This is a reflection of our preparation for the RESTORE retreat as well as the retreat itself. It began with a desire and many requests to "Do It Again!" Our first RESTORE retreat was in May of 2012. We believed that God was calling us to "do it again" the following spring and fall, 2013. After looking through the calendar, we chose a date and I contacted the retreat center to get it on the books early. Spring is a popular time for retreats and if it isn't booked early, you don't get it! We moved forward with the plan - then...spiritual warfare kicked in!
I got the call from Kathy about Ken's illness. A million thoughts raced through my mind. Life was about to look different for them and then days later, it hit me! The RESTORE retreat?! Many questions began to plague my mind and right now (and rightly so) Ken's health was first priority on Kathy's mind! Should I cancel? Should I proceed? Can I do this alone? SHOULD I even try, it's a partnership!?! Wait? Get another speaker? What should I do Lord?!? Should I even bother to remind Kathy about the plan right now? She doesn't need extra weight to burden her down!
Time passed....Ken is okay....I waited.....We proceeded with plans for the retreat.
(Many scholars of Biblical Numerology believe that the number 12 signifies faith, new beginnings, and governmental perfection [i.e. 12 months in a year] I don't consider myself superstitious (and was curious about the number 12) but knew that God chose only 12 for this particular weekend.
He showed His faithfulness to overcome in the midst of much warfare and we 'pressed on!'
Perhaps you are facing questions and warfare. Let this song encourage you...by the way, it happens to be track #12 on my CD! Isn't that amazing!
RESTORATION...is needed after something has been battered, beaten, broken or bruised. I'm glad we pressed on!
All the waiting was over and the women we had been praying for began to arrive. Most came a little early - excited, expectant and full of hope for a wonderful weekend.
(Click play for background music as you continue to scroll through the pictures and captions.)
It was such a wonderful time for
mother and daughter Jackie and
Jessica to share together.
The first teaching Kathy used a fun visual display as we looked at what it means to be restored into the Masterpiece God had in mind when He created us. We have to look into the mirror of God's Word to see the true reflection of who we are.
Sherry taught us about hands and feet for His service - in bare feet of course!!
The Lord met us in many beautiful ways as we sought His face in the Word, worship, prayer and friendship throughout the weekend.
He taught us rich lessons about restoration, transformation and surrender.
We were blessed beyond measure to have the privilege of journeying with these amazing women. We are so grateful that by His grace we were able to "press on " in the Name of our Savior Jesus. We closed in communion, blessed by the sacrifice of His love for us on the cross.
Here is just of sampling of some testimonies from the women who went:
"I cannot thank you enough for the chance this past weekend to sit and soak in His creation - day and night. The times of teaching what God has revealed to you and the worship music, tea party and creative activities were perfectly timed amid the vast amount of time given for one-on-one time with the Lord, however we chose to spend it. From an extra nap for the worn and frazzled mother of small children to leisurely walks around the lake for those who wanted to observe nature's beauty in Spring. It is amazing how we can hear the voice of our Savoir so clearly when we have no responsibilities and the opportunity to slow down from the hectic pace of life. " ~ S. Audiffred
"I'm so glad I came. Thanks so much for a truly blessed retreat. I appreciate the time, heart and soul you and Kathy poured into the preparations and for the gentle, loving way you poured into all of us."
~ P. Young
" It was a true restoration for me! And, I loved reconnecting with my friends, and making new ones!
Yes, thank you so much Kathy and Sherry, for sharing the wonderful truths that God has shown you.
My Heavenly Fathr took me aside and showed me some precious things, even though some were hard
to look at." ~ J. Long
"This past weekend was everything I needed. From the beauty and peace of that lovely room and place, its setting and the solid uncompromised Word, to the beautiful music and prose and quotes, to the lavish alone times, God met me there in every aspect. Thank you for being sensitive to every detail He instructed you to express His character. Thank you for all the time you paused and listened, recorded and obeyed His directions for this oasis. He knows that along with blessings (and challenges for you two along the way,) He has a handful of fortunate women who have been or will be blessed, challenged and transformed by the diligent work you have displayed.
I have been poured out, fragmented and used for so long. Even striving to focus on the True Source of Strength and Wisdom has many times left me frustrated and still dry. As of this weekend I am soaked, refocused, and lavishly Restored by His love and care." ~ J. Kogler
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