Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Refreshing, Renewing and Rejoicing - Watermark Women's Retreat 2012

That was the theme of the 1st (hopefully annual) Watermark Women's Retreat at Allaso Ranch this past weekend!  I joined 475 other women for a time of refreshing, renewal and rejoicing over God's unconditional, everlasting and overwhelming love for us!  I don't think I really knew how desperately I needed that Spiritual renewal until after the 1st night's session.  And talk about some healthy conviction, WOW!  The Lord truly was at work and his Spirit was definitely present!

A *few* takeaways from the weekend...

- I find myself, my identity in so many other things (masks), i.e. - "I have it all together", People-Pleasing, "I'm not hurt by ___", My children, etc..., when in all reality, being a daughter of the King should ALWAYS BE ENOUGH!

- Four areas that we are easily defined by:  Our Roles, Our Responsibilities, Our Recognition or Rewards, and Our Regrets

- Once we confess where we place our security, then it's time to replace the old with the TRUE, the truth of God's Word.  We have to quit being a "try-hard" and just BE!  

- Ephesians 4:22-24 says, "You were taught, with regard to your former ways of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

- I loved this quote from one of E.E. Cummings poems, "To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting."

- It's so easy to get tangled in to the web of deceit, especially when you live in a big city like Dallas, where it's all about what you own, where you live, outward appearances, etc...  To daily capture your thoughts to the obedience of Christ should be a by the minute action.

- We want to be "adult" Christians, in the sense that we think we have it all together and can do it all on our own, when in all reality we need to be more like infants, who cannot survive without a parent or guardian to care for them, feed them, etc...  COMPLETELY DESPERATELY DEPENDENT ON CHRIST.  How often do I do that?!?  How often do YOU do that?!?

- We try to be the "topper" when in all reality, we are truly insecure (i.e. - ME ME ME!!!).

- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.  Threrefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that THE POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."  Oh how I pray this to be true in my life, a reflection of Christ.  That HE would be my strength.

- I WILL NOT continue to pretend I have it all together - I DO NOT!!!

- When we truly believe we are truly loved by the One who died on the cross for us, that is when we can truly love others!  If we do not love because He first loved us, WE WILL CONTINUALLY FAIL!

- It's not WHO we are, but WHOSE we are!!

So, who am I?

"And we all, with UNVEILED face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."  2 Cor. 3:18

- Re|Fresh
fresh again

- Refresh:  Word  Eternity  Lord  Love

- Mind-Time:  Time that is spent thinking on things not related to Christ.  Can be used to worry, covet, etc...  How can we be about coveting our daily mind time for the Lord?  Again, taking the "every thought captive" mentality...

- WORD:  The Word of God is ESSENTIAL to stay refreshed in the Lord!  Staying hydtrated in the Lord can been seen as essential as hydrating physically, with water.  Carry it around with you all day.  Drink and refill all day long.

- This one was particularly convicting for me to hear:  Stillness in the Lord can come in small increments and still be fruitful!  I often find myself thinking that the physical setting of my time with the Lord has to be perfect.  Perfectly quiet, perfect cup of coffee, perfect music, perfect weather, perfect scenery, when in all reality, any moment of any day can be spent meditating on Scritpure, praying, rejoicing through song, etc...and the Lord will use those small moments, sometimes just as much or even more as the large chunks of time we spend with Him!  All he wants is for us to COME and BE STILL!  He SOOO desires for us to truly listen for His voice, eat the bread of life (His Word) and pray!

- So, where are some places of repetitive actions, activities, or drudgery tasks where you can multi-task and capture your mind moments for God and pray, memorize scripture, etc...? (i.e. - folding the laundry, vacuuming, dishes, cooking, etc...)

- ETERNITY, this is something that as a believer in Christ we all know we have to look forward to, but how often do we place circumstance over Eternity?  NOTHING should ever trump Eternity!  NOTHING will ever be greater than Eternity!  PERSPECTIVE people, PERSPECTIVE!!!  If we have the constant mindset of ________ (fill in the blank) vs. ETERNITY, ETERNITY WILL ALWAYS WIN!

- LORD (sovereign)
Psalm 103:19 says, "The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all."

- He does not promise to protect us, from what he knows will perfect us!  HE is LORD, HE is SOVEREIGN, HE is POWER and GLORY!

- So, with that in mind, what is our agenda?  We all have one.  What interrupts our day?  Kids?  Spouse?  Parents?  Friends?  Work?  

- Joshua 1:9 says, " Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

- Do I truly believe that in my heart, or is it something I know to be true only in my head?  To think about His Lordship daily should convict us to GLADLY untie our superwoman cape!!

Jeremiah 31:3 says, "...I have loved you with an EVERLASTING love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."

- When we feel unloved, how often is it because we feel "unblessed"?  THAT IS FALSE.  THAT IS A LIE FROM SATAN.  We are ALWAYS blessed when we call God our Father, when we choose to believe that He sent His Son to die for our sins, we are BLESSED!  

We are:

W ord
E ternity
L ord
L ove

"The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."  Isaiah 58:11

GO TO THE WELL!!  "but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  John 4:14

So, now comes the pictures!  If you've made it through this much of the post, you're about to actually see some photos!!  Enjoy!!
The front porch of our cabin
 Sweet Friends!  (Me, Katie, Karla, Andrea)
 The BEAUTIFUL lake that was the center of the property
 150+ Watermark Women doing Zumba!  I made it through the first two out of 16 songs (which is a miracle for me)!
Karla and I getting ready to zipline!!
 There we go!
 Andrea and Maggie getting ready to go!  (I missed getting Katie's picture, BUMMER!)
The beautiful walk to and from the cabin
 GORGEOUS Sunday morning
 LOVE the fog on the lake, it was definitely COLD all weekend!
 Sunday morning, Judy Wimberly speaking to us on rejoicing in the life we have as daughters of the King!!

By far one of my top 3 getaway weekends I've ever had!  Loved the company and LOVED the growth that happened in my walk with the Lord!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

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