RCC Ladies’ Retreat 2006

It was early Friday morning when I packed my car and drove into a different world. A world populated with ladies, rustic cabins and beautiful natural surroundings. A place where a meal does not need preparation or dishes do not need to be washed. A meeting room with a table loaded with popcorn balls, candy, fruit, cookies, chips, crackers — things that ladies love but are scarce in their homes of choco-vore family members.

After settling into the cabins on the wooden bunks, did I say rustic? With the noisy mattresses, we met in the Goodies Room and sang songs, prayed and left for our classes on Psalms 100:

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name .
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

On our way, we looked for ‘found’ items that teach us a lesson or tell about our relationship with God. Our eyes were opened and we found items such as an old bottle, a flashlight, a dandelion, a twig, a branch, a dead leaf, a live leaf, a screw driver, a nut, moss or a rock. It was astounding how these items pointed us back to our Lord.

After lunch (no dishes – hallelujah!) everyone scattered. Some went for a trail ride, others tried the canoes, the rest of us went for a hike. The surroundings without the usual distractions made all our activities more serendipitious.

That evening we encountered a challenge. David wrote Psalms to our Lord. He expressed sorrow, joy, thankfulness, hopelessness, victory — how would we respond? Some of us have never experienced writing. Hesitancy caused tummy butterflies to fly in formation. But the response was overwhelming as each of us wrote a Psalm, opening our hearts to God. Sharing our Psalms caused tremors and tears. We truly became sisters-in-Christ as each Psalm was read.

Tears were not the only emotion that we shared as the laughter echoed across the room as our speaker, Carrie, regaled us with her adventures, such as taking Ebony (a large dog) to Thailand or riding a motorcycle in Thailand behind her daughter – carrying lamps. As she spoke, we knew that she had suffered heartache. Each story she told had a point that came through loud and clear through the energy and the laughter.

Oh, it was a precious time. And here is my April Psalm —

Many-colored butterflies paint the air with praise to You.
The gentle wind whispers Your Name
Birds sing Psalms of Joy.
Many hues of flowers weave a tapestry proclaiming Your Praise.
The rocks cry out your steadfastness.
The grass follows its seasons ordained by You.
My Lord orders the earth and its inhabitants.
All creation praises Your Name.

How can I do less?
The Creator died on the cross for me,
Bearing the burden of my sin.
Such boundless love He shows.

How can I do any less,
Than praise my Creator all the days of my life,
For He is Merciful, Mighty and Omnipotent.

Comments? eacombs@gmail.com