I could not mention this before as Princess and I decided to surprise my friend Nicole and her daughter and show up at the retreat. And that we did. It was so fun!
I struggled with wanting to go to the Above Rubies retreat in Arkansas this year. Oh it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to spend the money involved to get there,(even though Shane was not concerned) nor did I want to spend 6 + hours in the car driving there. But alas, Princess and I ended up making the trip afterall. And it was well worth it!
So Vange spoke this year for the first time in 2 years. WOW! She is like my Bubba and Sweet Cheeks together on steroids, jumping up and around all over the place… telling us what we needed to hear in no uncertain terms. She talked to us about not belly-aching about motherhood! And about Discipline. I bought her teaching set and can’t wait to listen. I also purchased Serene and Pearls newest CD, about marriage. It’s incredible… wonderful music to encourage us as wives to our husbands. I was also able to get Nancy’s study guide on the family meal table. I have wanted for so long, Shane told be before I left to get it, so I did.
Nancy spoke about us mothers being the Shepherdesses of our flock. She had 13 points she covered and I must say that a little of each point touched me. I can’t say that one particularly grabbed me. Maybe after I go back and review my notes something will. The fellowship was wonderful and I was able to renew aquaintances and made new friends. I have a feeling that some of the people I met will become great long distance friends (like Nicole).
This was a weekend of confirmation for me:
Because Vange spoke we didn’t have a time of testimony yesterday morning, but instead broke down to groups of 3-4 and prayed for one another… was that INCREDIBLE! I was with 2 other ladies that were definately filled with the Spirit and Shabba spoke an encouraging Word of the Lord over me that I needed to hear. Honestly, that was probably the most encouraging to me of the weekend.
Through Christ, I am adequate in His Spirit to mother my children. Shabba spoke the verse "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord" I claim that verse for myself. And I fully admit that I have been trying to do this on my own as of late. Oh Lord Jesus let me rest in you to mother my children as you desire for me!
Shabba also spoke the Word of truth saying that I am especially blessed as an adoptive mother. You see sometimes I feel less than adequate because I haven’t birthed my children in my womb. I think of the curse of the barren woman and the Evil one begins to speak to me. That is the one thing that bothers me at the AR retreats. There is much emphasis put on bearing children in YOUR womb… it is especially hurtful to hear, "Wow, many times when you’re adopting God blesses the womb, maybe you’ll get pregnant too." (that was spoken to someone else this weekend, not to me, but I cringed as I thought of the curse that was spoken to this first time adoptive mother).
Adoptive children are blessings too! And quite honestly it takes just as much love or more to bring a child into your home that you have no earthly ties to and make them as your own.
I am not a second class citizen because God has chosen to not bless my womb, but he has chosen to bless my heart–as that is where my children are born… This is the path God has chosen for me. And I am proud to follow that calling for my life.
We also spoke to a friend about an opportunity we have been given that is in similar shoes. God used her to confirm that we are doing the right thing. So look for some exciting news in the near future (don’t you just love that I’m leaving you hanging?????)
Psalmody braided Princess’s hair for her (look for a picture soon) and Princess decided she doesn’t like having a cold head, but she LOVES the updo. She was almost giddy the entire weekend. So fun to see her getting so excited over hearing Nancy and Vange’s teaching, and Serene, Pearl and Meadow’s singing, and fellowshipping with young girls and older women… praise God for his provision! We are blessed!