Jumping back into real life has been a completely different pace than the still and quiet moments we shared in the Heartland Center in Missouri.
I chose to fly a couple days early to spend time in Omaha, Nebraska with my brother and his wife and their daughter who is not quite a year old.
|A dear college friend and pageant sister that I hadn't seen in 13 years had time to lunch with me on the way to Kansas City! Megan also brought her darling daughter, Phoebe.|
To be honest, I wasn't completely sure of the "why". To meet my friends in real life, of course, but beyond that? What did God have for me and why was my heart so stirred to break bread with these women? One gem was the three hour layover in Seattle. I met a young Christian woman and we had time to reveal our hearts to each other and I was privileged to pray with her (but almost missed my flight because of it!) The bonus was I got to move to the emergency row with extra leg room.
|A new friend from Australia that I got to know and pray with during a 3 hour layover in Seattle. Natasha is amazing!|
His biggest gift to me was to be a messenger. Over a month before the retreat, I had the idea to make something for each of the women that would bear their name. I practiced my brush lettering, found a cute printable stationery set, and waited to hear which verses to print on that set for them. (The same passage was used for everybody)
Psalm 139 and Ephesians 2:10 were both brought to my mind repeatedly. That we were intentionally made with a purpose. We are God's masterpiece. We are delightfully complex.
|The drying step|
|The final product that each woman received (with their own name)|
Kate led the speaking our first night. What a treasure she is! She blessed us with our own copies of the Craving Connection book from (in)Courage.
Christina Hubbard spoke from her heart and read from Psalm 139 the first night. My heart was leaping inside my chest at the confirmation!
|Not only did he speak to our hearts, He also spoke to our wardrobes. #accidental #twinning #daytwo|
Christina is somebody you like right away when you meet her. She is caring and kind and so relatable! She is also not afraid to speak from where she's at. Her genuine "this is what I'm learning" makes her very approachable!
Her blog is: http://www.creativeandfree.com
Oh it was so rich!
|Seriously, she's better in person than I could ever have imagined! Kate is all about others. What a true gift she is. :)|
The entire retreat, she was giving to us and providing a space for us to connect. I hope she received as much as the rest of us!
Her blog is: http://katemotaung.com
I found the people who speak my language, though we all speak differently.
|Oregon and Rhode Island...we're coastal and cute!|
Alice has a treasure trove of faith and wisdom. Her blog is a weekly memory verse challenge, and her depth of love for God is rich. I am very touched to be called her friend and delighted to have been paired as her roommate!
Her blog is: http://walkinginword.com
|Jeanne and Tammy Jean...both with Colorado roots :)|
Jeanne is raw and real and always listening for what God has to say. She continues to try to improve what is already a beautiful, faithful walk. You want to be her friend. Forever!
Her blog is: https://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com
|Meghan has SO much to share! I am delighted to be connected to her. She really trusts God with everything. This is a Faith Warrior right here!|
|Carolina's real name is spelled AGAPE. :) God is so strong in her life and she is sparklingly beautiful inside and out. And she really DOES give the best hugs. You must meet her for yourself!|
Her blog is: http://cisneroscafe.org
|Christina, myself and Alice at dinner at Spin Pizza|
|Mary Geisen. This woman is BRAVE. She agreed to lay on the floor with me for better lighting. Anita put that photo on Instagram. Then, just below, the real antics began.|
Her blog is: http://www.marygeisen.com
|That beautiful red head behind you is recoiling from my finger being poked between the two of us to prevent a photobombing...poor Holly! I didn't know I'd made contact, I just reached between us when I knew she was trying to put a goofy face.|
|I think Holly is still tender from my poking, so Jen and Mary made sure to make up for the photobombing snafu!|
Her blog is: http://hollybarret.org
|By the third day, the humidity had got the better of me, so I embraced Anita as we embraced our wild hairs. She has also mastered the art of self-portraits and has longer arms than I do!|
Her blog is: http://www.anitaojeda.com
I'm not sure I can summarize this experience well. I'm way over five minutes, ha!
The biggest thing God spoke to me this trip was REST.
Though I'm not sure what that looks like, I know I need to enter His Rest. I've been working too hard on His behalf, trying to be His sidekick, I think.
At the retreat, I found rest. We didn't have a packed schedule, but just the right amount of scheduled time and free time. We ate together, we laughed together, we prayed together, we found safe space to share pain and doubt and hope and dream, and at the end, we are all looking forward to the greatest family reunion of all.
And, though it was extra time away from my husband and our three girls, I had extra time to meet with friends in Nebraska and spend more time with my niece, my brother, and my sister-in-law.
I was able to sleep deeply and to enjoy taking it slow.
I hope to take these lessons and put less on my schedule in the months to come.
|The one and only Deidra Riggs made time for a late lunch in Lincoln, Nebraska with me on Sunday. We both had French Toast and spoke about her retreat I'd attended in Nebraska two years prior, our husbands, writing, and Classic Cars. (My husband has a 67 Plymouth Barracuda)|
Her blog is: http://www.deidrariggs.com/
|Speaking of family, this is Claire. I have only two nieces in the world and she's the younger of the two. This trip was our first in-person encounter. She is delightful!! (My sister-in-law is an amazing Omaha, NE photographer. Book with her!)|
Photo credit: Katie Hammond
|The sunset at my final airport before I drove home.|
God is stirring her to write. She's new to all internet and writing online, etc, and I was armed with a wealth of information for her!
(She took notes! Ha!)
When I get a chance (and her permission), I will share a link to her blog. But know this, Rachel Fisher is someone with a story and the ability to tell it!
I am looking forward to reading the other posts, because mine is more of a journal/timeline and less of a lesson. This retreat and trip were about people and relationships and community, and so my pictures are of the people that I really got the time to know. There were more wonderful people that I didn't get time with, and you simply MUST read what they have shared! I know I will!
I'm so hopeful I will get to meet more of you in the future.
Thank you for allowing me to be sincere and share from my heart.
I really can't process it all yet, so this is a rough draft. But that's what Five Minute Friday is all about.