Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vineyard Keepers 1st Annual Retreat

We started out by settling into our cozy little cabins at

They're new, ya know?

And quite comfy.
Each cabin held 14 ladies.
Included, were 2 bathrooms, a front and back porch, and a loft.

"For such a time as this" Esther 4:14b -
our theme this weekend for the Vineyard Keepers 1st Annual Retreat.

We spent countless hours preparing for this retreat
and while my family has dearly missed me,
~ I don't say that lightly ~
(they ran to meet me at the door tonight)
I am not remorseful for the time I spent in fellowship with our "creative design team".
Or quitely in prayer and fellowship with my God as I labored away
in the stillness of Miss Nancy's "Craft Wonderland".
It filled my soul working my fingers to the bone for the glory of our LORD and Savior.
And in the end, it was all worth it.

We pooled together our china, antiques, quilts.
Anything and everything vintage.
For the first time since my grandma gave them to me 9 years ago,
I proudly volunteered my china, and silver from my great Aunt Anna.

It was stunning.
And thanks to Kelly and his staff,
we definitely ate like Queen Esther!

We read Psalm 84...
(this is the New Century Version)

Lord All-Powerful,
how lovely is your Temple!
I want more than anything
to be in the courtyards of the LORD's Temple.
My whole being wants to be with the living God.
The sparrows have found a home,
and the swallows have nests.
They raise their young near your altars,
LORD All-Powerful, my King and my God.
Happy are the the people who live at your Temple;
they are always praising you.

Happy are those whose strength comes from you,
who want to travel to Jerusalem.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it like spring.
The autumn rains fill it with pools of water.
The people get stronger as they go,
and everyone meets with God in Jerusalem.

LORD God All-Powerful, hear my prayer;
God of Jacob, listen to me.
God, look at our shield;
be kind to your appointed king.

One day in the courtyards of your Temple is better
than a thousand days anywhere else.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the Temple of my God
than live in the homes of the wicked.
The LORD God is like a sun and shield;
the LORD gives us kindness and honor.
He does not hold back anything good
from those whose lives are innocent.
LORD All-Powerful,
happy are the people who trust you!

Is that not powerful?
Does that not rock your world?
Oh, it sets me on fire!
And if that's not enough,
try reading the NIV!

It's ab-so-lute-ly beautiful.

Just like the decor.

It was amazing how the LORD pulled all of this together.
We still can't get over it.
Every little detail just fell into place.
Just like He'd planned.

Our speaker was amazing.
Her testimony was moving.
Her faith, unshakable.

We even had an afternoon tea.
Complete with hats, scones and all the proper finger foods.

As I wrote in an email this evening,
"It was an awesome weekend filled with spiritual growth,
fun fellowship, and amazing food!"

Blessed be the name of the LORD.