Last weekend, I spent some time away at a women's retreat with a bunch of wonderful women from our church. We went with expectant hearts, anticipatory for what God does when we take time to abide in His promises. Not surprisingly, Abide was the theme of the weekend. These were a few things I wrote down during speaker sessions:
"Not one second of this world is wasted [...] The chaos [of our lives] is not being wasted." Angela Suh "We try to convince God that our story is much better than the story he has for us [...but] we are invited into a story with a far better storyteller than ourselves." Kate Terry
During the less-than-24-hours we were at camp, we:
- drank la croix
- ate s'mores
- swung on the swings and went down slides (I know, I'm five)
- braided hair
- skipped showering
- slept to the sound of a rainstorm in bunkbeds and sleeping bags
- dodged puddles
- helped ourselves to second and third(!) cups of coffee (maybe that was just me?)
- enjoyed no cell coverage
- worshipped God
- cried some and laughed a lot
The few days leading up to the retreat were in and of themselves, a retreat from something else: social media. A friend of mine is taking a break from Instagram, and I felt convicted enough to join her in that. Why? Because the idea of doing that terrified me. It's as ridiculous as it sounds, I mean—it's just social media. But my goodness, my identity and worth are quite distinct from my online appearance, and I found myself confusing the two. I'm not abstaining from Instagram anymore, but I'm checking myself before I check my feed. If I'm lonely or seeking affirmation, I need to look elsewhere. Social media will not satisfy those desires; communion with God will. I'm not surprised that the conviction for both of these "retreats" occurred simultaneously. Rather than basking in the fickle, short-lived approval from others, I can choose freedom from that. As a child of God, I can instead bask in the presence of the Lord, abiding in His promises for me. And, I can partake in His story for me, knowing that His story for me is so much more wonderful than any I could write myself on my Instagram, or in my heart.
In some very real ways, autumn felt like it lasted for only a few weeks. September was a very warm month–hot even–and then our temperatures quickly dipped from the seventies to the low fifties and forties. I love this time of year, so I savored any adventure we had amongst the fall color.
We've been up to some fun things over the past few weeks, and I figured it was time for a little catch up!
Today, the air felt different. Cooler and more crisp. Filled with anitcipation. The last several weeks since my last "life lately" post, have been filled with a lot of summery fun and they've felt full. I might be getting ahead of myself, since it was in the upper eighties this past weekend, but decidedly, I love the shift that comes with slightly cooler weather. Nevertheless, here are some things we've been up to in recent weeks: