Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We are Called to Love

I know that I am prone to exaggeration and dramatics, but people?  
I HAVE HUGE NEWS!
You know that "retreat for adoptive moms" that I talked about HERE?   I forgive you if you assumed I had given up on the idea.  I have been kinda quiet about it and the dream was based on an emotionally fulfilling experience, and that can often lead to an apathetic ending once the heat has cooled.  
BUT NOT THIS TIME!

In fact, I've been working my butt off, along with my planning partner, Amy.  We've been logging about 100 emails a week, almost as many texts and dozens of phone calls.  It started with serious prayer and fasting over the big picture and some Major Questions:
Are we really doing this?  Why? How big are we aiming here?  Why? What are we going to call ourselves?  Why?  What is our REAL purpose and goal?
It took a few weeks to dig through that rich soil, and then the seeds were firmly planted.  We continued to be very honest with each other, and continued to be very much on the same page.  I would bore you to death to cover all the things that have happened, the obstacles and the victories, but I'm going to cut to the chase.
Called to Love

The name of our retreat is based on Isaiah 43:1.  "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, and you are mine."  That verse still gives me chills!   It has a double meaning for us.  WE, Amy and Jen, have been redeemed!  He knows us and called us to be His.  And we both know he also specifically called us to adopt.  He did not call us to be perfect mothers, to be poster children for adoption or to have a cute bi-racial family photo.  He called us to love the widows and orphans--for us it is through adopting and parenting.  AND we know he has seen and redeemed and called our little ones.  THEY ARE HIS.  Before I had ever seen Asher's face, God saw him, called him, redeemed him, DIED FOR HIM.  Asher and Carson and Sydney and Amy's children and your children are wholly loved and valued just as they are.  We are imperfect people and parents, but we are called to love these little people and be the best mamas for them that we can possibly be.   And sometimes it's really nice to have some encouragement and support in doing that!

The Lord has SWUNG OPEN WIDE the doors for this retreat and this budding ministry!  All glory to HIM!    We have put a deposit down on the beautiful Oregon Garden Resort for the weekend of 
November 15-17, 2013.  Yes, that is THIS year.  In about 7 months.


We have assembled a team of 9 adoptive moms with various backgrounds, from 6 different churches, with amazing passion and gifts and talents and excitement to make this retreat a reality.  This would not be happening without their support and involvement!
We have already confirmed three major speakers, I mean high quality, high caliber speakers, for three of our four main sessions.  And each of them is coming for less than their normal fee or for FREE.
Professionals from sound technicians, web hosts, attorneys, graphic designers, book authors, foster care trainers---are all partnering with us to bring EXCELLENCE to this retreat.  I also can see God's hand orchestrating this whole thing, as Amy and I have been given the opportunity to coordinate retreats at our church for the past few years, and I know that experience has better prepared us for this task!


Because we are having our retreat in November, which is the off-season, we are getting a very reasonable rate at the gorgeous resort.  Amy and I have worked with the staff before, and we both just love the luxurious feel of the rooms and the resort itself.  We can't wait to have the mamas come and feel a little pampered.

I kind of feel like this little ministry is my fourth baby.  It is (and will be) so much work, but it has already brought me such JOY!  I want to tell EVERYONE about it! I love working with one of my best friends, and I love the idea of ministering, serving and maybe kinda spoiling some adoptive and foster mamas in the Pacific Northwest.  In a strange twist, I was the one who so badly needed refreshing in January when we attended Created for Care.  (The C4C team has been amazingly supportive and helpful, by the way!)  But the more I pour into this project to refresh and encourage OTHERS, I am the one who continues to be renewed and filled.  We are surrendering the entire endeavor to the Lord and are beyond excited to know that He can bless it beyond what we hope or imagine!  

Now scroll up, copy and paste that website, and go share it with all of your friends!  :)


10 comments:

Amy Bentz said...

Well said my friend! Let the adventure begin!

Becky said...

LOVE!!!!! Thank you for including me in this! I love this and I love you girls! Here's to a super God written adventure! Since my adoption journey has only just started with a yes, I know that by helping with this retreat and spending so much time with you and the other moms, I will be one of the most prepared adoptive moms ever! Thank you!

Crystal said...

I will definitely be posting the word with all my adoptive mama friends!

Our adoption story said...

Jen, I am so excited for you guys! I know you will do an amazing job and give opportunity for so many adoptive and foster mom's to come together and share their unique families with one another. I know God is blessing your efforts and will continue to do so! Way to follow, no matter how intimidating it may be! I can't wait to follow along your journey!

Ember Williams said...

Awesome, Jen! So proud of you.

deirdre said...

Way to follow your heart, Jen, and make this a reality. It really looks like a wonderful retreat-- nourishing and inspiring. Well done!

{Jess} said...

Smiling from ear to ear right now because I am just so proud of you! :)

{Jess} said...

Smiling from ear to ear right now because I am just so proud of you! :)

butters said...

This is amazing Jen! It is so awesome to see where the Lord brings us and how He uses us. I am so excited for this. I actually heard Stepahnie Fast speak at a retreat with my church a few years back, she was fantastic! I will be praying for this and sharing the news. Lots of love to you my friend.

butters said...
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