Today, I'm taking a cue from my many friends who have found the joys associated with solitude and silence. (Well, total silence isn't really an option as long as my cell phone stays charged. But the alliteration was too good to pass up.)
Last Thursday morning, I left with five other ladies heading to Daytona Beach for a women's retreat. There we connected with another friend of our church and moved into a veritable sea composed of 1800 other women from across peninsular Florida. We had all converged on the Ocean Way Convention Center for the sole purpose of connecting with one another and with God.
|GGC Ladies Always have Fun|
I would have chosen the hotel stairs a couple times but our room was on the 14th floor. Perfect for stellar views, all wrong for step counting. Taking the stairs would have left me needing oxygen I'm sure. So, our group exercised patience instead and made new friends from other churches while waiting.
Our state women's director, Deanna Shrodes, is an organizing genius. She kept things moving at a steady clip, kept trouble mitigated, kept women smiling and kept showing up looking like she had never had a problem in all her lovely life. I know better! Where there are that many women, there are almost as many problems to solve. But Deanna and her team handled it all and kept us moving forward like a well-oiled machine.
Our group made the most of our time choosing early mornings and late nights. One of our ladies had only been to the ocean one other time in her life. Of course, she had to make time for a long walk on the beach and some wave jumping. We actually had two birthdays in our small group. And one lady had just transitioned from being the major care-giver for her 93 year old mother. We were all looking forward to the time away for different reasons.
We got back to Winter Haven around 5:30 on Saturday and I was at church around 7:30 Sunday morning. We hosted a baby shower for a precious young couple Sunday following service. Then I came home, ate a salad and went to bed for a nap. Deserved and Delicious!
Frank and I ended up talking with several neighbors as we walked Sunday night. (One even stopped by our house around 8:30.) By the time this morning dawned, I was ready for Quiet.
Because I work from home on Mondays, I was able to create a quieter than normal atmosphere for myself. It's been overcast and a bit rainy all day. Believe you me, I have delighted in it. Even the phone calls, emails and appointments that needed attention have left me with time to quiet my heart in between.
I've been meditating on a song we sang at the conference. The chorus says, "Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, My God that is who you are." Just about any solution you or I may need can be found in one of those.
I've also been pondering a favorite promise from Philippians "His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Don't you love both of those? I'll be back with a story soon. But for this moment, I'm going to enjoy the quiet as much as I've enjoyed the excitement. I'll lean in to the One I love most and let Him guard my heart and mind with His peace.