DH and I just came home from a blessed weekend of being with 60 other adoptive couples at Together Called, a Christian adoptive parents' retreat planned and put together by my dear friends Mark & Kelly Raudenbush. We were in good company with many friends, and we had the pleasure of getting to meet many more new parents that have walked the same road as us, whom we also now can call friends.
After coming off a crazy busy couple of weeks with homeschool and 3 newborn sessions (actually four newborns with one set of twins mixed in), it was a perfect time to slow down, relax a bit, and be restored by my Savior. It was an incredibly pampered weekend between Mark & Kelly's impeccable planning and the beautiful Inn that we stayed at. We chatted with old friends, got to meet new ones, ate yummy food, listened to fantastic speakers, and spent a lot of time praising our Heavenly Father.
Of the many ideas DH and I took away from this restorative weekend, there were a few that really resonated with us. First, God loves us. So loves us. He loves us when we're the most broken and He thinks we're beautiful in that brokenness. God specializes in broken people. We don't need to be perfect to win His love. Nothing that we do can push Him away. His unconditional love is pretty amazing and exciting, isn't it? We both know this logically but truly knowing it in our hearts? I think I honestly may still be wrapping my brain around that. Knowing it and truly knowing it are different. Ya know?
Second, more prayer. Yes of course, we do it, but not nearly enough. Not enough with the kids, nor as a family, and certainly not nearly enough as a couple. In our late night chats this weekend, we promised to talk to Jesus more, especially together. In doing that, we also want to spend more time adoring and beholding our precious Heavenly Father, individually and together as a family. Spending more time sharing with Him and praying for others. We want to teach our kids even more how to sit with God, talk to Him, and adore Him. Based on the suggestion of one of the speakers at the retreat, I just ordered Adoration: Prayer Book, to help our whole family adore Him more.
And third, along those same lines, we want to spend more time in the Word. Because in order to adore Him and behold Him, we have to know Him first. Spending more time reading and meditating in the Word is the way to do that. For us and for our kids. This goes along perfectly with our small group study right now. Meditating on God's precious Word. This weekend also gave me a renewed energy to put forth even more effort with our Bible study during school days. One of the most important jobs I have as a mama is to teach our children about their Heavenly Father. I knew that already, seriously I did. But the late night God-inspired talks in our big, luxurious room just made that even more obvious to both of us.
So some really great things came out of this retreat. God definitely spoke and we tried our best to listen. Thank you Mark and Kelly, from the bottom of our hearts. God is using you both in big ways, and it's pretty cool to witness it in person.