Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Sunday, April 15, 2012

His Hands of Hope/Created for Care mini retreat

This weekend His Hands of Hope, a ministry in our church, had a mini retreat in my home. A big slumber party for adoptive moms, to encourage and make friendships with eachother.

The leadership team was awesome!!! Thank you, Gail, Tami and Paige and Marla! They each provided a meal. We began Friday evening with a wonderful spinach tortellini soup.

After dinner, we went outside and visited and enjoyed the calm before the storm. There was a huge storm system coming to Kansas with predictions of many tornadoes. But Friday evening was quite nice!

(The following day, Kansas ended up with a record 97 tornadoes. Normally in one year there are 57) Many of these photos were taken by Gail. She did such a great job that I borrowed them!

In the evening, we had worship time...

...followed by DVD's of the Created for Care conference in Atlanta that the leadership team had attended.

Then a pajama party!

This photo of Tami is blurry but I had to add it - I love her laughter!!

We stayed up until 1:30 sharing our stories - how God laid it on our hearts to adopt. Several of us have raised our kids and they are now grown. Most have one child but others have many! Sometimes it had not been on the radar to go on this journey, but God directed them on to this path. Some are waiting for the call to let them know which child they will have. One is going soon to get their chosen, special child! Some have children from the States, others have children from across the world - Korea, China, Russia, Peru, Malasia, Thailand, Ethiopia.

After a very short night, we awoke to some pretty incredible blueberry cheese french toast! Yum!! And a wonderful treat - they brought in a massage therapist who treated us to massages!!!

After a morning session of praise and DVD, we had an hour of time alone with the Lord. We went to 4 different stations to spend time talking with the Lord as we did these little projects.

The first station I went to was communion. I spent time reading and reflecting and writing out a prayer to Jesus. How amazing to think of Creator God coming to earth as a servant. To go to the cross for us! We dipped the bread into the juice. And I cried to think of His sacrifice on my behalf.

There was the puzzle station. Who am I? We all struggle with this - the identity thing. What does God want in my life? Just like we look at the boxtop of a puzzle to get the complete picture to help us figure it out, we need to look at His Word, at God, to help us figure out this life. To complete it. We all worked on this puzzle in various stages. In real life with our kids, we have the help of others. I think about all the people who have prayed for my children, or been such a part of their lives to help them in their walk with Christ. What a blessing that is!!

There was a river rock station. I love this idea - that each of us are jagged and rough. Because of the continuous flow of water over the rock, it is made smooth. We need to be submerged under the pure Living Water, Christ. He can take this roughness, whether it is myself or my situation, and make it smooth.

There was a watercolor station. You were to paint a picture of what it is like to be in His presence. I painted a picture of a wilted weed, then a picture of a beautiful flower. Without Him, I am just a plain weed, but in His presence, He can transform me into someone who blooms, and is an aroma of Christ. So often, unfortunately, my "aroma" can be more like a skunk. That is why it is so important to stay in the Word! I also painted a picture of a girl laughing as that is what I feel like when I'm with Him. Such joy! And peace, even when times are bad.

As lunch was being prepared we turned on the news to hear about what was going on with the weather. Some of us were getting a mite nervous.

Except for Madeline who was so content most of the day! She loved being held!

W had a wonderful time! One thing that was said that I loved was that Jesse looked at his youngest son and saw a shepherd boy. God looked at David and saw a king, a man after God's own heart. We need to look at our own children with God's eyes!

Here are some recipes from the weekend:

Paige's Recipe for Spinach Tortellini Soup:
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (9 oz) package cheese tortellini
1/4 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 tablespoon dried garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

in a large pot over high heat, combine the spinach and the chicken broth. Heat to boiling then reduce heat to low. Stir in tortellini, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tortellini is cooked to desired tenderness. Season with basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Marla's Brownies
1 Box of cookie mix,
1 Box of brownie mix,
2 Eggs,
2 Packs of Oreos (double stuffed ones are even better if you can find them)
Some oil
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Follow the instructions on the cookie mix box & stir furiously until you have gooey cookie dough, You may add a little extra water and oil to what they suggest, it just keeps it moist as you'll be baking it for longer than suggested. An extra teaspoon of each is just right.

Squidge (technical term) the cookie dough into a lined baking tray, until it covers the bottom.

Cover this layer with your Oreos. Don't use the broken ones, eat them as you go. This recipe is too glorious to use substandard Oreos.

Mix up your brownie batter. Just stick to the recipe on the box for this one.
& pour over your Oreos.
Bake for 30mins.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
When its still a little bit warm, use the paper to lift your creation out of the tray and rest it on a chopping board.
Use a large, sharp knife to cut it into manageable chunks, sections, slabs... depending on how many calories you think you can handle in one sitting.

Tami's Blueberry French Toast

12 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed (i used about 3/4 loaf of french bread from wal mart)
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups 2% milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (i used agave nectar, b/c i was out of syrup and honey)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
Cut bread into 1-in. cubes; place half in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cut cream cheese into 1-in. cubes; place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and syrup. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in blueberries; reduce heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted. Serve with French toast. Yield: 6-8 servings (1-3/4 cups sauce).


tami said...

you were an absolutely AMAZING hostess, debby! thank you SO much for opening your home to us! what a huge blessing it was to get away - even if it was just in our own town. your home made it an even more amazing retreat than if we had been in a hotel!
we love you, debby, and are thankful for those who have walked this road before us and can speak words of truth and encouragement into our lives!
ps - i might just link to your blog instead of writing my own! lol!

The Sieberts said...

what a fun time and a great group of ladies!!