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Posts Tagged ‘Muskegon’

I am currently in Muskegon at a women’s retreat hosted by a church from Rockford.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I was a little uncertain about what to expect in terms of temperament, in terms of humor, in terms of level of friendliness.

I HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED BY THESE AMAZING WOMEN.

If I lived in Rockford, I would be attending this church.  If you are friends with me on Instagram or Facebook, I’ll be uploading pics to both sites throughout the weekend.  This retreat is full of amazing women who greeted us with unconditional love and understanding.  We arrived to a pretty huge room beautifully decorated, a great sound guy (HUGE BLESSING), and pretty excellent accommodations.  I don’t think I have ever stayed in a lodge this beautiful before, actually.  My “hotel” room is larger than most, and my hotel room table was wonderfully decorated with chocolates, lotions, cards, and then mints on my pillow.  There is free wifi, food, and accommodations.  My mentor and I unpacked and relaxed for a bit, and then headed downstairs where we found a number of women in a circle praying for us.  They then greeted us with hugs and sat us down and prayed over us.  That was definitely a first for me.  They continued the love fest and hugs into supper.

I am listing all of these things because, I find it incredible, and I would really like to dive into getting know some of these women this weekend.  As I finished my dinner, I got to chat with an 80-some year old grandmother who grew up in Detroit and missed the beauty and accessibility of Belle Isle.  I spoke with women about their decision of which church to attend and how it was influenced by the church’s youth program and support, and I listened as so many women just poured out their hearts and struggles to two complete strangers and didn’t expect anything in return.  They just wanted to share their heart and what the Lord has done.

The last story for the evening that I will share is about a woman whose husband passed away four years ago, and her grandchildren are a large focal point in her life.  As a person works third shift, she doesn’t go and do too many things over the weekends now, however, about three weeks ago, she decided to register to attend this women’s retreat. For some reason, that was the time that one of her children said, “your grandchildren are being baptized on Saturday, February 23rd.”  She was a bit saddened.  Her son said that they would tape-record the baptisms for her, however, this was not what she was hoping for. A short time later, she received a call.  It was a telephone call from both of her grandchildren.  They wanted to ask her a question.  Apparently, a pastor doesn’t have to baptize you; you can choose someone who is already baptized and has had a significant impact on your life.  Her grandchildren chose her.  At that moment, she began to cry.  She was afraid, fearful, not sure of how to respond to them, however, in that same moment the Holy Spirit came on her and spoke to her heart the words of Matthew 19:26 – “…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Out of the Spirit the Lord put in her, she gratefully accepted the invitation for her to baptize her grandchildren.  I think our entire table was in tears at such a great honor.  She has decided to leave the retreat just for the afternoon to enjoy baptizing her grandchildren, however, I was just for some reason so moved by the entire story.  What a testimony.  Can you imagine? The most influential person in your life is your grandmother, and you want her to baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  I’ll be praying for her all day tomorrow and as she goes and as she steps out in faith that the Lord will carry her through and that she will enjoy these moments with her grandchildren.

This was just one woman sharing out of over 35+ women.  I have more stories, but we’ll save them until Saturday or Sunday.

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As we approach the end of the month, I find myself wondering if I will actually keep up writing in my blog with the daily news and things that I have been learning.  I haven’t actually fully made that decision, however, I think it would be good to at least do something at least 2-3 times per month.  We’ll see 🙂

This past month,  I’ve had the joy of seeing that people actually like my posts! It’s very humbling.  I have no idea who the majority of you are, however, I have been visiting some of your blog sites and am honored that some of you have actually subscribed to my blog.  Thank you so very much.

Tonight, I am mentally preparing to go on a women’s retreat that starts tomorrow afternoon on the west side of my state.  I have been looking forward to the trip somewhat, and yet it sometimes just makes me nervous.  It’s mainly because, as someone who has done about six women’s retreats to date, there are sometimes groups of women that I don’t know.  I don’t know what their humor is like, if they will like the style of worship that I lead, if they will like the message that my mentor will be bringing, etc.  At a certain point, I just give up and know that everything really is not in my control.  I just wish that I would get to that point earlier.

My difficulty this weekend will be loving the women that I come into contact with, with the love of Christ and everything that He would like to speak to their hearts.  I really want for them to experience his joy and peace and refreshing during this weekend getaway, and the conference center seems pretty amazing, so all I can do is wait for Him to give me an opportunity to love well.

I often wonder how many people worry about the odd details that I do, but I think that once my worry is turned over to God and I start getting excited for everything that He is going to teach me/us, I begin to find the peace and can prepare my heart.  OK…now I’m getting really excited for the weekend.  You may see some interesting posts this weekend!

ONE LOVE.

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  • The smell of summer and freedom
  • The feeling of a friend’s warm arm against your own during a car ride
  • The summer nights that went on forever
  • My great grandmother’s bed and all the memories of my teenage years spent on it writing music, shedding tears, and laughing out loud
  • Lisa and her great big hugs, her laughter, her awesome dance moves, and her loving heart
  • The Muskegon weekend when most of the crew had sunburns; refrigerated aloe is all you need…
  • My first kiss on the cheek from a boy
  • My first love letter
  • The way Radiohead’s song ‘Karma Police’ made me feel like I could fly inside my car
  • Being able to pack for summer camp knowing that 1/2 of the clothes would never be used
  • College Fall Retreats at Bambi where I felt like the stuff because I was on the Worship Team
  • The letters from my Marine (wherever you are, I hope I never get to meet you)
  • Orchestra trips in high school where you can get away with just about anything…because you were invincible
  • Summers at the Esch Farm where the Prom preparation was a way of life
  • When driving to the store for my Mom and Dad was fun
  • When watching PG-13 movies made you feel like an adult
  • Giggling because you knew something at camp about a boy that someone else didn’t
  • Centrifuge Summer Camp where everyone I knew got a hug from me and at least 10 people had a summer love
  • Driving and imagining my favorite actor was in the car beside me…what to say, where were we going?
  • Being 21 and stupid
  • Being 18 and stupid
  • Being 16 and stupid
  • My uncle Morgan and his passion for counseling men convicted of Domestic Violence
  • My cat, Chase Manhattan
  • My grandfather Sidney – the boxer ‘Kid Chocolate’
  • Not having to worry about paying out $700 every month in bills
  • My beautiful blooming tree in the backyard of my old house
  • My brother living in the State of Michigan
  • My ability to be happy without having to think really hard about what to be happy about
  • Waterdeep, Watermark, and Five Iron Frenzy…
  • My friends that have boyfriends, fiancee’s, and husbands — change can really stink sometimes…but it’s all good
  • My friends that have ex-boyfriends, ex-fiancee’s, and ex-husbands — change can really really stink sometimes, but God is good

 

Most of all — I miss you and the way we used to talk; can we ever have that again.  I miss the way we were.

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