Filled Up and Poured Out

Wednesday, September 28, 2011  ::  

How many sentences can I type and delete to try to start this post about the retreat? About 20 or so.

The difficulty is finding words to describe what the retreat meant to me and how I'm feeling now that it is over. Retreat de Moxie is my favorite Moxie event of the year. In my opinion, great things happen through-out the year, but getting to pull away and be together for an extended amount of time is irreplaceable. 

This year was very different from the previous four retreats. In past years, the topics have been heavy, punch you in the face type topics.  Inner-healing, the art of apologizing, dangling from the sky on a high ropes course, and being challenged to completely surrender everything can leave one feeling a bit exhausted. The great name of Jesus and the importance of sharing Him with others was our focus and aim of this year's retreat which was much more energizing. 

As I've wandered around in my mind for the last couple of days, I've struggled with really missing my moxie friends and wondering what I should be doing next. (Don't worry, I have a real list. I would just rather be planning a retreat.) In order to not be downcast, I've been disciplining myself to think through some highlights of the weekend with 41 of my closest friends. 

These are in random and strategic order all at the same time.  

**Musical worship. Angela was anointed in a powerful way to lead us to sing praises to Jesus. The new songs we sang fit perfectly. If I close my eyes and listen I can hear the sound of 42 women singing in perfect unison, "You are holy, holy, holy, God most high and God most worthy!" Or, "To you our hearts are open, nothing here is hidden, You are our one desire." Or "I will carry your name, Jesus, your name, forever!" Ah, so beautiful! 

**Heather being prompted by the Spirit to read Revelation 5 and the worship the took place as a result. 

**As I would speak during the sessions, different people's stories would come to mind and fit into whatever I was saying. I loved it. I loved seeing people tear up (hopefully from encouragement and not embarrassment.) I loved having the opportunity to publicly proclaim the great ways I've seen God move in the lives of the women of our church. 

**As I spoke several times I struggled through my temperament (people-pleaser) and spiritual gifting (prophet.) If I wasn't focused and teaching, I may have laughed out loud at myself.  

**There were so many first timers on our retreat this year! 

**Sara and Angela showed us a new level of how secure they are, how creative they are, and how weird they are. Truth be told, the weirdness we saw probably only scratches the surface of just how strange they can be. Thanks for the dance, ladies. And, thanks for planning a great organized laughing time and a fabulous scavenger hunt. 

**Sitting in one of the bunk rooms talking and laughing about the most random, hilarious stuff was life-giving. 

**The relay worked out way better than I could have imagined. I've already had some ideas for legs of next year's relay. 

**Jenn running towards me all wild and floppy will forever be etched into my brain.

**Julie attacking me with a water balloon and successfully soaking me.

**Watching women sit in small groups through-out the weekend getting to know each other better. 

**Snacks, snacks, snacks. 

**Lauren, Nicky, Tamara, and Jen sharing their stories with us. You ladies did an outstanding job! Thank you so much for entrusting us with hearing what God has done in your lives! 

**Watching people wrap gifts to symbolize their story in Jesus as a gift to others and paint rocks to symbolize carrying whatever they had learned over the weekend encouraged me greatly.

**My favorite moment of the entire weekend was having a friend walk straight up to me after the evening session on Friday and hearing her tell me she gave her life to Christ. If nothing else was accomplished over the weekend, her new life in Christ was worth the trip! 

The great news is even though a new life in Christ is absolutely the highlight, I believe God accomplished so much more. I've been praying for my friends who attended the retreat that each women would continue to press into the things God spoke to each heart, that it wouldn't be a weekend high, but a continuation of the steadiness of life transformation. I've been praying that our friends who couldn't come on the retreat this year would feel connected, involved, loved, that they would hear stories of the retreat and would be encouraged and not filled with envy or regret.  

As a women's ministry who is part of a great local church, "let us not grow weary in doing good for in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!" (Gal 6:9) Let's remember that "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." (Matt 9:35) Let us press in to fill our mouths with the great name of Yahweh! May we carry the name of Jesus with honor, diligence, and humility.  

I cannot wait to see the fruits of what was learned at this year's Retreat de Moxie! 

I love these women! 
Thanks, Laura Moore, for taking such great photos of our weekend! 
Feel free to share any thoughts you may have about our retreat! I would love to hear them. It will either help ease my loneliness or make it worse, but I'm willing to risk it! 

P.S. I've already got some GREAT ideas for next year's topic! :) 

7 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Angela DeSoto said...

Oh I just love you, Angel, and your blog. I love how you captured the highlights of the retreat. I'm sad it's only once a year, but maybe that adds to why it's so great, because it's a rarity. Each retreat has definitely had it's own personality, and I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this one.
I think you mentioned all my favorite parts, but I do have to mention another...laughing at the craziness of 'loud sleepers'. :) Just being able to be human, and silly, and imperfect, and acknowledge it in each other too without hurt feelings was a very refreshing thing.
It will take me some time to process the depth of what we experienced and what God did in each of our lives, but I too am really excited to see what fruit lies ahead from the lives of the women of Moxie!
Thanks for being an amazing, spirit-filled, and loving leader!

Sarah Ling said...

I love how God continues to teach us things seamlessly through our personal time with Him, to our musical worship times, to hearing His words spoken out loud...

He was definitely confirming things this retreat that I had been processing for the last weeks/months and adding to them as well! I think my word for the weekend was "clarity" because so much of what I was processing before started making more sense.
Some of the topics being leadership, courage, initiative, discipleship, and then evangelism got thrown in there too!

I love how God works. <3

Anonymous said... r like Tyra banks and Joyce Meyer. I love your enthusiasm for the truth of Jesus. I could have amened everything u said this weekend. And jenn totally surprised me too with the bra thing! I really enjoyed the intensity level this year.....just a few notches down from the past ; )


Susie Bishara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susie Bishara said...

Wow, I loved all those moments too Angel! This retreat was such an uplifting experience for me. I laughed more that weekend than I probably have all semester. I literally woke up with sore obliques on Sunday. One of the most freeing lessons I've learned over the last 4 years from you and Angela is the ability to laugh at myself. :)

God has been tying in themes of his Holiness and living in Integrity throughout so many areas of my life within the last month. During our times of worship together where God's holy presence was so clearly among us, it was my joy and honor to be able to bow before him. And with our chorus of beautiful voices we welcomed Him in that place. It gives me chills even thinking about HIm. May we Welcome our Holy God and woship Him in our lives everyday!

I miss you ladies and just want to say BE BLESSED!

Emily said...

I love you Angel and the rest of you Moxie ladies. I agree with all of the above (except maybe the Tyra Banks comment? I definitely think you're more of a Cindy Crawford) but I think one of my favorite things about the retreat is that the Holy Spirit never fails to reveal something so special to me during these times. This year he really impressed upon me the uniqueness and specialness of my salvation story. I can't ever remember being that thankful for the way he orchestrated me coming to know him.

I am so excited to see how many new women will have new stories of their own next year.

Julie said...

Good stuff!

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