Edmond Ladies Retreat 2011

My beautiful pastor’s wife Brenda

Went to a ladies’ retreat this past weekend with our church in Oklahoma City.  Quite honestly, it was the last thing I wanted to do this weekend.  I usually have a pretty good time on these retreats, but life is busy right now, and I just didn’t want to go.  It’s been so busy, that my time with God has suffered greatly.  It’s been either rushed or pushed off altogether, which then results in the rest of the areas of my life suffering like my patience, my efficiency, my compassion and my ability to just be nice.  Knowing all of this, I wasn’t looking forward to having to be nice to a bunch of ladies who either think I have answers to their questions or they have fun picking on me.  I also didn’t want to hear from speakers who would tell me what I already know is wrong with me and make me feel even worse.  How’s that for a good attitude?  Sounds like I need a little cheese to go with that whine. 
            I went anyway.  After all, our own pastor’s wife was one of the keynote speakers and I needed to support her. (Actually, I really love to hear her speak so that part wasn’t hard.)  Of course I got just what I needed.  God’s so good about that.  He even used all the speakers to tie in and make his point.  And it wasn’t even really the theme of the event that he was speaking to me about. 
            I might as well be transparent here, it’s not like this blog is one of those “how to” kind of blogs.  It’s more like a “why can’t I…?”  kind of blog.  One of my biggest head battles is that of worth, but not necessarily in the usual way.  I’m not like suicidal, nobody loves me or anything.  It’s more like I wear so many hats (as do all women).  But I don’t have a specialty hat.  I want so desperately to be used of God with my life…I mean desperately.  I don’t need it in a famous kind of way.  Just a way that I can hang my own private hat on knowing I’m doing exactly what God wants me to do in a manner in which is should be done.  But, when I examine the hats I wear, I struggle to find even one that I’m good at for Him.  I get food on the table for my family, but I’m not a very good cook.  I clean my house everyday, but I struggle constantly with keeping it clean and organized.  I home school my kids, but (chuckle chuckle) I’m far from starting a “how to blog” on that one.  I’m a youth pastor’s wife…really struggle with being any good there.  Don’t sing, don’t play piano..blah blah blah, I could go on.  Quite frankly if I ever did write a book I think I’d call it The Art of Self Deprication.
            So, with all of that said you can now understand the mind frame I was in as I went to the retreat.  First up was our own Pastor’s wife.  She really did a great job.  Sharing her passion for wanting to really know God.  Something I also desperately want.  In my life it looks like this.  I push through a crowd of life junk to try to catch a glimpse of him.  Sometimes I even push forward and catch a tug of the hem of is robe.  I have a time of awe and thanks. Then, when I’m just expecting him to turn to me and tell me what he wants of me…he walks on.  Anyway, she shared some alarming trials in her life that have brought her closer to God.  Then, at the end of speaking she sang a song in honor of her mother (also a pastor’s wife and a speaker at this event) for the godly example she provided.  It was precious.  My pastor’s wife can do this amazing thing of crying and singing at the same time that just pierces your heart.  I wondered as she sang if either of my daughters could or would ever be able to sing such a song to me.  Oh we “do right” in our house.  But would my grumpy failing side be more of what they remember or the times of living victoriously?   What kind of memories am I building?  I mean, here I was at a retreat on my oldest daughter’s birthday!  (I did celebrate with her earlier in the week, but still…)
My pastor’s wife’s sister – a.k.a. Theresa
            The next morning, our pastor’s wife’s sister spoke (follow that?)  She too was married to a pastor who just suddenly and unexpectedly passed away last year.  She has a testimony of handling the whole thing just beautifully, leaning into God and his comfort through scriptures the whole time.  I had heard her give this testimony a few months ago, but I was so enthralled with her encouragement to find encouragement through the scriptures.  That’s what I wanted.  Scripture to tell me I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  To give me the affirmation that I’m not just somehow touching everything and making it rot for the cause of Christ.
 Wouldn’t ya know that he gave me that in the very last speaker of the day’s message.   The theme of the whole event was “The making of an instrument” which is ironic, because I’m not a musician at all.  Of all the speakers tying this theme in, this one really did.  Showing how we as Christians can be just like an instrument made by and worthy of being used by God.  It was only in one little point of her whole message though that I found the hope I was looking for.  She shared how we are all unique instruments.  That even in an orchestra you can have multiple violins, but each violin is different..there are no two alike.  I know very elementary stuff huh?  But it was the scripture she used that really caught my attention:
The ladies God used last weekend

1 Corinthians 15:10a  But by the Grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;   Wow, it his problem not mine!  Don’t get me wrong here.  All I mean by that is that it was He who sought me out and graciously chose to save my soul. He has a purpose and He knows who and what I am.  So it is He that worketh in Me.  No matter how dismal my abilities look in my own sight.  I can do all things through Christ…  I realize this is no new revelation or anything, but it sure jumped out at me just when I needed it.  
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