I just came back from a fabulous 48 hour prayer retreat at the Abbey. The first day was gorgeous sunshine. I prepared my house by morning affirmations by Kenneth Boa that I recorded in 2012. I listened to them in the car along with my worship playlist ("Soothing Worship" and other songs by Jon Thurlow and a few others). When I got there, I had to walk because it was a wonderful day. I meditated on the LORD's Supper as I wrote it out in my own words. Then, I went to the LORD's Supper Service at the Abbey, and they read the same verses along with the Exodus account where the Passover comes from. Then, I went for another walk (I walked over 10 miles over the course of the 48 hours).
I meditated on and wrote the Garden and Arrest of Jesus and praised God through the "Hallel" Psalms 133-118. WOW! Powerful. I went to sleep at 9:15.
I awoke at 3:15 and had great time in Jeremiah and Isaiah before meditating on the Trials of Jesus and Peter's Denial right before dawn. Then, I walked down to the downtown of Mt. Angel and wrote out the crucifixion in my own words (after having a lovely talk with an 18 year old girl in the coffee shop). Then, I walked back to the Abbey and stopped at each Station of the Cross. The Crucifixion was between 9 am and noon (see what I referenced in the Gospel Harmony Book Club about the time). I went back at about 11 am to do another walk through the Stations of the Cross. Each one is tagged with a German description so I translated all the German into English and meditated at each station. There were many more people than usual there as is understandable since it was Good Friday.
Then I had more personal prayer and connected some wonderful dots from previous prayer journaling over the last year, and I also read what someone prayed over us on Valentine's Day. It was the exact SAME vision that Stacy had when we were praying on Wednesday afternoon before my prayer retreat! I have chills even writing about it. God is good. I had some personal evaluation and confession time as I headed into Jesus' death on the cross. What was amazing is the sunny day gave way to a very DARK day and then lots of rain ("there was darkness from noon to 3 pm," Mark 15:33).
Then I headed into the Good Friday service at 2:55 pm. They read the exact passage in John about the Crucifixion that I had meditated on earlier that day. They use a narrator, person representing Jesus, and we were the crowd saying "Crucify Him!" That was pretty powerful. What would I have done at that time? Sobering.
It was still raining but it cleared up at about 6 pm just in time for a glorious sunset. "It's Friday but Sunday's Comin'!"
I went back to my room and was snug as a bug in a rug as I journaled more. God really showed me that I had neglected my "Weight/Wellness" goals over the last few months due to busy times with ministry. There is a balance in EVERYTHING! He clearly showed me that caring for my temple was very important. My weight increase since last October is the only thing I went into the prayer retreat frustrated about. So mad at myself because I kept all of the weight off for 18 months but it started creeping up after October. I did have a major back blow out, busy time getting TOAG up and running, more women to meet with, Christmas, melanoma diagnosis and subsequent surgery to remove it in January, Valentine's Day. I did not intentionally overeat, and it turns out it was only 180 calories a day. But I did not weigh myself from November 14 to March 28 because I was afraid!
These are two things I wrote in my journal:
Then God led me to evaluate that it really started creeping up after a husband of a woman I was counseling attacked me verbally (He is an abuser. Thus why I was counseling the wife) and a conflict with a friend that I have never really had a conflict with in 35 years of being friends. Then I carried the burden of her problems with me (Part of the conflict was me realizing I cannot be her friend and her counselor. I carried the burden of the conflict until I worked it all out with God on a day in prayer on New Year's Eve. Then, I worked out carrying the burden of all her problems at the Pastor's Prayer Summit in February). I was also EMOTIONALLY EATING!
This led me to realize that another one of my goals carried over from 2013 was to WAKE UP AND WALK AWAY from drama and toxic situations. My friend's problems are just that, her problems. We are called to bear one another's burdens, but I need to constantly give them over to the LORD. I also need to set better boundaries as I felt this friend pushed my boundaries last summer, I was not firm enough (because she is pretty controlling and has gotten more so as she has gotten older). The husband was a matter of not engaging with him anymore and know I was called to help the wife (sadly they are not longer married as of January 28). I could walk away from him. God led me to Psalm 91:14-16 which were my verses for 2013.
On Holy Saturday I woke up and had time to intercede for all the lovely women God has placed in my life. I prayed that they would live into the "identity/destiny names" God had given them. I had to text some of them to remind me what they were, but I had such fun hearing from them and praying for each one. I also reviewed my days of prayer to see what He had said to me. Things are lining up. Dots are connecting.
I also reviewed my 2015 FRUITFUL FIVE:
1) WORSHIP - through Word writing (BBC) and Walking for the world
2) WEAVERS - Family First and Foremost. Prayed for my husband and kids. Prayed about our 25th anniversary trip I have been saving for. Michael cannot remember his ID (Identity/Destiny) name though! :) Paul never heard about one. George is "trustworthy/reliable" and that is so true!
3) WOW (Women of the World) - Launch them in Love and invest deeply as they go into the four corners of the earth!
4) WEIGHT/WELLNESS - Be in my "high school years" weight range" (the last two digits of those years correspond to my favorite weight fluctuation of four pounds with the 100 in the front). I am 5.4 pounds over that. I am at a healthy BMI now, but I like to be at my ideal weight for my frame rather that at the upper middle of my range! I will be in that upper of my favorite fluctuation my May 2 - the 30th anniversary of my dad's passing. I am stilling to my plan of 1000 calories deficits until I reach that goal. More walking (for the world and weight loss) and lots of strengthening.
5) WICKEDNESS WAKE UP AND WALK AWAY - I already explained that above. Do not get caught in other people's drama. I am a BURDEN BEARER but I am BOLDLY BELOVED (MY ID) so I need to be that way when saying, "No!" I tried that with my friend, but she did not get it and bashed over my boundaries until I could not take it anymore!
With that I prayed some more for the people we have invested in over the last six years and went home to my loving family!
HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY! He is RISEN!