"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." Psalm 119:18
In some ways it seems hard to believe that it already has been six weeks since I started my spiritual retreat. I find myself not ready for it to be over. It has been a time that I will look back and cherish for many reasons. I can't help but think back and be amazed at how far God has brought me. There are many things He taught me through the process.
I am extremely grateful for this time. I praise God for a loving, supportive, and understanding husband. I appreciate my son's willingness to adjust to doing homeschool a little differently while I have been away from home. A visit with my dear friend in Georgia was exactly what I needed to complete my spiritual retreat.
Going through this time of separation has been beneficial spiritually, physically and emotionally. God has restored in me the desire to write again. It's been a long time since I have had this burning flame smoldering inside. For now the fire is banked, until I return home and am able to stir the embers to glow brightly. But I have a vision of things to come and I am excited. I remember from my youth the excitement of the flaming torch burning within, for all to see. It creates passion, and a keener view and understanding.
A change of direction is in order when I return home tomorrow. Some of the things I have concentrated on during these six weeks, I will begin to incorporate into my daily schedule. Because of the stress from this past year, I had gotten away from reading very often. This is one change I will make - more time to read. It was encouraging to have specific topics of reading in which to concentrate. Throughout this time I've had several books 'in process'. I found one or two on a particular topic I wanted to learn about, and also one that was just pleasure reading. It's likely that I will typically have three books I'm reading - one on spiritual truths, one on writing and also a fiction piece. Of course I will continue to faithfully read my Bible too.
It's been a joy to work through two separate Bible studies in February. I plan to continue to work on this as well. I love the opportunity to dig in God's Word and learn. It's a pleasure to go through a Bible study with other ladies, but I have also found that I enjoy working on my own too. There are a few on my bookshelf at home that are just waiting for me.
With the things that God has shown me this month, I also need to build into my schedule more time to write. I have been doing better about faithfully blogging and have even started a separate blog. If possible, I will continue to do this, but I also know that I need time to concentrate on my creative writing too. Once I actually begin this process, I'll be absorbed in research, planning characters and plotting.
One thing I have discovered while visiting my friend, is the importance of always having pen and paper available. Now that won't sound significant or earth shattering to most of you...perhaps only to me! :) Since I have been here I have carried a tablet and pen in my purse at all times. I have pages of notes from this past week - some are blog ideas, a note to my husband, future book ideas, notes I took from reading a writing magazine, or a quote from a book I was reading. I also have a recipe from my friend of how to make butter cream and peanut butter icing! Yum! Yum! :)
Also in my notebook are book titles that I eventually want to read, a style of poem I want to try and write, video titles that my husband and I will enjoy watching, as well as my 'to do' list for when I return home. One page has some websites to check out as well. Then there are important things like various foods and tea that my friend had that I want to look for when I go grocery shopping. :) As a writer, I want to make a point of always having tools of the trade with me for when the inspiration hits.
Above all else that I have learned, is the reminder to keep my heart, mind and eyes open to what God has for me. I desire to eagerly follow and serve Him in all aspects of my life. Every day my prayer is to see, hear and know Jesus in a deeper way, so I can inspire and encourage others.
I praise God for this month that I was able to step back from the world and its many demands. Even though I am reticent to leave this time in my life, I know that I need to move on to what God has for me in the next step of this adventure. I know I won't be disappointed.
*** On a personal note, I would appreciate your prayers on Tuesday morning as I have tight flight connections in Atlanta. I can't wait to get home and see my guys!! :) ***