Sunday, July 21, 2013


As I write this, I am thinking back to today, when I was able to spend some time with J. as she retreated  in our home.  At one point, God moved me to tears, and all I could do was give her a hug.  I don't usually cry with those who come to take a spiritual retreat in our place.  But I was very moved today.
God does things like that!! lol

You see, right now, it is "work" whenever someone comes to retreat.  However, as I get up early to make breakfast, or as I set the table and spend time choosing which china to use, or where to set them for their meal, or when I fall into bed at the end of the day - tired but feeling extremely blessed because I know that THIS is right where God wants me.  This is what He spoke to me about in 2000.  This is what I "fastened my seat belt for" and it has been a ride which I just sense - is still continuing.

It is quite a feeling to feel that you are doing what God has called you to do.  Quite a feeling!
But the thing that continues to blow me away - is how I am SO BLESSED with each and every person that comes through the door to spiritually retreat!  SO BLESSED.

I am currently taking the fourth of four courses in Soul Care under the direction of Dr. Larry Crabb with NewWay Ministries.  I think having a SoulCare certificate will be an asset to the ministry.  I will finish my course and then go to spend an intense week in Colorado Springs, being taught by Dr. Crabb once again.  I can hardly wait!  And I believe that this training and understanding how to be a SoulCare provider - will be something that God has already been using in my interaction with people.  It is quite something to just "turn your chair toward one another" as Dr. Crabb describes it.

I think that some of the blessing that I have already received, comes from the fact that I get to pray for the person coming.  And throughout their stay - I can pray.  Praying is like breathing.  And I am so glad that God has called me to this aspect within the ministry.

I laugh at times about how God is making me into more of a "Martha" while being a "Mary" at the core of my being.  I don't think I really had a clue about how much he would grow the love for this ministry He has called me to,  in my heart.  It is really happening.  After 13 years - I continue to be in awe of what God has been doing - and what He has in store - only He knows.

But, as we continue to enjoy the "ride" - I know that I will continue to thank God for the blessing of each woman that comes through the door (and perhaps even some men!) I will continue to count my blessings!!  I will continue to thank God that I love to intercede on behalf of others, and to pray.  I will continue to pray for people - as I set the table for their meal - or as I get their bed made and room ready for their arrival - or as I witness them being renewed through the setting - I will continue to be blessed.
God is on the move here at Women Refreshed at the Well ... and He continues to take my breath away!

That is my word for today.  
Absolutely BLESSED.

B ~ L ~ E ~ S ~ S ~ E ~ D

Monday, July 8, 2013

Imagining the Garden retreat space!!

This garden is way bigger than me!!  It is way bigger than Alvin!  It scares me silly!!  HOWEVER I already know that I actually don't mind digging out weeds a little at a time.  And I love the feel of soft warm black early on my hands.  And I love the color of the flowers, and the different greens of the trees.  We celebrated when the trees that we planted last year - all got buds on them.  YAY!!! They survived our long winter!!

At this point there is so much to do.  I know people have volunteered to garden - but I am not sure exactly how to put you to work yet.  Unless you want to weed.  I could give you a cold drink - and you could weed.  Somehow that sounds like a deal that many would not jump to the pump for!!

Maxine came and planted the containers for our deck.  She is going to come and work on the waterfall area too.  It seems like so much, and yet I see how, when taken a few steps at a time, it is not so overwhelming.  We look at the plan, and we dream.  We look out the window and we dream.  It is a work in progress.

Hmmm.... I wonder if that is how God sees us often?  I think it is.  None of us will every become perfect until we reach Heaven!!  HOWEVER in the meantime, I know it is my desire, to grow to be more and more like HIM with each and every day.  Sometimes I think I get stuck because perhaps I like where I am OR I get distracted, or complacent, or tired ... but then I am gently reminded how He is waiting to continue the journey with me.

I am so thankful that God never gives up on me!!  And how he continues to search me and know me - when I sit and when I lay and when I stand!!  God is so in love with me!! I am so thankful that He didn't put a timeline on me "Joy, you need to become mature and like me by this date" otherwise I would be SOOOOO in trouble.

However each day is a new day - and a chance to get into the Word more, to spend more time just talking with Jesus, to spend time meditating on who He is and how He has been so faithful - and to keep walking as He directs our paths!  One step at a time!!
I am so thankful that HIS mercies toward us are NEW every morning and together we can say O LORD, OUR LORD - great is your faithfulness!!  

So in the quietness of our home, I can retreat - with my bible, my journal, but really the most important thing is that I am with my LORD and I can spend time just being still and experiencing HIS presence, HIS voice and His touch on my life!  O Lord - thank you.

In His Grip,


One day, when our garden is done, it will be such an amazing place of solitude - to spend time with God.  I know that God loved gardens too - all you have to do is read Genesis about God walking in the garden of Eden in the cool of the evening!! (although I wonder if there were mosquitoes then!!)  AND just one look at creation and you know that the Garden of Eden must have been amazing!!  AND our garden will be too!!  It is a work in progress!!  We are thankful for Maxine who has planned it with His help!!