I have not blogged as much as I had hoped about the Created for Care retreat (www.createdforcare.org) I attended last week, because (Lord bless my husband) I came home and two days later was sick in bed for the rest of the week.
The retreat was amazing. 250 ladies from all over the US, who are passionate about adoption and foster care, gathered in GA for an amazing time of renewal and refreshment!!!!! I love moments when you are worshipping with other believers and you have a very small glimpse of how amazing heaven is going to be. I had that feeling ALL weekend. It was a room filled with women who seem to share my heart for the Lord, motherhood, adoption, foster care,and believing with me that God can do amazing things in our generation to change the face of the world’s orphan crisis. It was awesome!!!
Some of my favorite highlights:
-“Date with God” time – PRECIOUS listening and creative time before the Lord (Memphis Ladies I hope to do something like this for us- you will LOVE it)
-Hearing from women, a season ahead of me, who have a mother’s heart and are orphan advocates- getting to hear their heart and passion and see the joy they felt from seeing their prayers answered through the 250 families represented there – AWESOME!!! Hearing their wisdom and feeling their grace.
-Building community with other ladies who “get you” without you really saying much at all and being inspired by their “active compassion”…knowing there are amazing husbands and daddys at home letting them get away for a time of refreshment.
-The hope that the Lord clearly revealed to me about a specific situation in my life – Thank you Lord for that clear word and promise of hope and healing!
The list could go on and on…….
One of the many points, the Lord keeps bring back to me, is a point made by Dr. Susan Hillis.
She shared with us on Sunday morning about when Jesus fed the 5,000. One of my favorite miracles. She made so many amazing points, but where are a few of my take aways:
-The disciples came with nothing….no resources. NOTHING
-There was a crowd in need, Jesus saw a need, was moved to action – that is true compassion
-The disciples managed to gather up a few little fish and loaves….I wonder what they were thinking “Really how in the world is this going to be enough”
-They brought the LITTLE they had to HIM and OPENED up their hand and GAVE it to HIM
-HE multiplied it AS THEY WENT – not before they started passing it out – they saw His provision as they ACTED in FAITH!
-When they were done feeding those Jesus called them to serve there were exactly 12 baskets left – exactly ONE per DISCIPLE – they came with nothing, served from the limited resources they had at the time, Jesus multiplied it as they sent, and then HE gave them 1 basket to take home! AMAZING!!!!!!
Her point to us, often weary, tired mommas is that many times we feel like we don’t have enough..enough money, time, resources, energy, joy, patience, etc….but we need to stop looking at what we DON’T have and see what we do have, give it to HIM and ask HIM to multiply it as we pour ourselves out to our families, and those God calls us to serve. He can multiply your 20%!!!! What a freeing reminder! I need it DAILY. I have seen God multiply far less than 20% in my own life. I have seen Him provide beyond my wildest dreams. But, if I am to be totally honest, lots of days I am tempted to give from my own limited resources…..and I promise you they run dry quickly. I hear HIM patiently calling me to come to him with my limited resources (praising Him for them….not complaining they are not sufficient), give them to HIM, and have the faith that He can multiply them. Then as Dr. Susan reminded us…..we are not the one who provides, but we are the one who gets to distribute His provision!!!!!!
I am laughing that the Lord sent me home refreshed and feeling so empowered to love my family with joy and energy and then I got sicker than I have been in years. It has been the perfect opportunity to trust that He is enough. My house is a wreck, the kid’s school work is behind, the laundry is piled higher than I would want anyone to see, the kids have all been crying this morning, and I am still feeling whipped out……seems like the perfect day for the Lord to multiply and bless some fish to me!!!!!
Hope you all give him your blessed 20% today!
O LORD, who is like You,
You, who delivers the weak
from him who is too strong for him,
the weak and needy from those who despoils him? Psalm 35.10