Tuesday, October 19, 2010
THANK YOU!!! for making the 1st Back to Eden - Charlotte Retreat such a success. I had an awesome, empowering, refreshing, energizing time. The sisterhood was remarkable!! You'd think we were all family the way ladies were laughing and joking and playing. The comraderie was amazing.
I promised to send out all of the recipes, exercises, etc. so that you can refer back to them and enjoy them again and again, and I will, tonite. I hope everyone uploads their pictures to FaceBook and if they don't have facebook they can send them to me and I'll post them.
I have been asked specifically to share the speech I gave on the last night of the retreat so here goes:
S-Strength - Sharing (you gain STRENGTH when you share)
The beauty of a pearl is cultivated out of abrasive and irritating circumstances.
A grain of sand or some other irritant slips into the oyster, gets between its skin and shell. The formation of the natural pearl begins when an irritant slips in between the mantle and the shell which irritates the mantle. The mantle then covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell of the oyster.
If I had my hearts desire, in my finite understanding, I would wish that none of you would ever have to go through any of the things that you've gone through or will go through. Or both.
I would be like "Marlin" the daddy clown fish who's son Nemo was lost in the sea who said: I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
Dory: Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Dory: Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.
That little scene, one of an overprotective clown fish spoke and a absentminded little blue fish spoke volumes to me. I mean, I wish I could keep everyone connected to me safe and protected from all the worlds irritants. But if I did that, the world would miss out on the beauty of who you are and what you have to offer - some of which will actually be birthed out of the overcoming of some painful situation that those of us who love and cherish you will wish you never ever had to endure.
I would love to give you real pearls to wear about your neck, wristlets and ears. Just to remind you that your struggles, your trials, your losses, your pain, its not in vain. Each time you overcome, with grace under the strength of God, the pearl of who you are is cultivated and polished for the world to admire. Cultured pearls and natural pearls are almost indistinguishably similar, however, natural pearls have far more value because of the way they develop. Pearls develop their luster (which determines their value) nacre-its transparency, smoothness and overall thickness of the nacre. Interestingly, the thickness of the nacre is directly related to the ‘irritant’.
Pearls also represent ‘wisdom’, as in, don’t cast your pearls before the swine. I initially thought it would be a stretch to use both of these analogies at the same time because they seem so diverse…but not so. The ‘pearl’ that is being cultivated in you through your circumstances, your trials, your experience, well…they are creating ‘wisdom’ in you. God is enlightening you each day and strengthening you each day. Your wisdom is not just for you. It is for the kingdom. But be careful in the dispensation of your wisdom, it is valuable and while it is for ‘everyone’ everyone will not receive it.
Whether you decide to wear your faux pearls or just keep them as a keepsake, know that they pale in comparison to the pearl that God is creating in each of you. And that I consider it an honor to have had my life touched by yours. Thank you!
I also wanted to share the exercise that we participated in with the rest of the Back to Eden folks...We all were given a helium filled balloon upon arrival. The instructions were simple - cast all your cares, burdens, issues, situations, unforgiveness, whatever, upon the balloon (representing Christ) and release it. I don't know about the rest of you, but I felt an actual physical 'release' when I let my balloon go. I hope none of you picked your junk back up on the way home, if so - you don't need a balloon to let it go again. Just call upon the name of Jesus and cast your cares on Him for he cares for you.
I so loved this weekend and look forward to the stories and pictures from everyone.