About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm Back from my Mountain Retreat...

...and it was AMAZING!  It was a wonderful way to spend my birthday.

"God does not want to overwhelm us with His power. 
He wants to overwhelm us with His love." 

I don't even know what to say or where to begin.  To be in the mountains with hundreds of woman from all over the world, allowing Jesus to speak to our souls...wow!   The mountains were gorgeous. The teaching was rich, palatable & heart changing.  There were times of quiet introspection & times of boisterous fun.  The meals were filled with good food,  female chit-chat, and heart-to-heart sharing.  The schedule was on a need to know basis and they deliberately did not give us a written agenda.  Because as woman we sometimes become a little too caught up in our lists & schedules and they wanted to free us from that a little bit.  We also had several hours of free time every afternoon so we could do whatever we wanted.
"We have been wounded into believing terrible things about ourselves."
Stasi Eldredge led most of the sessions.  She talked about the core desires of a woman's heart, about the Great Romance that is Christianity.  She talked about the importance of the father-child relationship & mother-child relationship and the wounds we suffer when those relationships are not ideal.  She talked about the agreement we make with the enemy by believing lies about ourselves and the importance of breaking those agreements in order to heal and find freedom.  We spent a lot of time between sessions, just being quiet so we could let God show us our wounds, reveal the lies we've believed, and let Him tell us how He sees us.  We spend time in prayer; we sang praises to Him; we took communion.  The Spirit was moving among us!
"Agreeing with a lie separates us from the Truth."

The free times were spent in so many ways.  There was snow shoeing, tubing, hot-tubbing, napping, reading, jewelry making, coffee drinking, etc.  I spent the first afternoon wandering the campus and then reading my book.  The second day I wanted to go snowshoeing but they sold out before I got there.  Instead I made myself a bracelet and then I decided to brave the trail without snowshoes.  I was so glad I did!  As long as I stayed on the trail I was fine. However if I stepped off...I sank into the snow up to my waist!  I enjoyed the beauty of nature with my camera.

"We get our identity from our fathers.  
We get our self-worth from our mothers."

For me the retreat revealed how I have let the enemy talk me into believing that I am a boring, uninteresting person who has nothing worth offering others.  I was surprised how much pain was associated with this idea.  I was also surprised to discover how much healing has already taken place in me over the past 10 years and how blessed I truly am to have the parents I have.  So many of the women at this retreat had such deep pain associated with their parents...it really amplified the blessing my parents are.  They certainly aren't perfect and they have hurt me but there is no lasting sting...because of how God has worked in their lives and how often they tell me they love me and how quick they are to say they're sorry.

"Loving Jesus is the natural response to knowing Him."

"Safety is not the absence of danger but the presence of Jesus."

One of the coolest things for me was the pictures Jesus showed me several times through out the weekend of He & I dancing together.  He is my father, my lover & my friend.  Experiencing Him is such a powerful, personal thing that is hard to explain to others later.  But there is no question that I did.  He spoke to me, He danced with me, He embraced me.  The praise & worship time of singing & communion was my favorite.  I felt so loved and so free!

I am so glad I went and I sincerely recommend this Captivating retreat to all the women reading this and I encourage the men to attend the Wild at Heart Boot Camp as well.  It is spiritually cleansing...so worth it! 

"The battle is fierce, the danger is real, and you are desperately needed."


fullofgracex7 said...

My heart is full just looking at your pictures. The mountains are majestic. I've always longed for them, much in the same way that I long to be the woman that Jesus has planned for me to be. It seems easy to be reminded of all His glory when you look out and see his beautiful craftsmanship in nature. I'm a bit envious that you got to combine such an inspiring and holy retreat with the mountain splendor. I'm sure it was fulfilling in more ways than one for you! Your "mother's heart" has been on my mind lately. Peace be with you!

Anita Johnson said...

So glad you had a wonderful time! I haven't been on a retreat in years, but they always fed my soul and i came back with such a renewed spirit. Colorado is just beautiful, isn't it?