Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Soft Landing After Jumping Tandem

NO... I didn't get up in a plane and parachute...but sometimes I feel as if THAT would be easier than dealing with the cares of the world and the "dreams" God plants in my heart. And I'm afraid of heights!! HA!
Cari and Marina (me!)

As it turned out, my fairly new friend Cari (from Strings Attached Ministries) had a last minute cancellation to the Jumping Tandem Retreat in NE last weekend. It all came together in less than a weeks' time, but off we went...all the way up 71 to KC, a brief stop a little west of there for a lunch visit with her friend...then the remaining hours up to Omaha and a tiny jog west...and *voila* we were there! In the middle of nowhere!!

The drive was great! I loved that we got to talk so much in the car - a perfect way to spend all that time! Cari and I have had some fun time talking anyways...I think our mutual friend Holley KNEW we'd get along from the start! (Thanks Holley Gerth.)

We got some SERIOUS SWAG with LOTS of goodies from DaySpring, an amazing necklace from Krafty Kash, a goodie from Vi Bella later in the weekend, Squee, and more...(can you say YOU ARE LOVED? They showed it!!)

Jumping Tandem's founder Deidra Riggs welcomed us with a challenge from 2 Chronicles 20 - the whole "we do not know what to do but we turn to You...do not be discouraged or afraid...battle belongs to the Lord...take position and wait...go to battle...the Lord will be with you..." thing. OOOH BOY... I figured then I'd better hang on to my hat...it was going to be a challenging retreat in every sense of the word.

See...I don't make goals. Don't plan plans. Don't make dreams. I have no idea why. Even when I did Holley's book "You're Already Amazing" I skipped the chapter on setting goals...well, I read it, but I didn't DO it. Crazy huh?

My random stack of notes that are stuck in my journal.
Holley was actually the first night's key-note speaker! (SHE DID GREAT!) And goodness gracious, she challenged us....AND MADE US WRITE DOWN our God-sized dream. Really. On a card. Then she made us SHARE that dream. YIPES. (Can we say "out of my comfort zone" now?!) It stretched me hard, but I knew that God had impressed a few things on my heart (not really MY goals...but God directed actions in my life??) and had recently connected some dots on how that was going to all come together and become something beautiful to honor Him, so I wrote all that down...really...on the card. I mean, it's not MY goal...more a ...hmm.. what would I call it??? I don't know - but I obediently wrote it down and shared it with the girl in back of me. I did my "due diligence" with the assignment.

And notes...goodness...I took tons of notes on Holley's talk (and each speaker that followed!). I thought outside the box, and even drew the circles correctly on the "Strengths/Skills/Benefits" exercise. Sure enough, that idea God planted really IS a God-sized "dream", and it resides right there in the middle between "excited", "fearful", and "amazed".  :)  (Thanks Holley for the challenge!!)

She also laid out the "rules" for the weekend (actually, good reminders for life in general):

  • Words are powerful and can wound. Word = Sword (as in the Sword of the Spirit).
  • Partner with God day and night (like the Israelites did). We don't need to do it alone, so don't do it alone!
  • Be safe. Protect and help defend dreams. 
  • NO CRITICIZING! NO COMPLAINING! (awwww maaaannnn) ;)
  • No using swords on our own hearts. It hurts our Heavenly Father (who created us, and loves us) when we pierce our own hearts with hurtful words. 
Marina, Lisa-Jo and Holley (yes, I'm much older, AND shorter!) 


After the challenge, and lots of connecting with women that I've only met online in our (in)couragers community, we broke out the costume apparel and stepped into the photo booth a few times! How FUN is that?!! I also was able to connect with a few of my fellow DaySpring co-workers - it still stuns me to say - getting to be a part of such a great company (and in the company of some great people!).

And after THAT, Cari and I drove back to the hotel and slept. Exhausted. What a long, glorious, day.

I'll share more later in the week...maybe even tomorrow! I've got so much to say and learned so much, TOO much for one post!!

Marina, Lisa-Jo, Holley and Cari in the pic-strip on the left, and Marina and fellow (in)courager friend Diane on the right!