Post 1

 

You see, I’m convinced that an astounding number of Christians do not have that intimate, best-friend-in-the-entire-world relationship with Jesus. They have a saving relationship with Him, but that is where it stops, and that is precisely where I was about 20 years ago. I had asked Jesus to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins, and one day when I died, take me to live with Him in heaven. But, I did not have an intimate friendship with Him and I wanted one. I wanted that deep, abiding trust in Christ that my Grandma had.

And I finally figured out how to get it.

Please do not misunderstand me. I do not have it all figured out when it comes to the Christian life. God teaches me something new almost every day. He points out things in my life that need to go and be replaced with His things. There are still many days that I am painfully aware of my lack of success at this Jesus-walk.

The results of my 2017 survey told me that women are struggling, y’all. Probably men, too, but my heart is women. We are struggling in our marriages, our jobs, our parenting, our choices, and in our view of who we are in Jesus. I believe that I have learned some things that Jesus would like for me to share with a few somebodies who are desperate to know Him better. A few women who want like crazy to experience Jesus as their very-best friend.

 

In 2016 the Lord began tugging on my heart-strings with the idea of an intimate retreat for women where the focus is spending time with Jesus in worship, prayer, Bible study, and quiet time. In September 2017 I had the privilege of hosting 6 ladies at the COME AWAY {retreat for women}. We had an amazing time and each of us had an intimate encounter with Christ. Want to read about it? Go HERE.

 

Come Away Post 1 IG

 

This year the Lord is giving me the privilege to host Come Away once again.  The name of the retreat is taken from Mark 6:31 where Jesus invites His disciples to come away with him and find rest. My prayer and my hope is that 9 women will so desire a deeper relationship with Jesus that they will say ‘yes’ to His invitation to “Come Away” September 20-23, 2018. In the coming weeks I will share more about the retreat, but in the meantime, if you desire a more tender and intimate relationship with Christ, would you begin to pray about attending ‘Come Away….2018’?

Jesus longs to meet you there.

SDG/FCA!!

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Come Away {retreat} 2018 – Save the Date

It’s happening!

After several months of praying and dreaming, the Lord and I are making plans for the 2018 Come Away {retreat} for women….and I am so excited about what He is giving me. His faithfulness to share every detail with me, in His timing, is mind-blowing. Dates. Location. Theme. Messages. Every little thing!

In case you are not familiar with Come Away {retreat}, let me share a bit about it. In late 2016 the Lord began to nudge my heart to host what I like to call a ’boutique retreat’. He was very clear that the retreat would be very small, intimate, and would include lots of time for rest and Jesus. Months ahead of time, He even took me to the location where the retreat would be held in 2017. I prayed and planned and prayed a LOT over it. In every single detail, HE was faithful to provide.

Come Away {retreat} 2017 happened in September last year. Six precious ladies and I tucked away in an amazing cabin in the North Georgia mountains for a weekend. We worshipped, studied Scripture, laughed, talked, ate, cried, rested, and ministered to each other. Y’all, it was beautiful and we truly did COME AWAY with JESUS. The ladies all voiced a desire for ‘just one more day’.

Here are a couple of links to sneak peeks into last year’s retreat. Click HERE and HERE

Recently, we had a mini reunion. The seven of us met for lunch and it was such a sweet time. We reminisced about our time together and talked about the 2018 retreat. To say that there was a bit of excitement about 2018 would be an understatement. These ladies are READY to Come Away with Jesus again.

While I am not quite ready to open registration (probably in June) or give too many details (coming soon), I do want to give you a SAVE THE DATE prompt because I would love to have you attend Come Away{retreat} this year. I am already believing that God is preparing the hearts of 9 ladies to attend Come Away {retreat} 2018. Are you one of them?

 

Save the Date Come Away retreat

I want to encourage you to pray about joining us at Come Away {retreat} 2018. It would be my pleasure to serve you there. Please check back here in May for more details.

 

That Weekend When Jesus Met Us at Come Away {retreat}

I want so very much to write about the weekend at the Come Away retreat, but how in the world do you even begin to put into words an experience that was so intimate and precious?! I feel a bit like Mary must have felt when Scripture tells us that she treasured up things about her pregnancy and the birth of Christ and pondered them in her heart. And so, I will probably share less rather than more in this space because some things simply need to held closely.

 

Come Away Wrap Up

 

 

As you know I have been praying into and planning this retreat for a very long time…almost a year. I knew that God was calling me to this work, yet I had so many doubts about whether I was physically and emotionally able to do it. Doubts about my calling to ministry, and whether I could offer anything that would speak into the hearts of other women. I wondered if anyone would come, and if they would be glad they had come when all was said and done. Almost daily I begged God to let the women be glad they came. I was not sure that anyone would pay $300 for a retreat, because Y’ALL, $300 is a lot of money! If there was a doubt to be had about hosting a women’s retreat, I can assure you that it passed through my mind over the course of the past year. The only thing I did not doubt was the sufficiency and willingness of Jesus to make this retreat happen if He had a mind to do it. Of that I was certain.

 

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I had space for 7 ladies. God sent 6 women who walked eagerly through the door of Tippy Canoe, expecting Jesus to meet them there. In fact, one of the things that we consistently laughed over were the words of one woman’s preschooler. For quite sometime, she had been telling her children that she was going away in September to have a weekend with Jesus. On Friday when her husband came home from work to report for ‘Daddy duty’, her little one went running to him and told him that, ‘Mommy is going to meet Jesus!!’. He said, ‘Oh, please don’t say it like that!’ So we laughed all weekend about this sweet woman ‘going to meet Jesus’.

May I just tell you that we all met Jesus this weekend? The Holy Spirit was incredibly present with us, doing the work that only He can do in hearts that are tuned to His frequency. We worshipped, we studied, we prayed, we laughed, we cried, we shared our hearts, we cooked together, and we ate.  Of course, we ate!

 

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The focus of the retreat was not only to help the ladies carve out a time to come away with Jesus, but also to understand how deeply loved they are by Jesus, and how safe their hearts are with Jesus. To that end, I taught from several different passages over the course of the weekend….John 8:1-11, Psalm 139, Psalm 51, Romans 12:1-2, and 2 Samuel 9. I wanted them to understand that an intimate relationship with Jesus does not happen by accident. It requires intentionality and work, being diligent to lean into Christ through regular prayer and Bible study. I poured out everything I had, hoping they would catch the fever for a relationship with Jesus.

 

Come Away 2017

 

Satan fought hard to keep the ladies from coming, and to keep me from teaching, but He did not win.

May I share some comments from the women?

Come Away fanned the fire that I knew was still in me, but had been affected by the circumstances of life. 

 

Come Away was a breath of fresh air. I was impacted by the Word of God; encouraged by other women. I am trusting Him in a deeper way and being led to take steps of faith. 

 

Come Away showed me where I need to be with the Lord, and what it is going to take to be close to Him again.

 

Come Away has given me a ‘booster’ to help me get back to where I need to be. Spending time in the Word is vital!

 

I feel like I have a fresh love and desire for Jesus because of my time at Come Away.

 

I feel at peace and know it is well with my soul. I feel Jesus near. 

 

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These sweet women made sure I understood that there would be another Come Away retreat next year! They also asked for it to be a three-day retreat rather than just two days.

Over and over the Lord moved and worked this weekend, not only in the hearts of the women, but in my heart as well. He reminded me that His calling is irrevocable and that where He calls, He equips. He encouraged me with the words of Isaiah 55:11, reminding me that when His Word is proclaimed it will accomplish the purposes for which it was intended. He blessed and encouraged me through the words of the ladies as they shared what the weekend had meant to them.

I waved good-bye to each lady on Sunday morning, trusting that God would continue to use the time at Come Away to draw them into a more intimate relationship with Jesus.

Today is a day of rest for me; a time to ponder, pray, offer thanks, and simply abide with Jesus. And do you know what? I feel the smiling nod of God over Come Away and my faithfulness to be obedient to God’s call.

I stand amazed, yet again, that God would use someone like me, a woman who has been in a ditch of sin more times in my life that I can count, to do much of anything in His Kingdom. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you!

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I am linking to some of the books that I recommended to the ladies this weekend.

It’s Time! Come Away {retreat}

I can hardly believe it! For almost a year I have prayed and planned and prepared. I have thrown out enough fleeces to cover an entire sheep and God has answered every single one of them. I have asked Him to give me the largest details (venue), as well and the smallest ones (decorations for the bathrooms – thank you Lynn Dyer!), and He has been over-the-top faithful. I have pored over passages in the Bible, preparing to share what I believe the Lord has given me.

 

Come Away Pinterest

 

Today the Come Away retreat begins. Six ladies and I will spend the weekend with Jesus in a beautiful cabin on Blue Ridge Lake in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

We will spend time in worship with some pretty awesome worship leaders. Our hearts will draw near to Jesus as we look into His Word to see how He feels about us. We will cook and eat (HALLE-to-the-LUJAH!) together, sharing life in the kitchen. We will spend time in prayer, seeking intimacy with Christ. And, we will allow ourselves time to rest and hear the voice of Jesus. Honestly, that last one is probably the most difficult for the majority of women. Simply taking a deep breath and being quiet and still for a season.

So, this morning I come here to this space asking for your prayers, should the Lord bring me to your mind. Would you pray for:

  • The Holy Spirit’s presence over the weekend
  • The ladies who will attend to have hearts that are listening for the voice of Jesus
  • The families of these ladies to be healthy and safe while they are away
  • That all of us who are attending the retreat will stay well
  • Our awesome worship leaders (Judy Tipton, Mike and Rebecca Medori)
  • Me as I teach three times
  • That the ladies will bond together and encourage one another in their walks with Christ
  • That I will be present (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) in each moment and resist the urge to simply move through the weekend, checking off things that need to be done (This is a biggie for me, the ultimate Type A)
  • The HVAC, water, and all appliances of the cabin to work well
  • Anything else you can think of

 

Thank you for your prayers. They are everything to me!

Have a lovely weekend.

SDG/FCA!!

Two Spaces Remain for Come Away {retreat}

Ladies,

I can hardly believe that it is almost time (September 15-17) for the Come Away retreat. It seemed like it was so far in the future when the Lord and I began planning this, and WHOOOSH! Here it is.

The thing is that I have two spaces at the retreat still unfilled. Two places at the table that have someone’s name on them. Two women for whom I have prayed and prayed, even though I have not known their names. I am convinced that the Lord is prompting two ladies to step out in faith and say, “I want to come.”

Are you that woman? Does your heart long for a quiet weekend of rest and reflection and leaning into Jesus? Are you just weary and need some time to breathe?  Come Away!

I am offering these spaces at the original price of $300 to two ladies because I do not want you to miss what Jesus has for you that weekend!

Perhaps you do not feel led to come, but you feel led to pour into the life of another woman and pay for her to attend. I know of a few women who deeply desire to attend, but cannot afford the fee. Would you be a blessing to another woman and help her attend Come Away?

Please click on any of the links or pictures in this post to find more information about the retreat.

 

Come Away Retreat

 

 

Come Away Pinterest

How Well Do You Listen? and the Come Away Retreat

How are you today? I know it has been a while since I dropped into your inbox with a post, but I came across something on a satellite radio program that really spoke to me. So, I am popping in today to share it AND to connect it to the upcoming Come Away retreat.

Before I get there, though, I want to tell you how I am being blessed by taking some time to rest and lean into Jesus. I am learning to be okay with not writing and posting on a regular basis. I am finding great pleasure and peace in giving myself permission to not be productive every minute of every day. None of this comes easy for me, but I know, with absolute certainty, that I am in the center of God’s will…resting, listening, praying, reading, and simply being. Each week I am planning and preparing all of my daily tasks in such a way that I am accomplishing everything that I can Monday through Saturday. Then when Saturday night comes, I am entering into Sabbath and into a time of doing things that draw me closer to the heart of God. Worship, reading, spending time with Greg, sitting on my porch listening to the birds sing, taking a walk, or visiting with friends and family. Y’all, it is so good to be able to slow down and enter into a rhythm of rest. After only 3 weeks of being intentional about this, I already feel calmer and less anxious. How do you do Sabbath?

 

As I am preparing for the Come Away retreat, I have been trying to be a good listener. Not only am I listening for the still small voice of the Lord to guide me and give me everything I need for the retreat, but I am listening to the ladies who have registered to attend. I have asked Jesus to help me tune into the needs of their hearts so that when September 15-17 arrives, I am able to serve them and minister to them each personally.

 

How Well Do You Listen?

 

 

My ears perked up last week when I was driving along listening to satellite radio. The majority of what I listen to is either Christian music, sermons, or talk radio. On this particular day, I had tuned into a secular talk show by a very well known personality. I remember nothing about the topic of the show. What stands out clearly in my mind is one line that the guest spoke.

It landed so heavily on my heart and gave me cause to pause. Here is the quote:

 

Two Kinds of People

 

 

Mercy! Isn’t it true? I want the be the first kind, but all too often I am the second kind. I want to be a great listener, but frequently as I converse with others I am spending more time thinking about what I want to say next than I am listening to the person. Conviction abounds!!

The Come Away retreat is 2 months away, y’all, and this quote, while not spoken by a Christian, has driven home a point that I really want to help the ladies learn with their hearts at the retreat. Flitter, I want to learn it deep in my heart, too.

God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We need to listen twice as much as we speak. As I think about interactions that I have had where I was the one waiting to speak, I ponder what might have happened differently if I had really listened.

Would I have heard pain in the soul of another?

Would I have discerned heartache?

Would my heart have been more tender toward that other person if I was not formulating what I wanted to say?

How would the world be different if I listened more?

How would the world be different if you listened more?

 

Ladies, I know someone who is eager to listen to your heart. Jesus is a great listener. If you would like some one-on-one time with Him, I invite you to attend Come Away {retreat}. We are going to spend time listening for His voice. Would you join us?

Go here for more details on Come Away.

SDG/FCA!!!

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.