Erin, Me, Peggy, Sandra-my sister
For Mother's Day, Matt, my oldest son, sent me on a retreat in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. (It wasn't lost on me that we were learning truth in this place!) In fact, he invited all four of us in the photo above. It was extremely intense. The purpose of the retreat is to help you understand who you are and the purpose for which God has created and designed you. There are so many combinations of personalities and gifts--and to see that we are each a unique expression of an aspect of God--a gift of/from Him to value and receive from one another.
There are going to be so many take-aways from this retreat. It's like the Living Life by Design team was just the key to begin unlocking the doors of my spirit, soul and body and the Holy Spirit is completing the work...because my mind has not been able to rest since I've gotten home.
For instance, this morning, I've had a flood of thoughts. I began remembering (through grace and the work of the Holy Spirit) all of the negative things which have ever been said about me and my personality, in particular. I'm bossy, loud, straightforward, harsh. Many snapshots came to my mind of how the negative was reinforced in my life (no blame, none at all!!). But then I remembered a person who reinforced my personality in a positive way. Bro. Somerville (my pastor in high school) asked me to "LEAD" by planning and organizing our youth Valentine banquet. I did...and loved it! He said I was a leader.
This morning, God has been graciously showing me how these negative things are actually a positive---and an expression of who He is. These things I've been trying all of my life to get OUT of my life were a part of me and created in me to show the world who HE is. Instead of bossy, I'm a leader who knows where she's going. Instead of loud, I'm passionate. Instead of offensively straightforward, I can easily pinpoint problems to help others work them out. Instead of harsh, I'm direct...with a big heart to help. And to tell you those things, I'm not bragging on myself. I'm expressing to you the greatness of God in me. Incredible, huh?
Now I've just got to figure out how to embrace these things in my life, allow the Holy Spirit to refine them, and use them for His kingdom and His glory.
*Hold on to your seats! You'll be hearing a lot about this retreat. And I hope my life becomes a billboard to send lots of people to go and hear and experience it for themselves--just like Matt's life was that for me. I began to see a settled-ness in Matt, a new confidence, a sureness of who he was and his purpose in life. The struggle was gone. It is life-changing. And I don't say that to sell it. Check it out: