Retreat Thoughts part one

This past weekend I had the wonderful privilege of going to a missionary womens’ retreat in the city.

It was great getting to meet other ladies living similar lives as well as just to get out of the house, enjoy some quiet time with the Lord and relax some too.

I feel like I got so filled up and got so much clarity in different areas of life but got one especially awesome vision I want to share.

I so desperately want to love my family well and be content in my calling.  I asked the Lord for some insight in that area and I am just THRILLED with what He showed me.

First of all–

My children are flowers.

Aaahh!!!!  I just love it.  It speaks to me so much!  How do you care for flowers?  You can’t be harsh with them, you can’t force them to grow–you have to provide a favorable environment and lots of tender loving care and encouragement.

Sunlight—which I take to mean the light of the Lord in their lives.  Opening up heaven for them so they can bask in His love and warmth.

Water—I just think of quenching their thirst…for knowledge, acceptance, love, whatever else.  This one is not super clear to me yet.

Fertilizer—Food!  This one is helpful to me as I spend hours a day between planning meals, shopping for food, making meals and cleaning up after meals.  Sure I could give them packaged, fast, easy food but they wouldn’t grow up as healthy, hearty and beautiful.

Soil—I think this is prayer.  I just want to cover them (their roots, I guess:) with prayer.  Giving them some solid ground to be rooted to.  A good, strong foundation.

As if that all wasn’t cool enough, He then proceeded to give me a picture of my house as a garden to tend to.  Wow…how much more pleasant a thought is that?!!!
Gardens need weeding, pruning, tilling, bug plucking, etc.  However, it’s not usually viewed as a great chore for those who are into gardening because it’s so worth the effort!!!  That is how I am to view my home.  It takes a little work but it is to be a beautiful, restful place of peace to ENJOY!

I picture myself flitting through my garden, putting away a thing here, wiping a counter there, gently caressing the petals of a sweet little flower face, pouring into them water and nourishment while dancing through my beautiful garden, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

More and more insight keeps coming from this illustration from others who I have told this too.

At first I was pretty embarrassed about this—it seemed so cheesey and silly.  However, I felt like I should share it at the testimony time on the last day of the retreat and many women ended up coming to me afterwards because they could relate or because they even had more to add to it!!

One woman told me that she thought pinching off little pests was spiritual warfare—squashing any strongholds that try to latch onto our childrenEaster 2010 003--revisedEaster 2010 001--revisedMay 3 10 007--revisedMay 3 10 050--revisedMay 3 10 033--revisedMay 3 10 042--revised. Another mentioned that sometimes the outside petals get a little roughed up through hard times in childhood but when they are opened up as mature flowers, those outside petals are on the very bottom and are not even visible.

One mentioned that it spoke to her in that flowers are easily bruised and wilted with harsh treatment.  Another thing that came to me as I was thinking about times I’ve been too harsh, towering over them and shaking my finger….I pictured myself standing over a flower and blocking its sunlight.  Like I’m taking it upon myself to bring about repentance when the Lord is already there–sometimes I just need to get out of the way.

Another woman mentioned that flowers are beautiful when they’re young and tender but that the older, more mature ones smell better!!!  You can try and draw your own conclusions.  I took that to mean that maybe with maturity, there’s more depth or character 🙂

Anyway, you can see that there are so many layers to this and I am so grateful for the picture!

It was such a blessing to me and to a few at the retreat, I just thought I would share it with anyone here in case it may be a benefit to you as well!

The other sweet part of this was that He gave me a specific flower as a representation for each of my girls.  As I was telling this to Chris—he knew each flower or had a picture of each flower for each girl in his head!  So awesome.  I’m now studying a bit about each flower and how to care for it and receiving even more insight into the care of each of my childrens’ souls.

I can’t explain my joy and excitement over how much the Lord cares about our measly little lives 🙂  He is so willing to be involved and speak to us!

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6 Responses to “Retreat Thoughts part one”

  1. Laura says:

    Beautiful analogy. I’d love to know what kind of flowers they are sometime.

  2. Amy McManus says:

    Gosh Erin,
    That was so awesome. You got me all teary-eyed! Your blog spoke to me today. I am getting married in July and was just praying that God would help me to be the kind of wife and mother that provides a home filled with unconditional love and acceptance. I am so eager to create a place like this but I am so imperfect. Anyways, God is so good. He created us with such a special calling. I can’t think of a better way to serve Jesus than to be a wife and mother. Love ya, Girl

  3. Erin says:

    Lauryn–a classic daisy
    Molly–a red rose
    Jenna–a calla lily
    Gloria–a pale purple fresia

    Amy–I’m so excited for you! You’ll be a great mommy and wife!

  4. Amy Ashland says:

    Wow, Erin. This was great. Such a helpful way of viewing raising your children. I love the gentle, loving feel of your garden!

  5. Jane Geroy says:

    Hey Erin, I love reading your blog, and this testimony is so awesome! I love that you shared it. After I read it i thought, huh maybe I will ask God to give me a picture of something to represent Joel,and I immediately thought of a tree. I am really going to pray that God show me what kind of a tree so that I can be more sensitive to his needs. Seriously loving that you shared this. God is so awesome!

  6. Micah Leake says:

    Oh Erin! You made my heart smile and my eyes tear up! I hope that someday God will teach me to be the mommy you are! I love you sis!

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