Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Created for Care 2011

WOW!  It has taken me a while to "absorb" my spiritual basket that God completely FILLED for me at the CREATED FOR CARE retreat for adoptive mommas in Atlanta, GA, this past weekend.  I will share my experience a bit here and then some more on another post.

{Can I just say, I LOVE THE WOMEN FROM THE SOUTH!  The retreat was in Atlanta, and most women were from there or surrounding states.  Their precious hearts and love for the Lord overflowed from each one of them!  And that southern drawl......I LOVED IT!.....I felt like I was going to come home saying y'all!  An outstanding group of women.  Every last one of them!}

God planted this idea for a retreat on the heart of my dear, precious, sweet, sweet blog friend, Andrea.  And, like the obedient angel that she is, she followed His prompting.......and the result was AMAZING! 250 women with a love for God and for loving His children TOGETHER under one roof!

The presence of God was there from the very first worship on Friday all the way through Sunday!  What a sweet sound it was, listening to all the women singing their hearts out to God!  It gave me chills!  We had time for worship at least one or two times each day! Nothing like praising God for the work He was doing in our hearts, while continuing to welcome Him into our lives and our weekend!

This video was played at the very start of the weekend.  People sent pics into Andrea, and she made it into a video!  (scroll to bottom of this blog; pause the music player; come back here and click play button).  The JOY of FOREVER FAMILIES!

I cannot even begin to share with you ALL that God breathed into me this weekend!  In addition to the spirit-filled worship each day, there were anointed speakers who blessed us with stories of how God moved in creating their families; and how He desires to move in our lives and families as well.  

Wonderful food (ALWAYS!  meals, snacks, popcorn...I think I gained a few pounds!  Ha!).  Breakout sessions of NUMEROUS topics dealing with adoption, attachment, orphan advocacy, etc.  A very special break-out session was "A Date with God."  I can't wait to share with you what He revealed to me during this ever-precious time alone with Him! (saving for another post).

There was PJ night on Friday, where we all came down in our pajamas and listened to a panel of about 8 adoptive mommas, and asked them our questions.  Saturday night there was a showing of a film by SIXTY FEET UNDER that revealed the mistreatment of children in Uganda that were living in a "detention center" type of setting.  Daunting.  Left many speechless...........

Andrea, your heart to follow God's prompting blessed so MANY of us!  My hope is that your obedience to His calling resulted in abundant fulfillment for YOU as well!  You hoped to motivate us in our desire to reach out to orphans.  You did!  You wanted to help us rest, feel refreshed, and be filled by God.  Mission accomplished!  You wanted us to have a way to network with like-minded and like-hearted women.  Goal met!  You wanted to provide us a way to make our blog friends who "get it" become more "real."  Goal accomplished!  You desired to bless each one of us.  Goal SURPASSED!

Personally, I cannot THANK YOU ENOUGH!  Please share with your volunteer team my gratitude!

If this was not the year for you to attend the retreat, let me encourage you to GO NEXT YEAR!  That's right!  She is "in" for doing this again next year!  Stay tuned for details!  An event you just won't want to miss!

Below are a few pics to give you an idea of the FUN enjoyed by so many!...........................

The Legacy Lodge on Lake Lanier, GA


Ok, so how cool is this?  
Alison is one of my very first blog friends.......
and guess who was one of the FIRST ladies I met this weekend!
LOVE ya, girl!


The America World Gang!
How blessed I feel to be sharing
our journey with such a loving, crazy-fun,
and Godly group of gals!
(Jackie, Tracy, Candy, Erin, me, Polly, Anna and Amber)



MY ROOMIES!
(Erica and Jackie)


Capturing a moment with ANDREA ~ 
the woman with the HUGE heart who put this retreat together! 
(Anna, me, Andrea, Polly)


Miss, dear, sweet new friend in Alabama.
You blessed me!
Okay, so I think my cheeks have finally 
recovered from all of our laughing!


This was on each table.  I had to include this pic 
to show you the attention to detail throughout this weekend!  
I wonder if Andrea really knows 
what an AMAZING job she did!

Notice the sparrow theme?  I will leave you with the verse that was the theme of our weekend.  May it bless you as much as it blessed so many of us this weekend.

Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place,


O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young-
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good things does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.


7 comments:

Abby said...

How amazing!! Praying I get to go next year:)

Mandie M. said...

me too :)!

erica said...

Glad that you had such a wonderful time! :)

Alison said...

LOVED getting to meet you last weekend, Debb!! You are just so PRECIOUS!! So glad that God has put you in my life! Love walking this journey with such sweet, encouraging friends! :)

The Hemphill Family said...

Thanks for your comment! It was so great meeting you and I now have you linked on my blog so I can watch for the BIG announcement. Can't wait to follow your journey the rest of the way, and next year we might have a few little tag-alongs with us to Atlanta! =)

Deborah Ann said...

It's always nice to meet a sister in Christ. From the looks of it...the retreat was awesome! I really need to do one of these...

Blessings!

Deborah Ann said...

Stopped back in to thank you for the sweet comments you left on my blog. You are precious!

I can't wait to hear more about your 'date' with God!

Happy Valentines Day!

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