May 29, 2018

Glory Writers Retreat 2018


Last week, I stood on an arching stone that protruded near the tops of the mountains.  Towering trees looked like clips of broccoli below me, and the horizon stretched as far as the eye could see.  Stony crests, towering cliffs, and yet there I stood at their height.

Down in the valleys, creeks danced on the fingers of waterfalls.  Smooth sand brushed my feet, and the water clasped cold around them.  I wandered through forests where flowers bloomed in delicate pink and ferns adorned the pathways.  Sunlight struggled to sift through the lush canopy.

But that wasn't the most beautiful moment.  I think back on the memories and smile at the grandeur that I discovered in the Daniel Boone National Forest.  And yet there were other moments even more precious.






















Eleven young women sat in a circle.  The log cabin around them arched high overhead, and green leaves sparkled through the window.  But they didn't notice that.  The air filled with soft singing - songs of praise.  Hands clasped tight, shoulders rocked in rhythm.

The voices grew silent, and one by one they took turns speaking.  Testimonies, hopes, futures, all was shared amidst tears.  And that was the most beautiful moment.  Not the glory or the highest peaks.  It was simple beauty in open hearts that let themselves be vulnerable to one another.  It was the love that permeated between the sisters in Christ as they circled and prayed.  It was the oneness they had with each other, without the make-up, the perfect lives, or the masks.

That's why I was so blessed by the Glory Writers Retreat last week.  Eleven truly amazing and beautiful women came together to share fellowship and love because of Christ.  We cried, we laughed, we sang.  And it was perfect.

It was a step of faith for me to travel away from my family for a week, but God used that vulnerability.  Every lady I met was a source of joy.  Together, we were sisters in a little cabin in Kentucky.










































Now as I look back, I miss the special moments we treasured together.  I miss all the girls - Allison Tebo, Isabella, Ivy Rose, Karis, Katherine, Melani, Mrs. G, Olivia JarmuschSarah Grace, and Victoria Lynn.  (this vlog Livy made gives an inside glimpse into the retreat)

I'm also reminded of the value of open hearts, and my prayer for us all is this:

The eyes of your understanding (or heart) being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
 - Ephesians 1:18

The writing retreat was an amazing, uplifting experience.  More importantly, it drew us closer to God and each other.  I'm so thankful.

And today, I hope that we will continue to allow our hearts to be enlightened - that we may know what is the hope of His calling.  We are loved and treasured and bought with a price.  Therefore, we must glorify God in our body and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:20).

If even the mountains and trees live to bring Him glory, how much more should we give ourselves to the One who loves us.
























Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
~♥~

23 comments:

  1. Wait a moment...*gasps* Is that the natural bridge state park???? I think I recognize those rocks...

    Glad to hear you had a lovely time! (I would be a sob-fest the entire time, lol)

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    1. Why yes, Julian, we did get to explore the Natural Bridge State Park! It's a majestic place. I remember one of the girls looking up at the great, stone walls and saying, "How could anyone think there's not a God?" It's so true. Have you been to the state park? =)

      Ah, it would be a delight to meet you, and I'm sure you wouldn't be a sob-fest. *hugs* You're a beautiful person, my friend. ♥

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  2. I'm so glad to hear you had a great time! It's great to be surrounded by people who love Jesus and encourage one another. :)

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    1. I agree completely, Sarah! It's so beautiful to be with people who share your passions for Jesus. ♥ I miss those girls a lot, but it's also helped me realize that right here in my home I'm with loving people who are crazy about Jesus. We should always be rejoicing! =)

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  3. Awww that looks like so much fun! I loved watching the vlog too!

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    1. Thank you, girl. ♥ It was an incredible blessing that I'm so thankful for! But you know, you can be proud to have been the first online writer I've met. *hugs*

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  4. I'm so glad you got to participate in these precious moments!! It makes me wish I could be a part of something similar.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Jordy! I'm also thankful God gave me this treasured opportunity. Coming home reminded me that although I wish we could hold onto these moments forever, God has a purpose with every relationship - in person and online. He's so faithful. ♥

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    2. You're right - in purpose and online. And His purposes are good. :)

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    3. Oh yes, His purposes are so very good. ♥ I'm sure you have had times when seemingly random circumstances turned into God-ordained meetings. Sometimes I shake my head and laugh, because He's just an awesome God.

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    4. You're right; I totally have. Sometimes I get the feeling He just likes to go above and beyond to delight us and make us smile. It makes me love Him all the more.

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    5. Ah, I think of those moments as well... as you said, it makes me love Him all the more. ♥ It's so good to dwell on His faithfulness and remember. Thank you for reminding me, sweet friend!

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  5. You wrote this so beautifully, Hosanna! It was a joy to be able to meet you!! ❤️

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    1. Oh Melani, meeting you was such a blessing! You're an incredible, gifted daughter of the King who inspires me. I love you, girly!

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  6. Lovely post, Hosanna! It's so sweet to hear about your time together and to see pictures even though I couldn't come along cause of a schedule conflict. :) Your writing style in this post is gorgeous, and I can tell you truly captured what the experience was like.

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    1. You're so encouraging, Mary! Thank you for the kind words. I think back to all the other girls I wish I could have met (like you!), and yet I'm thankful for what God has given. Maybe one day He will let us meet in person. His plans are always perfect. *hugs*

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  7. Sounds like you all had a great time! I love all the rocks and trees in the pictures!
    -Brooklyne

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    1. Yes, it was a beautiful forest we had the blessing to explore, Brooklyne! Somehow, it's easy to feel close to God when you're away in the nature He created. I'm thankful He's always near, and thank you for the sweet comment, my friend.

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  8. *wiping eyes* Awww - Hosanna!! *hugs* This post is beautiful and this Retreat was one of the best trips of my life. I am so grateful that I was able to meet you. You are a beautiful and fun young woman and it has been a privilege to get to know you!! <3

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    1. *hands you a tissue* Alli, it was an incredible blessing to meet you! I treasure all the moments of joy, prayer, tears... God is so good to bring like-minded Believers together. ♥ You inspire me! The privilege was mine, dear friend. *hugs*

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    2. *bawling* Thank you, Hosanna! You are so sweet! That means so much to me! It was such a huge blessing to go, too meet all of you, and to have you now in my life! <3 *hugs back*

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    3. You're too sweet, Alli! And I'm so thankful for how God works! ♥

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  9. Oh Hosanna, this post is just BEAUTIFUL. Your heart for the Lord, for others, and to see beauty in all the little things...ahhh, you are truly a gift and one of a kind! It's such an honor to know you and spending that special week with you and the others is a memory I will always cherish! Love you so dearly, sister! <3

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