This past week my husband and I had the opportunity to go away for a pastor's conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin. This is the longest amount of time we've ever been away from our children. How thankful and blessed we are to have grandparents that are close by that can come and stay with our children. While we were gone, the kids got to go fishing-almost everyday with Grandma and Grandpa, go to football games, and just be with their grandparents in the events of everyday life. Special memories were made this week in the hearts of our children.
Steve and I had an amazing week as well. I can't even truly begin to put into words the impact that was made on us at this conference. So many issues as individuals and as a couple were brought to light. God had already begun preparing our hearts with little glimpses of where He was taking us weeks prior to us attending this conference. I am so thankful that God knows where to meet us and how to patiently love us knowing that there is so much more He has in store.
God is showing me what following Him is really all about. I often struggle because I love God with all of my heart but so often I feel like my relationship is flat and distant with Him. I am learning that it is not about doing for God, but being with God. I can easily start checking off my spiritual to-do list. Read my Bible... check. Do my Bible study... check. Pray... check. Serve... check. And in the meantime, my eyes are often taken off of Jesus. I want to sit at His feet. I want to embrace His love for me, and be showered with the glory of His grace. I want to give all of me to Him.
God really is taking me to a new place with Him. A deeper place. It's not about my "morning devotions" anymore. It's about experiencing, knowing, and being in God's presence throughout the day. Being in a place where I am hearing His voice because I am quiet. Being in a place where I am allowing the Holy Spirit to move and touch the deep places of who I am.
For a pretty significant amount of time, I've been feeling like I've been in this dry season. I've been encouraged to press on and keep my eyes on Him. I've been reminded that God hasn't left me. I know that these things are true. I know now that it really hasn't been a dry season at all. What I have been going through is really God calling me to go further. To go deeper. To go deeper requires more of me than what I've been giving. Spiritual disciplines in my life are going to be different than they were before. I am going to be different than I was. All because of Jesus.
Steve and I made some wonderful friends this week too. There are five conferences within this two year program that are husbands are all a part of. The first one was back in the Spring, so all the men already knew each other. This was the first time the wives have met though. I have to say that I've never hit it off with a group of women the way I did with these women. We all shared an immediate connection and friendship. For that I am thankful.
We laughed liked crazy and had so much fun.
This really will be a week that I never forget. I will remember sitting by the lake and being quiet before the Lord. I will remember the conversations between new friends. Talking about ministry, struggles, children, and life. I will remember Steve and I sharing our hearts with one another and being able to end the day praying together. I will also remember that Jesus will love me gently and patiently as He draws me closer.
So, my journey begins. Deeper and further than ever before.