Just a little over a week ago, Rick and I were gifted with a get-a-way retreat for some spiritual and physical refreshment with Reclaiming Hearts Ministry.
This sweet gift couldn't have come at a more appropriate and needed time in our lives. Rick and I are constantly serving, discipling, and teaching God's Word, but we are not often spiritually fed at the same time, in the same venue.
The simple combination of sugar sand, salt water, and the soft ocean breeze caused us to breathe a little deeper, walk a little slower, pray a little longer, and smile a little bigger.
Outside the door of our retreat homes were commuter bikes for our enjoyment. Not having ridden a bike in a long time, we were a little nervous, but excited to get on these and explore the
Watercolor/ Seaside Beach, Florida area. With no humidity, highs in the upper 70's to low 80's,
the weather was absolutely perfect for biking every single day, so we biked - a lot!
Our real deep refreshment was provided during the meat of the retreat which we trekked to and from on these crunchy, pebble paths to another beautiful resort home.
We gathered here with about 40 others and were powerfully poured into, prayed over,
and ministered to. When you serve in ministry as we do and are usually the ones doing the pouring into, etc..., these moments are treasures as we sat on the receiving end this time around.
As we sought the face of God, opening our hearts for His replenishing, not only was the ocean crystal clear, but the Word of God refreshingly and clearly washed over our souls as truth was taught unashamedly in an intimate, transparent atmosphere by author Denise Hildreth Jones and the Reclaiming Hearts ministry team.
Our much needed time together was filled with worship through music, teaching, private journaling, reading God's Word, and in conversation over meals and on excursions, all centered around the Lord Jesus Christ. We were served with grace, and loved on extravagantly.
We all need to take time for renewal - away from the everyday obligations of family, church, and community, and allow God to replenish, nourish and strengthen our souls so we can in turn live out our purpose with His energy and His passion. We were presented with an opportunity to do just that, and we're so grateful we received it with open hands.
One of my favorite spots was the Sundog Book store in Seaside.
We ate lunch one afternoon at a little burger joint in Seaside.
(Here's a pic of Rick's $11.00 Philly cheese steak sandwich, and that didn't include fries!
You, who know him well, are laughing right now aren't you?)
The Seaside Chapel
Be still and know I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
God lavished His goodness, grace and mercy on us as we held open our hearts to Him to do with as He saw fit. We cried, we laughed, we sang, we worshiped, we loved, we made new friends.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the gift of retreat. For time to be still and know You more. You chose to retreat many times during your ministry on earth to replenish your weary body and to seek Your Father's heart. What a gift from One who understands the depleting of our spirits as we live to love deeply, make disciples, and minister wholeheartedly. You are an amazing God!
Bless the Lord, oh my soul!