This past weekend I (Kimberly) spent a night, by myself, at the campus conference center and hotel (known to Southwesterners as the LDC). As Jason and I tried to explain to others what I was doing, we tried to come up with a name to call my time alone. The whole purpose was for me to be refreshed in the Lord. I had become so tired physically and spiritually, I really needed uninterrupted time with God. As I sat in the room and began journaling, I simply called it a retreat. At first I thought how odd that a word could have such different meanings. I was reminded of when Yosemite Sam screamed, “Retreat!” in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, he meant to turn around and go the other way quickly! That was definitely not what I was doing! However, the more I thought about it, that’s exactly what I needed to be doing. It wasn’t long into my prayer of confession that God revealed to me I needed to head out in a completely different direction.
When God made me a mom, He changed my life. During the months of pregnancy with Lydia my attitude and heart changed about how I believed a household should be run. I quickly became passionate about the household, meaning not just the house itself, but also all the people in it. What I learned this weekend was that somewhere along the way, that passion from the Lord became my own personal goal of success. If I just worked a little harder everything would be perfect. Daily I was asking myself questions such as “Why am I failing? Why am I letting my family down in different areas? On paper it should work, why is my day not going like it should?” It didn’t make sense to me. Suddenly it was so clear, I was failing at what I wanted to do and how I wanted things to go, so I would be looked upon as a success in this world. I really wasn’t involving God in it too much. It is amazing how subtly it happens. Yes, the concept was a godly one; I am thinking, “I’m just trying to carry out what God has commanded me!” I see now that it all depends on the state of my heart and a right relationship with the Lord. To put it plainly, I was living a life of unbelief. Of course (as always) I didn’t set out to think this way, but I did not believe that God could carry out what He called me to if I let Him have it all. I needed to be living a life of faith. He wants me to come to Him every day and find out what is in store for the ministry in which He has called me: my family.
Once I repented of that, I wondered what a life of faith looks like. Sometimes it seems so much easier said than done. I searched several verses and came up with this list (not exhaustive by any means):
Humble – Habakkuk 2:4
Confident in the Lord – Matthew 17:20
Believe that Jesus can do anything – Luke 7:9
Persistant – Luke 18:8
Faith is initially given to be able to continue in a life of faith – Romans 1:17
It is not based on works – Romans 9:30-33
Comes from hearing the Word of Christ – Romans 10:17
Acknowledging that faith is a gift of God – Ephesians 2:8
Not shifting from the hope of the gospel – Colossians 1:23
Walk, abounding in thanksgiving – Colossians 2:7
It is to be pursued – 1 Timothy 6:11
Believe the impossible can happen – Hebrews 11
Faith will produce works – James 2:14-26
In case it wasn’t clear, I came away from my retreat very refreshed. No, this week has not been perfect and I have continued to struggle with some of the same habits, but I have seen fruit in the way I responded. It was a little bit easier to battle. So if you haven’t spent time in solitude and uninterrupted time with the LORD lately, I highly recommend a retreat.