retreat

Sabbatical brought to you by: Generosity and Grace

Many of us have dreams of where we would like to visit or vacation. Perhaps the beach. Maybe the mountains. Or it could be somewhere ritzy.

For me… I just wanted… AWAY.

God called me to come away with Him this weekend. I had some incredible time alone, by myself, just Jesus and I in Pine Mountain, Georgia. He recharged my heart, mind and soul for doing His work. I could talk about the words He spoke to me for about a month’s worth of blog posts. But I will spare you all of the major details… For now. ūüėČ (Don’t worry– Thanks to this weekend, I’ve got plenty of new Jesus revelations to share AMERICA! )

But for this current moment, know that my sabbatical weekend was filled with generosity and grace.

At the risk of sounding like an award acceptance speech, this weekend wouldn’t have been possible without the following folks’ generosity:

  • Thank you to my dear friend Lauren for covering my duties at church on Sunday
  • Thank you to my ¬†friend/boss/mentor Kelli for praying for me and encouraging me to be obedient to “Come away”
  • Thank you to my darling husband who provided the finances and encouragement to have my own “retreat” while he attended our church’s mens retreat.
  • Thank you to Debby and the Homestead Log Cabins family for being so generous and making this weekend financially feasible.

How I got hooked up with Homestead Log Cabins is a long (awesome) Jesus generosity story, but I will give you the semi-abbreviated version: As of last Thursday afternoon, I still hadn’t found anywhere to “go away” for the weekend. I knew I needed to be in nature since it is where I am closest to God, but I also knew He wanted me to rest. (Which is why sleeping in a tent wasn’t legit. It’s a TON of work to do by yourself. And a lot of planning.) I was getting desperate because no where I called had availability or was even remotely affordable for a woman (that would be me) working for Jesus dollars.

God laid Homestead Log Cabins on my heart earlier in the week as I had called them a few weeks ago when my cousin was down… but I knew it still cost dinero. But I was getting desperate. I pleaded with God during CRAVE on Thursday that if He really wanted me to come away for the weekend, He was going to have to make a way.

So at the nudging of God, I called Homestead Log Cabins. I talked to Debby and pretty much word vomited what I needed for the weekend. It wasn’t a vacation. It wasn’t a romantic getaway (although it was awesome to be with the Ultimate Lover of my Soul.) I simply needed a roof. And a bed. Out of town. AWAY.

After some quick negotiation with the manager, she gave me an incredibly generous deal for the weekend. I almost cried.

It was a sweet little three bedroom chalet on the lake. She said that she firmly believe that all of their reservations “Come through God.”

Isn't Jesus gorgeous??

Oh. Did I mention this adorable weekend home was owned by a preacher? Talk about divine intervention.

So long story still long, my weekend with Jesus was incredible. I left my laptop and iPad at home… and just sat at His feet. Thank you to Homestead Log Cabins for their incredible generosity (don’t be shy about booking them for your next Georgia getaway!) And thank you Jesus for a weekend full of grace.

Refreshed and Ready,
SGK

“My¬†lover spoke and said to me, ‚ÄúArise,¬†my¬†darling,¬†my¬†beautiful one, and come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10

PS: Don’t forget! “A Latte Love” contest to win a Starbucks gift card is still going on until the article runs in the Bayonet this week. Be sure to share this post with your friends and leave a comment here!

Categories: adventure, attitude, clarity, faith, God, hope, Love, relax, rest, retreat | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

LET IT GOD

Apparently it’s “Sharita-needs-to-confess-random-things-on-her-blog” week.

That being said, guess what? I have (another) confession. I like to have control. There. I said it. Be in charge, drive the boat, run the show, whatever you wanna call it, I like it. Rephrase: I thrive on it. I might even admit I-gotta-have-it. (Now that just reminds me of Cold Stone’s ice cream size choices. Random.)

This discovery was brought to a very profound point a week ago at CCC Women’s retreat (have you noticed it was apparently kind of a big deal in my life?) Last Saturday night, Mama Carol spoke about “Totally Surrender” when it comes to God. Naively, I thought I was… but as I examined my heart, it was clear that I thought wrong.

My husband always asks me why I “worry” so much. His favorite line with me is from Matthew 6:27– “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” I denied that I was a worrier– It had to be something else. Why would I “worry” about things I couldn’t control like the army, family, location, babies etc… Well, God revealed to me during the retreat (through all of the speakers, but especially Mama Carol) that yes, I was a worrier.

That “worry” was rooted in lack of complete and total trust in the Lord. ¬†And I didn’t fully trust Him because I wanted to rely on myself and my own strength, which I know as well as anyone else fails on a regular basis. Carol said it best when she said “If you don’t think something is strong enough, you aren’t going to lean on it.” Gulp. Could that really be me? I worry because I don’t trust because I like having “control?”¬†

Enter stage left: Ton of bricks. OUCH! Needless to say, many tears were in order at that point (don’t worry– they were good Holy Spirit tears… He was working on my heart in such a sweet way!) I went outside for evening solo processing quiet time… As I was sobbing in the dark by the lake, I used my cell phone as a flashlight to write furiously and desperately in the last few pages of my journal (It was no coincidence that my journal was finished the final day of retreat and I was able to start a new one last Monday as I moved forward with a transformed heart.)

I went back inside for our group processing time and decided to read from my journal what I just scribbled down. Throughout my self-plea/prayer combination, I had written LET IT GO!!! multiple times in all capital letters. I continued to read my plea/prayer out loud to my table– suddenly I reached the middle of my entry and noticed a “typo.”

But it wasn’t just an accidental “Ok-I-am-crying-and-writing-this-in-the-dark” typo. It was directly from God. Of this I have NO doubt.

I had attempted to write “LET IT GO!” but instead my “typo” came out “LET IT GOD!” Yeah, that was no accident.

God didn’t want 95% of myself. He wanted it ALL. Complete, total, utter, drop-to-your-knees-turn-every-thought-trust-Him-fully SURRENDER. I was still clinging to my own power. But at that moment, I gave it up. It was time to LET IT GOD.

I have since been praying for God to allow me to completely surrender to Him. In His endless love for me, He made me a strong-willed person, so I knew he wasn’t going to just wave a magic wand and say “TA-DA! There ya go, Sharita. Complete surrender. Wish granted.”

Instead, He has already presented many opportunities to surrender to His will and let go of my desperate need to control. Every time one of those worrisome thoughts mentioned earlier (health, army, babies) would creep into my head, He gave me the power to give it back to Him. “It’s all you, man. Take this God. You got this. I gotta LET IT GOD.”

He worked a surrendering miracle on Thursday night in my living room during a “discussion” that my husband and I were having. We decided to pray, holding each other and asking God to help us from being selfish and stubborn, to surrender to Him. It was absolutely amazing. The moment that my heart sincerely uttered those words, the feeling of hurt, selfishness and frustration was LIFTED off of my heart IMMEDIATELY. I just had to LET IT GOD.

Are there things in your life today that you are clinging to? Do you desire control? Trust in the Lord– for He is STRONG enough, WORTHY enough and ALL-KNOWING enough to deal with your worries, troubles and struggles. He knows more about them and cares even more about them than you do. Think about it my friend– is it time that you gave 100% away and LET IT GOD?

Surrendering it All,

SGK

“In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise‚ÄĒ in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” –Psalm 56:10-11

 

 

Categories: God, release, retreat, trust, worry | Leave a comment

Taste the Rainbow

At 2:58pm yesterday, I returned home from one of the most awesome, intense, transformational, profound, exhausting, replenishing, breathtaking experiences of my entire life.

For about 48 hours from Friday afternoon to Sunday, I was hanging with the Holy Spirit and about 60 other women at Christ Community Church’s Women’s Retreat 2011. The theme was “Come Away…” And away we certainly went.

God showed up in a huge way, especially for me. I could literally write a book (ok, well at least a 20 page report) about the profound revelations and transformation that God revealed in my heart this weekend. But today, I would like to share with you how God allowed me to “Taste the Rainbow.”

Can you see Him? Look closely.

He was there!

We arrived on Friday afternoon and in typical conference fashion, were scrambling around ironing out last-minute details (I was on the planning team.) As registration was winding down, Pam (the preacher’s wife) gasped and said “Hey ya’ll, LOOK.”

Outside the window, over the trees in the distance was a rainbow. Please note that it had not rained on us all day. I took note, thought it was cool and continued to scramble. Little did I know that a revelation was brewing (no, not the FINAL revelation… just A revelation.)

I was set to close out the evening that night in prayer before we dismissed for free time or sleep time or whatever time. As that neared, I prayed that God would give me the words he wanted me to say. Suddenly, the revelation hit me. The rainbow. It is scriptural. As worship was winding down, I grabbed my phone, opened the Bible App YouVersion and searched “Rainbow.” It appears in Genesis and Revelation (beginning and the end.) Specifically in Genesis 9:14-15 it says, “Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.” Hmmm, very interesting. Promises and convenant. Duly noted.

Another verse appeared in Ezekiel 1:28– “Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Also profound. The worship music wound down and it was time to pray in front of these 60 ladies.

I briefly shared with the girls about the rainbow and the Scripture from Ezekiel. We had already experienced a profoundly moving night during the programming, and I mentioned that the rainbow was a physical sign of God’s presence if anyone was doubting that he showed up that night. I began to pray. My heart was pounding and my knees were weak. Not from nerves, but I was pretty sure that the Holy Spirit was so overwhelming I was going to hit the floor (facedown) if he also hadn’t been there to hold me up.

I got done praying and I would love to share with you what I said. But I have NO IDEA. Everyone said it was really legit and moving, but the only thing I remember was saying that God invited us to come away (romantically speaking) and didn’t greet us with roses or chocolates, but with a promise of his love in the sign of the rainbow¬†(please take note: we will come back to this momentarily.)

So yeah, that was awesome. But it doesn’t stop there. God, as usual, was an overachiever and was with us ¬†all weekend in a big way. Long story still long, Hollie spoke the next morning about how God calls us beautiful. He loves us and romances us. Doesn’t get made, doesn’t condemn. He LOVES. Oh how he loves us! Hollie then gave us all personalized, individual love letters FROM God. (He used the hands of some of the women in church to write them, but there was NO DOUBT that they were done well in advance of the conference and were from HIM.)

Well, I took my love letter and went outside under a shade tree for quiet processing time. Good thing I was sitting down, because one of the first sentences of my personal letter said “Some offer ROSES or CHOCOLATES or other earthly trinkets, I have gifts for you– gifts of POWER and TRUTH. Gifts with ETERNAL VALUE and lifelong benefits.” Holy roses and chocolates people!! Needless to say, my love letter also has a few salty teardrop marks.

God was there. But the even better news is that God is HERE too. In my living room. Around your computer screen. In your car. At work. At home. At the gym. AND He love you. SO MUCH. More than any words can say or song convey. HE LOVES YOU!!! He longs to be with you, transform you, speak to you, love on you daily. Let Him. Receive His gifts. Come away with Him, open up your heart and let Him in… If you do, He too will let you TASTE THE RAINBOW!

All for His Glory,

SGK

“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.” –Revelation 10:1

Categories: chocolates, glory, prayer, rainbow, retreat, revelation, roses | Leave a comment

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