What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Be Still and Know...

"Be still, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

This past weekend I had the privilege and joy of attending a ladies' retreat at the "Life Enrichment Center", specifically "The Mary Retreat", a "retreat for women who do too much."  As per the website description: "This 24-hour time apart is designed to allow those of us who practice discipleship in the active, doing form -- the "Martha" style -- an opportunity to change roles and sit at Jesus' feet like Mary (Luke 10:38-42). The agenda for this retreat is very simple - step away from the frantic pace to spend time resting and reflecting: an opportunity to "BE" instead of "DO."" 

On the "Welcome" sheet that was left on each of our beds as we entered our rooms was written the following words:

"Have you arrived distracted? Take a few moments now to center yourself, asking God for a new kind of strength-strength to relax.  Be still, and know God is here. Sit at Jesus' feet this weekend.  Just...be.   Welcome Home."
And that is exactly what I attempted to do...spend time resting, reflecting, relaxing, reading, writing, time alone with God.

But then I also found myself sharing thoughts and dreams and desires with precious friends
who came in search of the same thing.

We gave each other space to spend time alone
in their personal journey...

and then we also came together to laugh and play and find our "inner child" again:
S'mores anyone???

coloring time can be very therapeutic

We embraced one another with words of encouragement, prayer, testimony and love.

I am still trying to sort out my own personal thoughts and reflections from this time of retreat and rest. 
When one is so used to having a programmed life,  full of schedules, deadlines, agendas and scripted times of worship and organized religious experiences,
it isn't so easy to just put yourself at the feet of Jesus and expect Him to meet you there.  
We are so used  to being led there by the worship leaders, the pastors and teachers...or by being the leaders who are expected to "perform" in a certain way at all times so that others may be taught and brought to a place of worship and praise.  We sometimes neglect our own
personal spiritual experience and growth. We do what
we believe we are supposed to do for others and forget that in order to be able to lead others we must also do what we are supposed to do for ourselves. 
That's what happened to Martha  (Read Luke 10:38-42). She was so busy tending to the needs of others that she resented her sister Mary, who had discovered the joy of sitting at the feet of Jesus and growing in grace and beauty and truth. Martha was a good person, doing what seemed necessary, but her own personal spiritual growth was lagging behind. She was missing out on the joy of serving her Lord because it had become a job...and not an act of worship and love. She became all "knotted up", like this tree; unable to let go of her sense of duty.

She needed this masseuse to knead away the knots in her mind and body and soul...like I did:
Ahhh! That feels SO good....

Martha's  personal spiritual well was drying up and she was becoming dehydrated.  She needed to learn to take time to draw from the fountain
of the living water of Jesus...and to become revived, refreshed, and renewed.

That is why I went to this particular retreat this weekend. I could have gone instead to another retreat that was being presented by a dynamic well known woman Bible teacher, with lots of praise and worship time and divinely inspired teaching.  But I chose to draw from the well of quiet, peace, and restoration. To sit by the water and be inspired from God's Word as He led me to the verse above, "Be STILL and KNOW that I AM God!"  These words and reminders from Psalm 46:10 were everywhere...first in my early morning devotional reading down by the lake,

then in the scripture verses I prayed as I walked through the "Labyrinth" walk...
and then in the Prayer Chapel as we knelt and prayed and prayed for one another:
and most definitely as my precious sisters in the Lord went with me on a little spiritual walk down memory lane at the place where I first committed my life to the Lord... at the lighted cross on the water at the youth camp across the street from the adult Life Enrichment Center where we were staying:

Several of us sat together on the "silver benches" along the lake shore and shared our testimonies of our individual walks with the Lord..such a precious time with sisters in Christ...truly the highlight of our weekend...we didn't want to leave that place.

But the time came to leave...and we parted knowing that somehow we were changed inside.  The time of rest was accomplishing its task...restoring, renewing and refreshing us for the days and tasks ahead. 

My prayer is that I will take this peace and rest with me wherever I go and whatever I do.  In our bedtime devotions, my roommate shared a reading from the book When God Whispers Your Name, by Max Lucado, from Chapter 24, "The Gift of Unhappiness".  In this chapter Max Lucado quotes the former journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge, who said in his book, Jesus Rediscovered
"Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in the Thee."
 (Amazing how God chose this particular random devotional for us to read that night, along with the morning devotional in my daily devotional guide that just happened to focus on the Psalm 46:10 verse for that day...coincidence? I don't think so)

For this peace and rest to last...it has to be centered in Christ. There can be no rest or peace unless I know Him.  Do YOU know Him? Have you found that rest and peace in Christ?  If not, I implore you to not wait for a spiritual retreat to seek His face. You can do it right now.  Just...
"Be STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD...."...."I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge."           Psalm 46:10-11

 "Welcome Home"


  1. Aah, I feel rested just reading this wonderful post and enjoying your pics of it. I think you definitely chose the right retreat to go to. So happy for you!

    1. Yes...it was exactly what I needed...in more ways than one. God definitely met me there and brought words of hope, healing and restoration to my soul. Precious time.

  2. I am so happy for you, Pam...happy that you had time to come apart from everything else and sit at the feet of Jesus! How refreshed you must be...and I love how the Lord repeatedly puts the same "theme" and/or the same Scripture verses in our paths at the same time! Be still...it is where He has been calling me. There are so many "issues" right now and yet He beckons me with "be still". Love you, Sister!

    1. Why do we wait so long to "be still" and listen to the voice of God calling us above the noise and strife of this world? We need to set apart time on a regular basis to refocus our attention on our Maker. Who knows what wonderful messages He may be wanting to share with us if we'd only sit still and listen? Thank you for your comments. Praying for you that you will bask in His presence in your life.

  3. I'm so glad you were able to go to this "retreat". I wish Deb and I could have gone too, but hopefully, the next time! I just found a little book at Barnes and Noble on a sale table titles "When God Winks at You". It's full of stories of God Winks--how God speaks directly to you through the power of coincidence. Coincidence? I don't think so! It's a good one! I could definitely add to those stories---I think we all could!

    1. Doris, next time you and Debbie MUST come! It was truly a time to be blessed by God's special winks at us. I think He enjoyed seeing us having such a great time. I KNOW He did.
      That books sounds good. Did you buy it? You may have to loan it to me.

  4. Hi Pamela! I am so happy for you! It looks so great...I have wanted to do a silent retreat for while. The time just never seemed to work out. (I have a blogpost written about it actually.) But God led you to where you needed to be, when you needed to be. And you got so much out of it.

    I hope this newfound peace and friendships will stay with you and fill you for many days/weeks/years!

    1. This would be such a wonderful place for any writer to come and just sit at Jesus' feet and listen to His voice, dictating the letters of our journals...I actually didn't do much writing, I was too happy exploring. Next time I may do more quiet time alone...maybe. It was all good.


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