Our retreat began Friday evening as the women gathered in Ocean City, Maryland. Our theme was Chocolate Boutique. The weather was gorgeous which was conducive to a very relaxing and soothing atmosphere for the retreat. Our hotel was ocean front and each night when I placed this weary body into the bed I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves outside my room. It was incredible!
Karen Yancey, a minister and superintendent's wife from Kansas was the speaker. This group of ladies attending the retreat were pastor's wives and credentialed women. Karen spoke with passion and life experience. She was awesome and God gave her exactly what we needed to hear. Lisa Coles and her husband Pastor Roger led worship. What an amazing anointed young couple.
We offered two Sweet and Savory workshops Saturday morning Kisses from the King...they aren't just plain old chocolate kisses and You Make a Difference were the topics. The presenters were very creative and transparent and truly touched hearts.
Saturday afternoon was free time. YIPEE!! Boardwalk, fries, walking in the sand in my bare feet, placing my feet in the icy waters of the ocean................... YIKES! It was great!
Saturday evening Karen brought another incredible message for the women at the retreat. At the close of the service she brought the leadership to the front of the room and encouraged anyone who had a need to form a line so that we could pray for them. The presence of God was unbelievable! As we prayed for each lady who came through the prayer line my heart broke as they poured out their needs. They felt "safe" and shared their deepest thoughts. Pastor's wives often are not given that privilege. Many folks believe that it is a sign of weakness or spiritual immaturity if they express needs in their lives. That forces many pastor's wives to withdraw and attempt to deal with deep emotions, hurts and pain on their own. We provided a "safe place" this past weekend where these ladies could open their hearts to one another and not be afraid that someone would judge them. We prayed for women for 1.5 hours and I know there will be many positive praise reports as a result of that prayer line and the faith of those women. God was so good!
Sunday morning began with "Directed Solitude". We created booklets for each lady which included schedules, photos, blank pages for notes and a page titled "Direct Solitude". This was a devotional I had written which they could read that morning prior to the tea.
Our tea began at 10:00 a.m. and several of the presbyter's wives hosted tables. We made favors for the tables using a crystal slipper bought in the wedding supplies at the Dollar Store and filled the shoe with an organza bag. Inside the bag we placed a purple Hershey's kiss, a peppermint tea bag and a mini Hershey candy bar with a wrapper around it that said You Are a Blessing! We also wrapped cookies in tulle and tied them with gold and silver foil ribbon. We filled fancy tea cups with candies and placed them on the table as well.
The food was outstanding! Our menu consisted of finger sandwiches, celery with cream cheese, strawberries, deviled eggs, assorted scones and muffins, jams, hot tea and coffee. We coordinated a tea cup exchange to encourage prayer partners and many ladies made a new friend. Lisa blessed us with her anointed music and Karen shared another great word for us.
The weekend was wonderful. Each service was packed full of "funnies" and prizes along with worship and God's fresh Word. I am so thankful for each person who prayed for this retreat. Thank you so much. God heard and answered those prayers.
This ministry is the beginning of a dream I have had for many years. Our District has launched this ministry specifically targeting pastor's wives and credentialed women. I am excited about this new avenue God has placed before me. At the upcoming District Council we are hosting a Chick-Chat Luncheon again specifically for pastor's wives and credentialed women. Just another way for pastor's wives to come together and hang out, laugh and build relationships with one another. Ministry is sometimes a tough place and pastor's wives truly do need one another. For years there has always been venues to minister to the pastor but not necessarily the pastor's wife. Our goal through this ministry is to support and encourage the pastor's wives in our District. This is just the beginning of what God will do.
I arrived at the church Sunday evening after a five hour commute from Ocean City in horrible weather. At times it rained in sheets and there were multiple accidents on the beltway. I walked into the service and caught the last 15 minutes of my hubby's sermon and led worship during altar time. Bobby and I are participating in the Church Life Cohort with Dr. Wayne and Sherry Lee so we had to travel to Lutherville, MD Monday and Tuesday for two days of intense leadership training. It was absolutely incredible material but very overwhelming. I am in the midst of finalizing a zillion details for District Council which is on the horizon. I am hosting a Chocolate and Coffee Bible study this evening at my home. Life has been a little busy........ Thank the Lord one of the ladies came to me Sunday night and asked if she could facilitate the devotion. Praise God! It is so awesome to see leaders being developed among the ladies of our church. God always knows exactly what we need when we need it.
I pray you are having an incredible week! Blessings to you...............