my friend Laura S. and I leading worship
Inside, two friends bend hearts towards God
stops and starts, voices raised, a daring duo
strums and strings bring songs alive
while the Holy Spirit sings His song over you
Stops and starts, voices raised, a daring duo
carrying water for thirsty souls
while the Holy Spirit sings His song through you
deep channels, delivering life via verse and tone
Carrying water for thirsty souls
this, the joy of completing his song
channeling life via verse and voice and tone
inside, two friends bend hearts toward God.
My heart is so full I feel it will spill a torrent of words and you might all drown for the reading.
I still can’t quite believe what God did at our ‘Abide’ Writer’s Retreat in Leavenworth last weekend. It was everything my friend Kimberlee and I prayed and planned for and more.
I have long sensed God was going to use this time as a catalyst, the beginning of a seed from His heart and mine to see women writers of faith encouraged and connected, uplifted in their communicating.
This resonated with others as well–the desire to not be well-known, but to be known well–by our Father and by each other. The passion for God’s presence and a desire to hear His voice and be healed in the hearing.
Leading worship was a particular joy as I felt many times the power in the room, God’s light touch on my shoulder and tears on my face as He showed up. We sounded like Heaven, I’m sure.
I shared revelations about what God did using Writing as a Spiritual Practice introducing the women to the idea of sitting with 2 or 3 questions and listening to what God might say. (prompted by my reading of ‘God in the Yard’.) The uncovering sparked many embers, lighting fires of discovery all around.
Kimberlee delighted us with playing with words and poetry as we each dove in to write a Pantoum–a poem form that is actually easy to use (look! I wrote a pantoum!) once you get the hang of it. We wrote our “Glory be to God’s” after Gerard Manley Hopkins and wished we had enough French berets for all.
Hearing the responses as women de-mystified the poetry process would have made my friend Laura Barkat swoon.
‘Hey, look, I wrote a poem!’ Priceless.
Shhhh…..the poets are working in the Library
Our retreat site in the Cascade Mountains of Washington lent itself well to listening and looking. The Library where we met was filled with Heaven from the moment we stepped inside. The camaraderie under the apple trees, the early morning conversations on the front porch, all were strands woven together in a beautiful piece of God’s own cloth.
Fall colors were everywhere
early morning walk, Laura S.
When we shared in our Communion circle on Sunday morning, the fruit of each person’s words fed my soul:
“I’m leaving here feeling expanded.”
“The healing is real.”
“Thank you for teaching me about poetry.”
“I feel refreshed, rejuvenated. Loved the reflection time.”
“I learned to abide in Jesus, not in my pain.
“I love opportunities like this to be together with people who all wanted to find God in the space.”
“Writing pantoums was like Legos with words.“
“I enjoyed this, less because of the writing and more because of the people, wrestling through faith together, living through God’s calling in our life.”
As I said, my heart is full. Here’s to Abiding.
I longed for this little Retreat to be start to more in real life encounters, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest, opportunities to eat and talk and maybe sing. Chances to share heart songs and stories amidst tea and cookies and kids.
(Maybe there’ll be a summer picnic, who knows?)
We have a Facebook page where you can join us.
We’re starting small and building slow, reaching out and reaching up,
continuing to bring Him glory.
Thank you Emily!