I'm not talking about swollen ankles and gestational diabetes and craving for chocolate. I'm talking about what happens when women are expecting God to move mightily in their midst. I'm talking about the retreat I was at this past weekend. I'm talking about how it's possible to pour yourself out to others- and yet leave filled to overflowing.
The ladies of Grace Chapel invited me to come and be their Speaker this past weekend at their annual retreat up in the quiet place of Speculator, NY. But really I was invited into the presence of God, the joy and feasting that God spreads out for His children who need Him...and know that they need Him.
Some of the things that occurred over the weekend were expected. I prepared four teachings and the women prepared their hearts prayerfully. The two Worship Leaders, Robyn and Diane, prepared- bringing their keyboard and guitar and their rich voices ready to sing out God's praises. (Listen to their inspiring song, God is here at their website.) The kitchen help prepared great meals. The prayer team prepared to intercede continually for the whole weekend.
But who could have prepared for all the joyous unexpected things such as the warm welcome they gave me and my "Whirling Dish Towel Worship Dance"? (All I can tell you ,blog readers, is that you had to be there- and that I'm not that shy about sharing what I do when I get desperate to connect with God!!) (See the first comment here for a more detailed account-against my better judgment!)
Who could have prepared for the close knit fellowship of so many women from all ages, different churches, and carrying different burdens when they came in?But nobody went home carrying those burdens.We cast them off- with laughter, with tears, with open sharing, with open hands that told God we were in need of a real big filling of our cup.
And boy did He fill us up.