48 hours of quiet...What mom wouldn’t want that?!
My birthday was fast approaching and a friend suggested that I sign up for a silent retreat to celebrate the occasion. As a busy mom who honors very little margin in her schedule, signing up for 48 hours of silence sounded like a luxury. My husband joked it was more like his birthday wish come true...but I was seriously looking forward to stealing time alone with the Lord. No kids. No husband. No cell phone.
Fast forward to the Friday I was scheduled to leave and my throat was clogged shut. Unable to speak and barely able to swallow, I texted my friend and told her I had second thoughts. But she insisted on packing a stash of cough drops and hot tea for me to shake off my cold...No more excuses, I had to go. So off I went.
The retreat center is nestled on the spacious grounds of the most scenic stretch of forest in
Springfield. Stained glass envelops the prayer room where a clay vessel holds words of hope, despair, and trust from guests who frequent the place. It’s a sacred space.
My spirit felt at peace but my body raged with fever. By midnight, I cycled through sweat and chills. I felt like I was swallowing razor blades but was too terrified to break the silence of the retreat and ruin the experience for others. So I spent much of the time in my room, praying,
“Lord, now would be a really good time to heal me!”
He didn’t heal my throat that day (I was later diagnosed with strep) but He did heal a wound inside me that was buried so deep, He had to break down my every barrier to allow me to let Him in. You see, when I get sick, I retreat to a deeply dark place. When I was a child, my family life was broken and dark, and for whatever reason, when I’m ill, I revert back to being a child trapped in a dark place, believing the lie that I’m all alone. It’s always had such a stronghold on me that it may take days to recover from any illness I have but it takes weeks for me to restore to emotional wellness.
But last weekend, the Lord met me in that deep, dark place. He broke through my fever and held me. I had the guest room to myself but I didn’t feel alone. He was with me. He was for me. He is with me. He is for me.
And oh how I’ve missed Him so. I’ve been on overdrive for far too long and feeling the burnout. I don’t remember the last time I just sat at the feet of Jesus. I told myself that I was doing what was best for my husband and kids...making sure they didn’t miss a single play date or activity and had clean clothes and homecooked meals...I prided myself on being a productive, proactive family. But I’ll bet they felt the brunt of my burnout when our crazy schedule made me cranky and shortened my fuse. I was mothering from an empty place.
But no more. I returned from my silent retreat committed to making more room for margin during the impossible month of May so that I can spend more time with the Lord. Grad parties, end of school year events, birthdays and holidays scream: YOU MUST TEND TO ME! But I’ve now got a quiet confidence to say no to some good things so that I can say yes with conviction to the greater things...like being with the Lord, listening to my children and resting in the center of God’s grace.
At 2 1/2 years old, Hannah Warren has never played outside with her big sister or run through the grass on a sunny day.
The Korean girl has been unable to breathe, talk, eat or drink on her own since she was born without a windpipe. The rare congenital condition kept her hospitalized for her entire life in a Seoul neonatal intensive care unit, where a tube from her mouth to her lung kept her alive.
Without a trachea transplant, she would have died. But that all changed earlier this month, when Hannah became the first child in the world to receive a bio-artificial trachea made from stem cells from her own bone marrow in a pioneering operation at Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
Because there was no donor organ, doctors say the chances that her immune system will reject the new trachea have been virtually eliminated.
“This is the page-turning in science,” Dr. Richard Pearl, surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Illinois, said on TODAY Tuesday. “This like the first organ transplant. This is like penicillin.”
Since the transplant on April 9, Hannah’s prognosis is bright, and the hospital says it expects that she will be able to go home in the coming months.
Some good news for a whole lot of people and the pets who love them. A kind-hearted trucker by the name of Sue Weiss began to pray for all the pets who’ve lost homes during Hurricane Katrina...so she started Operation Roger. She finds volunteer truckers who will transport abused animals to homes around the country. So far, they’re delivered more than 700 pets. Their most recent placement was a 5-year-old Pekingese who was rescued from an abusive home in Oklahoma. When an Alaskan family offered to adopt him, Operation Roger called David Benz, who loves dogs and helping people, to transport the dog on his truck route. He says it’s a great way that truck drivers in America can give back to society because they’re not home a lot to volunteer consistently at just one place.
Source: NBC News
A historic church in Georgia was going down in flames but their homeless ministry carried on in spite of the blaze...with the help of Chick-fil-A.
A Monday night fire destroyed much of a United Methodist Church in Athens, Georgia...but church members still wanted to serve food to the many people who show up Tuesday mornings in need of a free breakfast . So the church called Chick-fil-A to have chicken biscuits donated that morning. Chick-fil-A came through and two hours later, other food banks and churches were contacted, and food was taken care of the entire week.
It’s that community spirit that insures nobody will go hungry.
Last week, an Oxnard, California police officer named Michael Kohr responded to a report filed by Nina Sanchez whose daughter Bella’s bike was stolen. But instead of just visiting the family to fill out a police report, he brought the little girl a brand new bike. This officer went well above his call of duty and took the time to make a little girl's day.