Monday, May 4, 2015

With a full heart...

It made no sense, me taking off to the mid-west for four days for  Jumping Tandem-the retreat when our youngest daughter's wedding is only three weeks away.  In my defense, I had registered for the retreat before our girl was engaged or set her wedding date.  I questioned my sanity in going through with my travel plans right up to the time I got on the plane.  Once I was there, however, my heart was filled to overflowing with the evidence that I was exactly where God wanted me to be.  (What a God  gift this was! Walking from the dining hall back to my room this beautiful butterfly fluttered around and landed on the lilac, then stayed still long enough for me to capture a photo of it with my iPhone.)

Getting to room with these two heart friends that I met at the first Jumping Tandem retreat was such a joy. 
The pre-retreat Writer's Workshop led by Ann Kroeker exceeded my expectations so greatly that if I had had to go home right after that, the trip would still have been worth it.  The group of blogger/writers that took the workshop with me were amazing. The openness and honesty, the camaraderie and mutual love for God and desire to honor Him with our words was a foretaste of the atmosphere of the whole retreat.

The worship was amazing and the main sessions, as well as each of the workshops I chose,  were filled with the Word, godly wisdom and practical pointers for blogging/writing.  I even went out of my comfort zone and took a workshop on worship dance from the beautiful Lisha Epperson.

I met friends that live in my hometown and that I meet with on a fairly regular basis, friends I've only met face to face a few times, and friends that I've only known through their blog until I saw them face to face for the first time at this retreat.  There seemed to be no generation gap at this retreat, no separation between published authors and struggling wannabes, no division between the well knowns and the unknowns.  While we came from different places, different denominations, and differing opinions, there was a beautiful unity as we worshiped together and focused on our mutual desire to know God better, to grow in His grace, and to honor Him with our writing and other creative gifts.

So, that's where I've been for the past few days.  There's a whole lot to do in the next 19 days, so if I'm hit and miss here you'll understand that there's a wedding to focus on!

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-red!  new red shoes for an early mother's day gift
-our church leaders' help to us
-going to our grandson's ball game
-Papa pushing our youngest grandson on the swings

-my granddaughter hugging me tight when I volunteer in her class
-her mama saying she's been missing me a lot with me so busy right now
-going up to the hospital to visit and pray

-my post getting featured at The High Calling
-our mentor going up to the hospital with my husband to see the young mama he used to pastor
-she seems better today!
-my husband coming home early since I leave in the morning
-a punching bag balloon popping in our granddaughter's face, causing a welt, but missing her eye, thank God!

-a safe flight
-finding my way around Omaha fine with the help of my phone GPS
-a relaxing time alone in the hotel

-brunch with Rhonda
-rooming with Rhonda and Linda
-"my people"-being with others who see things in nouns and verbs, adverbs and adjectives,
 sentences, paragraphs and stories

-the healing power of laughter-going to Amanda Hill's workshop
-a yellow butterfly landing on purple lilac blossoms
-a beautiful afternoon to walk around the retreat center grounds

-a powerful message
-talking late into the night with my "roomies"

-a powerful time of worship, the Word and communion
-praying with Ashley
-teary goodbyes
-anticipating being home
-reading this whole book on the flight home and having to stifle the belly laughs

gratefully yours,


  1. I felt the same way two years ago, Elizabeth. I thnk we were all there with you in spirit.

    1. Oh, I wish you could have come this year! I'd have loved to sit with you a while.

  2. Sounds like a most wonderful time. Thanks for sharing so many of your memories and lovely photos. There's just nothing like fellowshipping with fellow women believers, right?!

    Continued fun with the wedding plans!!


    1. Thank you, Sharon! Your prayers for me over the next couple of weeks would be much appreciated.

  3. So thankful the Lord allowed you to go to the retreat. What a blessing to meet up face to face with other writers.

    1. Barbie, it was such a blessing to go! But now I feel so behind on things here...two weeks and two days until my girl's wedding! EEEK!

  4. I'd love to meet some of these ladies face to face. I know God blessed you all during that special time.

    1. And I would have LOVED to meet you face to face!

  5. I prayed for you as you went to retreat. It's so sweet to hear of the blessings you experienced - and the blessing I know you were to each of them. I can't wait to hear more when we get together after the wedding.

    1. Oh friend, it was so amazing! Thank you for your prayers.

  6. So very glad to have met you there Elizabeth! Your heart and self are just as beautiful in person as in your blog! Shalom~Maryleigh


The best thing about blogging is hearing from you!
I'd love for you to leave a comment! Click subscribe by email if you want me to be able to reply to you.