Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"BLESSED" Women's Retreat

Thank you to the women of Mission Hills Community Church!
saying that was an amazing weekend doesn't even describe the depth of 
that I was able to watch and experience 
through these beautiful women.

When I first arrived,
I was overwhelmed by the beauty and creativity that I saw all around the room.
You talk about gifts-
these women have many!!!

Here are a couple of shots of the entry way.

SO gorgeous!

There was a bag FULL of swag!

The FIRST time I was the Keynote Speaker-
and I was so humbled by God.

God has really worked a miracle in me:
My first memory of being in front of people was traumatic!
In Kindergarten, our class was on stage to sing for a Winter Program-
 I ran off the stage crying.

In Middle School I attempted to face my fear and competed in our school's 
Speech Contest 
and I think I won-
reading Martin Luther King's famous speech,
"I Have a Dream".

I actually memorized the whole thing.
I'm lucky if I remember what I went to the grocery store for!

just a really wonderful weekend with these women.

I shared most of my life,
specifically some of the 
"not so glamorous"

I shared the good, the bad, and yes,
the ugly.
I shared how this little girl grew up thinking that she had to be perfect and 
could not let anyone down.
And because of the pressure she had put on herself,
she made many, many bad choices.
I've referred to some of my many mistakes here.
what I was reminded of this weekend and shared,
was that we have ALL sinned.
We have ALL made mistakes.
What matters is what we do with them.

If you don't believe in God, 
you hope no one finds out and you go on 
living your life,
hiding your mistakes with shame and guilt.
That takes a lot of energy.
(I know)
Shame and guilt are like shackles,
they are bondage that keep us from living a completely JOY filled life,
a life filled with peace and happiness.

if you believe in God and TRUST him with your shame and guilt,
by surrendering them to him,
he will BLESS you for it.

You are FREE from that bondage
that shame and guilt keeps us in-

I asked the women if anyone had ever been skydiving-
not one in the room,
except for Moi.

I have been skydiving and shared how 
when I was at the door of that airplane getting ready to jump-
it was THE single scariest moment of my life-
I jumped and screamed with everything I had- 
and kept screaming until the "professional" that was strapped to me tapped my side 
to remind me that I had to pull the chord so the parachute would open-
I pulled-
and as the parachute was opening, 
I was pulled upward as the parachute opened and then-
ALL around me.

Trusting God is kind of like jumping out of that airplane:
But when you do, 
you receive all the benefits of living a faith filled life:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness,goodness

you get the REAL "professional" strapped to you-
He will never leave you or forsake you-

I heard this song and love the lyrics-
no matter what mistakes I've made and/or continue to make,
I have a GOD who forgives me,
values me
loves me, 

Do you?
(turn it UP!)
I'm so grateful that His mercies are new EVERY morning!

Let Jesus lift you up today-
Let him fill you with his spirit-
let go-


  1. Oh, hooray!! What a blessed weekend that must have been. I'm so glad that you used your parachute story. It's such a good one. I continue to be amazed at how God took one scaredy-cat and shaped her into a dynamic and inspiring teacher and speaker!

    YOU are His masterpiece. We're both so proud of you!


  2. Sharon- thank you for your sweet and ever encouraging words!! What a weekend- so grateful!
    YOU are also His masterpiece!
    Love you!


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