Monday, January 28, 2008

Journey's Rest.....


When you begin to ask for direction...for the next step in your journey...the answer can be such a gentle whisper and seems to need the quietness and stillness of your heart to be heard. I have not been on line for a few weeks and letting my heart be present and attentive to some issues and circumstances that required heart reflection and prayer. It seems its been awhile since I have let God become as real to me as He has been these last weeks. I have just returned from a beautiful weekend with some of the most caring and wonderful women I have had the priviledge of meeting. I wanted to share the unique hearts of three of them, their gifts of words, music and hospitality for the souls of wounded women were a breath of healing air. Below is the lovely brochure for the home we stayed in here locally in Battleground, Washington. Florence McDavid and her husband Maurice have such an amazing story and ministry to share. Out of a journey through their own pain, they felt led to build and decorate this warm and inviting home for the purpose of offering shelter to women who were traveling some of life's most difficult journeys...who needed a place to rest, to breathe and to hear from God. It is truly a story of beauty from the ashes. Each room of their haven, "Journey's Rest", is filled with the presence of God and is a welcome refuge into the quiet where your soul can be nurtured, received and cared for. There was abundance of chocolates, decadent cookies and tea in every nook and cranny (I thought I was in heaven). If you are in the area, call Florence ahead to arrange a sweet time of refreshment and you will be deeply blessed. The collective wisdom, experience and tender hearts of the women who gathered this past weekend will forever have impacted my life and perspective on my own calling.



I was truly honored to share the artwork of Healing Expressions and some of my own story with the ladies. Many of those in attendance were counselors, woman who work and minister to hurting woman or those who experience a deep calling to come along side the wounded with compassion, transparency and authenticity. It was such a meaningful afternoon as I took them through a therapuetic collage exercise and we talked and shared about what the process revealed to us about ourselves and our own personal journeys.


Our retreat speakers were two woman I am blessed to know. Meg Wilson is author of "Hope After Betrayal". Her honesty and tender account of her own story and the betrayal of sexual addiction in her marriage is changing lives and offering hope to many marriages that are being devastated by pornograghy addiction, adultery and our culture's distortion of our God given sexuality. Her words of hope and redemption speak to those who have experienced betrayal of many kinds...sexual, physical and emotional.

Kate White is a concert and recording artist whose most recent CD is filled with the most beautiful and moving songs that sooth and call the heart home to the Father. She is a gifted worship leader whose music ushered us into the healing presence of God. Kate's own journey of recovery from abuse stirred me in the deepest places. Both of these women were so incredibly real in what the they brought to the weekend. It was a gift to be along side each other and take this "snapshot" of hope, vision and healing for the wounded and heartbroken souls of women.

The weekend reminded me that we can each be used in another's life no matter how weary or broken we may feel. When a hand is offered that holds no judgment or condemnation...one that is safe and real...the holding on can be life-altering. Times like these give us vision beyond what we might normally see...and courage to take the next step. I recently took my first class at the University in hopes of working towards a Master's in Counseling and Art Therapy. We'll see where God leads...thats one thing about listening for His leading...another door can suddenly appear and require we be flexible and open. So I encourage you to just take the next step...do the next thing that is beckoning your heart to do....and see how your story unfolds.

3 comments:

Deb said...

Lani,

Thank you for all the many blessings you have provided through your artwork and your blog. These were words I needed to hear this day; perhaps you didn't know it, but God did. Thank you for being the vessel of Truth. May you likewise be blessed.

Deb

Cheryl said...

Wow...what an amazing retreat! I had no idea there was such a thing as that dear little house for women to retreat to. SO VERY GOOD. There should be more of those, don't you think? And of course you are moving in the direction you are, taking classes and so on...that is so very YOU, Lani, at least as much as I know of you! :) You would make an excellent "holder-on" since you do that already for so many and so effectively. Good luck as you head down this road and see what doors God will open for you!

~Izabella said...

sounds like a beautiful place & a place I would love to visit. So happy for you that you had this time with special new found friends~ I would love to hear details about how your art was perceived at the retreat! I bet they were astonished ~

xo ~Bella