Tuesday, March 20, 2007

While I was Away

This past weekend I (tiff) went to the Women's Retreat up at Blackrock Retreat Center. This was the 10th one we've had and I think I've only missed one!

We watched a Beth Moore Video Series called Loving Well. Oh, it was awesome!
She based the study off of 1John 4.
One thing that really convicted me was that our spiritual maturity can be measured by how much we love people- and not just easy to love people either!

She gave us 4 points for us to memorize and recall when we are facing a difficult to love person.
1. God is perfect love. 1Jn 4:18
2. Nothing can separate me from God's perfect love. Rom 8: 38-39
3. God pours his perfect love into our imperfect hearts. Rom 5:5
4. ACCESSED, I can love anyone through anything. Phil 4:13

I am realizing that my love (apart from reliance on Christ) is only manipulative and self seeking at best. In order for me to love others honestly, I need to drink my fill of the truth that God first loved me when I was so undeserving. The only way that I can show love to others is to learn to love with the self sacrificing love that God gives us through the Holy Spirit.
The people in my life that give me the most difficulty loving have been lovingly placed in my life by a wonderful Father God who has chosen them to complete and perfect something that is lacking in me. I need to constantly remind myself of this. It allows me to be grateful for that difficult person.
We are not, however, to be doormats. Phil 9: 10 says "that love may abound more and more in knowledge and DEPTH OF INSIGHT, so that you may be able to discern what is BEST and my be pure and blameless until the day of Christ." We are to love with insight! Since I am not getting hung up on my rights in the relationship, I am freed to discover and understand how the other person is broken in some way.
Finally, we are called to love even when we are being unloved. We are able to offer our love to that difficult person as a sacrifice on the alter of God. He finds it a sweet and altogether lovely offering from us. We look so much more like Christ when we are able to love sacrificially and forgivingly. This is so hard but the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do it.

She said so much more, but these were the points that God had picked out for me to meditate and reflect on. He is so good!

I had such sweet fellowship with so many ladies over the weekend and I feel uplifted and refreshed in the spirit of the Lord.

When I got home, I was in for a wonderful surprise. Brent was busy and productive with lots of little projects that I had been wanting done. He replaced the faucet in the bathroom so it runs consistently. He hung hooks to hang the bar stool at the top of the steps. He replaced the bath light above the mirror with a pretty wrought iron light that Cait and I had picked out at Home Depot.
And, to my GREAT SURPRISE- he painted and had the kids decorate Growth Chart sticks. He took long thin strips of wood, painted them white, and had the kids decorate them with thumb print lady bugs and drawings. Then we can transfer our measurements that we've had on the wall onto the wood strips so if we move (or I ever want to wash the wall- nah!) I can take it with us!!! This is something I've wanted to do for so long but it always got pushed out of my mind because it was so low on the priority list! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful hubby! And kiddies! They were so excited to show me all their accomplishments!
God is so good. He spoils me! I love enjoying HIM!

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