The Above Rubies ladies retreat was everything I had hoped for and more!!!!! That is about the only word to describe this past weekend. Nancy Campbell is a delightful Godly older woman. Her daughter Pearl and grandaughter Meadow came too and sang for us–touching, meaningful music for Mom's. (I'll post some of the words in another entry).
Part of me wishes I had taken Hannah with me– Meadow is 11 and Hannah would have enjoyed spending time with her so much. But there will be another retreat– in fact one coming in September in St. Louis. (this is a new one too)
On a side note, if you have never received her free magazine, GO to the website and sign up! Nancy also sends out a weekly email devotional that you can sign up for too. Also, if you are anywhere near any of the upcoming retreats– find a way to go! God will provide the desires of your hearts. You will return home overflowing with joy, and peace and a new love and appreciation for your husband and children. It was so wonderful to not be weird. The one place that I can ever remember being that I didn't feel out of place because of what I believed. Nancy confirmed everything that Shane and I believe and have believed for many, many years. From quiver full to age- integrated church and everything in between. And she gave Scripture to back it up too.
Where do I start? First of all, I must tell you of the young lady that decided to undertake the task of putting together the retreat. If you'll remember, I called her the day I found out about it and registered. Had a wonderful visit with her that day. Then a couple of weeks ago she called and asked if I could pick up Tracy on the way down and we visited some more. I was excited to meet her then–it seemed we had much in common. She did mention that her “mom” had done a lot with their 3 acres, they have rabbits, goats, sheep and a large garden. She also mentioned that it took her “mom” 7 years to get a productive garden. In my mind, I imagined this woman's mother living with her family or nearby. I mentioned my blog, and she said “oh I have a xanga blog” and we exchanged addresses. Later that day I had a minute so I went and explored it. And discovered that my new friend Sara was only 17 years old!!!! Wow! Was I surprised. She organized the entire retreat, the accomodations, getting Nancy and family there, meals, etc. She is also a talented worship leader. Needless to say, I am still amazed.
I knew it would be a wonderful weekend when I picked up my traveling companion about 1 1/2 hours down the road. She had asked the Her house took me about 5 minutes out of my way. She is a kindrid spirit and we had much to visit about on the way. I don't think there was a quiet minute for the next 2 1/2 hours between us. We also had her precious 5 month old baby girl Olivia with us.
We arrived in time to get settled in and hear Nancy's first message. There were about 60 ladies there and about half of them had their babies with them from about 3 months old to about 3 years old. It was wonderful. I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning visiting with some wonderful mothers. One mother has 13 children, there were 2 with 12 children– one of these ladies was 47 and 8 of these children arrived after her husband's reversal, the baby is 7 months old. There were 2 ladies there pregnant with their first. I think I was the only one with less than 4 children besides these young women. Most had 6 or 7 children or more. Many with children close together in age. One lady that roomed with us has 2 sets of twins.
I have to tell you, that first night my arms ached! I want another baby terribly! As I was approaching 40 last year, I decided that I was too old to have another baby. Then, I was listening to one of Doug Phillip's CD's and he talks about his mother being 45 when she had her youngest child. Then we thought Jeremiah would be ours in January. He was 10 days old. Then I met Charolette at the retreat who is 47 with her 9 month old. (She is the lady with 8 reversal babies).
Saturday night after Nancy's lesson, she prayed for all the pregnant mothers. The she asked for anyone who had never given birth and desired to do so, to come be prayed over. Something in me led me to the front. Considering the fact that I am now 41 years old, and we have been married 12 years and have given the number of children we have over to God and considering that I have never even conceived, much less carried a baby to term, this is a near human impossibility in my mind. Please don't get me wrong– I could never love my wonderful adopted children any less. And I am thankful for them beyond words, they are mine just as if I'd birthed them. I know a future adoption is in God's plan for us. And honestly I'm okay if God still decides that I am not to give birth. But I long to experience the experience of being pregnant, and giving birth and breastfeeding a baby.
Then she prayed for the 2 women whose husband's have scheduled reversals in August. It was a sweet, sweet time of fellowship.
Sunday morning was a time of testimonies and several of the ladies shared encouragement from their lives. Then Nancy wrapped it up and we headed home. Exhausted but refreshed with a new zeal for being my husbands help-meet and for motherhood.
I will expound in the next entry.