Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Beginning Experience

Beginning Experience is a great resource that I wish I had used sooner.

After my divorce, I thought that I should be able to work through my loss on my own.  I read some books, did some journalling and thought that should be it - I just need to move on.

Many years later a friend asked me to fill in for her at this retreat that needed a pastor to come pray with people.  It was the Beginning Experience retreat.  I really didn't know much about it, but I came for the Saturday evening time and prayed with people.

It was an awesome experience just praying with these folks.  I could see that they were in the middle of a great transformation - people were really being healed and working through their stuff.  As I was leaving the evening, the leader walked me to my car.  He asked me about myself, and I revealed that I was divorced too.  He invited me to come to the next retreat and I resolved to do so.

On my retreat weekend I came with a very healthy bit of skepticism.  I thought I would just go through it so that I could help lead the next time, I didn't really need to be there, I was ok.  But after our first couple sessions a lot of anger came out of me all of a sudden.  Issues that I had stuffed deep down inside came bursting out.   I was shocked, the other people on the retreat were shocked, but they accepted my feelings and helped me work through them.

At the end of the retreat I felt such relief.  I felt freer and more myself than I had been in a long time. By putting the past to rest, present day issues in my life became clearer.

I'm really grateful for the Beginning Experience program, and I encourage anyone who has gone through a divorce or has been widowed to go on the retreat.  It is a life-changing retreat.

Check out our website for more info on how to get signed up.  Our next retreats are Nov 4-6 and then in March

Monday, October 10, 2016


Wow.  Its hard to believe that the new church is now built, dedicated and a regular part of our everyday lives.  I keep saying it over and over -- WOW.

I'm so grateful to each and every person who gave their time, talents, gifts and service to see this building built.  It truly was all of us together, led and guided by God.   Every minute given, every penny given, has been a blessing.  We could not do it without everyone -- thank you!

Thank you to all of our contractors.  They are used to having one person, or a couple, to answer to and here were 200 owners trying to tell them what to do -- I am grateful for their patience in putting up with us!!

I am so grateful to my family, especially my children, who have borne the cost of this project by giving up time with their mother.   I am sorry for every concert and game missed, bedtime and homework time done on your own because of meetings - Thank you my darlings for understanding and forgiving me.  And I am grateful to have a special friend who helped me laugh and relax these past 6 months - thank you for supporting me and walking with me on this last leg of the journey.

8 years this building has been the focus of our lives, not the only thing we have done, but the main thing we have talked about and worked towards.  The dedication service was so wonderful, and yet so surreal to me.  All this time boiled down to this celebration.  It felt like a wedding and Christmas in one.  I am so grateful to everyone who pitched in to help make it an extra-special day.  Bishop Haller did such a wonderful job and I know that we will often think about wading in the water when we think of where God is leading us next -- thank you Bishop!

And now its all done and over.  We have celebrated and opened the presents and even cleaned up the wrapping paper.  It feels to me a lot like the week after Christmas.  Or the week after the honeymoon.   The focused planning is all done, the celebration over and now we just live with each other.  Now we figure out how to be together in this new space.  Let us enjoy our new normal, rest a bit.   Then lets turn our eyes to where God is leading us and again stick our toes in the water.