Monday, February 23, 2015

A Special Weekend Away

My very favorite bible study author is Beth Moore. I have worked through many of her studies in two different churches and every time I finish a study, I am looking for another one! You can image how excited I was last December when my good friend Lynda let me know that Beth was going to speak in Seattle in February 2015! Lynda has been my friend for a very long time and we just never get much time together. Can you imagine how delighted we were when we discovered that we were both free on the dates! Lynda was so sweet to book our seats and our hotel room plus she agreed to drive! I am just scared to drive in Seattle. Thank you so much my friend for setting everything up for this weekend trip!

We decided to drive up on Thursday so we would be fresh for the event on Friday. We had lots of time to talk, rest, do a bit of shopping ( I will be sharing a fun blog on Thursday with you) and we even had dinner with Eric and Gina in Bellevue. We met at a wonderful restaurant called Seastar. It was so good to see my kids but I totally forgot to take some pictures~sigh.

So Friday we set out for Overlake Christian Church. It is a beautiful and very large church. Can you imagine 6000 ladies? Can you imagine the lines for the bathrooms on breaks? We all seem to get through it and it certainly was worth it.

This is the front of the sanctuary all set up before we began. Travis Cottrell leads the musical group that  is in charge of worship for these events. He has been with Beth from the beginning~they celebrated their 20th anniversary with Lifeway. He gets the whole arena standing, clapping, singing and yelling! The group is contemporary and loud at times but absolutely fantastic! I love that Travis works in those old Gospel songs too. The sound of all those women singing was like a choir of angels or a rock band!

Here we are...Lynda and Linda! We think we were very blessed with our seating! When Lynda  purchased our tickets, they told her we were in the overflow room. No, we were in the main area, about 20 rows from the front and we had an aisle right in front of us, so we were very close to Beth when she left the stage. As you can see, she is a tiny little live wire! She's from Texas and has quite a sense of humor. She moves so quickly, I'm afraid several of my pictures we too blurry.

The man off to the side would shadow her when she came out in the crowd. We are sure he was a body guard. Sad, but that's the world we live in now.

Travis and the band were rocking! I can still hear it in my head and feel the vibrations.

Lynda and I bought black bags to hold our bibles and workbook, but unfortunately, mine broke. So I purchased this cool bag at the event. They are made in India by woman who need employment to get out of prostitution. A wonderful cause.

My workbook notes. Her main message and instruction was on God's Resting Place and we worked in Isaiah. How wonderful to learn more about God's Resting Place, where and how God rests. It means that He is over us and stays with us not that He has to find a place to nap! I love to learn with Beth as she loves to teach and it's meaningful. Who doesn't want to grow in their faith?

After our break on Saturday morning, Beth came out into the audience to talk with a few women. This was a time to ask questions or just share a story about coming to the event. Several ladies didn't want to come, but found that it was just what they needed. We are all dealing with LIFE. A retreat can be emotionally draining. Everyone is going to take something away with them...soul searching, relief, acceptance, encouragement, renewed hopes and oh many more things. Lots of tears flow but it's all so good. Beth spoke about making plans and following through. This gal had been working on a book for 8 years. She was now ready to get off the internet and finish it up! She had dealt with some mental health issues and wanted to write about it to help other. I love that Beth mentioned creativity several times.

This little gal came with her mama and her grandmother. Beth is a grandmother and was so sweet and gentle with this little one. She then had all the young ladies under 21 stand and spoke to them about social media. Very interesting. She speaks the truth but doesn't condemn.

This sweet lady was a cancer fighter! She really had tears flowing and most of us were reaching for a Kleenex! Can you see Beth stroking her hair and just being to tender with this dear lady?

She would stop after each woman spoke and then she would pray over everyone. There is nothing like a group of women coming together!

I really could go on and on here, however, it's hard to cover so much information in a blog post.
When we were driving out of the parking lot, Lynda asked me what areas in my life were touched during the two days. Oh dear, more tears! I am still sorting things out and just letting some things settle in my heart. I am so thankful for this opportunity to be with my friend, to hear Beth Moore and to think over how this all plays into my life. I got a gift of being alone for awhile. Jim is in Idaho and I had two days to just rest in the Lord and let Him rest upon me. 


Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Looked like a fabulous spiritual weekend away. I cannot imagine 6000 women together for a retreat and can only hope there were enough bathrooms.

Stephanie said...

Oh my, what an incredible and inspiring experience! What a blessing for you, your friend, and the other women :) Speaking of your friend, you and her are just too cute!

Thank you for sharing with us, sweet Linda. May your week be extra beautiful! Hugs and love to you!

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I see that you hear Beth Moore was a great experience. A great opportunity to be with your friend Linda. A very enriching experience. Keep in touch

Susan said...

Oh gosh, Linda. That sounded like a powerful and fulfilling event! So glad you were able to go. And to go with a dear friend is even better.

By the way, I got your darling Valentine. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH. You are a sweetheart. Hugs to you. Susan

Debbie Harris said...

Aww Linda, you have blessed my own heart just reading this post. Beth Moore is amazing, I love her work and would one day love to see her in person. There is nothing like a ladies retreat to change lives.
So happy for you and your friend!

It was good to visit here tonight.

Much love, Debbie

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I love, love, love this post! Beth Moore is one of the strongest role models, inspirations, go-to gal, uplifting, God Loving women I know! I have taken several of her Bible Studies at our Church and this woman's explanation of the Bible has changed my life. She has even spurred me on in my Aging with Style series. I love her passion for Life and for God. I can only imagine the joy and emotion you felt being able to attend her retreat with your very dear friend.
Thank you for visiting me, I enjoyed reading your comment and just to know you had stopped by!
With Love,

janice15 said...

I never heard of her but it's sounds like a wonderful refreshing get away with a special friend very nice. With love Janice