Summer is folding into Fall right before my eyes, the nights are chilly, the days are mild. The scenery around me is morphing into a place of rest, in anticipation of a new season. Summer, for me, was very full and delightful. We traveled, played, expanded, and enjoyed everyday. We weaved in and out of rest, play, and work. Even though summer is not officially over until September 21, in my mind I wrapped it up last weekend with a small women’s retreat in a little town about 3 hours away.
My team and I traveled together on Thursday through incredibly beautiful scenery to stay by a river. We prepared for five women to join us the next day, all these women have been on my team throughout the years. I value each of them and feel so honored that they were excited to join us for a weekend together.
Leadership, for me has been tricky. I have practiced a lot of surrender. Each day I find that I am giving up my way to His way. It doesn’t always feel like it’s going to work out very well, but in the end, it certainly does. I’ve giving up my need to know what is going to happen in ministry and learned to rest in the fact that He knows. Relationships in leadership sometimes lasts only as long as there is work together. When someone moves on, the relationship often falters, and this is something I’ve never liked. So, I feel blessed to have the women that have moved on be in my life, still. It is my goal and my surrender to God to make it work.
About the weekend, we named our weekend Reunion Retreat. We packed it full of good food, fun time, and spiritual encounters. God’s presence prevailed and everyone left the weekend feeling full and happy. This in itself is a happy place for me as a leader. There have been events in the past that I have felt more depleted, but this time God really nurtured me through the event. As a leader I felt supported, seen, and loved. I believe that my team felt the same way and so did the ones attending.
Here’s a few pictures from our time together:
In the meantime, while I was busy with the women, my husband went on an adventure with two of our sons and four of our grandsons! I love that he was able to go and just have fun. They went to the zoo, space needle, aquarium, and on a cruise. It looks like so much fun that I get to go with my daughter, three daughter in-laws, and two grandaughters for a fun weekend away!
School has started again for me and for my daughter. It feels good to be immersed in the school environment again, although it makes for a much busier schedule too. With summer being so full and fun I didn’t think I missed school, until I started again and realized that it was a space I missed. I love being with like-minded believers and I love learning about God. School offers both. Before school started my daughter and I went on a camping trip. Family visited throughout the week, and my husband stayed with us for the weekend. My favorite part was our bike rides. This area boasts many bike trails and we were able to travel for miles enjoying the scenery.
As I was making dinner yesterday I had some of the news on. The state of our country is poor right now, there’s a lot going on that causes concern. Yet, I feel very grateful to be here today living a full life with God. He continues to bless our hearts and bring courage to each day. I see that He really does turn sorrow into joy. I see that He really does provide in ways that are unimaginable. I see that He really does love me, see me, and wants me to be happy! I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I do know that I have a God that walks beside me through the joy, sorrow, and the unknowns. This gives me strength and hope.
I’m discovering that faith is RISK, and when I am willing to take that risk in various ways, God fills up the areas that I lack in and brings a sense of accomplishment, even when it doesn’t always go well. Both my husband and I are in process of a lot of RISK right now. Initially, it feels scary, but then with each turn I begin to trust a little more and that feels good. I do not want my past failures to determine my need for more. God is a God of more, just look at all that He does and the way that He lives. God is not deprived of anything, nor does He want His children to live deprived. I’m not talking money here, although money is a good thing, I’m talking about our hearts, minds and souls. To allow God to fill the inner areas of our life is to be rich, and there is always more to come when we ask for it.
I enjoy art and I’ve done several paintings. Some of them have sold, and recently I sent some of it to a company that transforms it into wearable art. Here’s the website if you are interested: https://www.legaleriste.com/en/bethany.elle
This is a lot of fun for me. I have some of the pieces myself; they are fun and good quality!
Okay, I declare blessing over the new season for you. May it bring a newness in your life that is refreshing, hopeful, and strong. I declare healing in relationship and an addition of relationship that uplifts you. May RISK integrate itself into your life and the fruit of that RISK give you peace and more faith. In Jesus name!10