Blessings!

Greetings to you all!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ!"

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your prayers for me before and during the retreat! How I saw His mighty hand move!

Ladies, how I encourage you, also, to take inventory of your life and see how He is working! Let us open our eyes to see His mighty hand and power working in our everyday lives- in the ordinary things!

Psalm 40:5 says, "Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things You planned for us no one can recount to You; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare."

Blessings:
Time alone in the van to praise Him, worship Him, and prepare for my talk.
His love endures forever!
A beautiful, sunny day to drive there on Friday.
His love endures forever!
As I noticed the sunshine and was thanking Him for it, it occurred to me that it could be raining, storming, snowstorming... And, I REALLY thanked Him for shining such a beautiful day down onto my trip!
His love endures forever!
When I arrived to Okoboji, I called Brian and he said it had clouded up about an hour after I left, and had been raining all day. But not where I was!
His love endures forever!
There was no one around when I checked in, so I didn't know where to go. After about an hour of waiting, walking around, calling Brian a few times, he suggested I drive down to the lake. So, I did. It was BEAUTIFUL! I sat in the sunshine on the sandy shore, wind in my hair, praying and reading His Word.
His love endures forever!
When I returned from the lake, the office person was back and she directed me where to go. When I arrived at the lodge, a few of the women were there. After getting settled, (in my own room! The other ladies shared a room, about 4 to a room) I had the opportunity to sit and listen to women, getting to know them personally.
His love endures forever!
There was wonderful worship time Friday night. How beautiful 20 women and one piano sound singing to their King!
His love endures forever!
I had been wondering if I would be able to fit everything I needed to say in the morning into the time frame. I had been praying about this, asking God to be over my time and to help me say everything concisely, and still saying everything He wanted me to say. On Friday, I introduced myself and felt God lead me to speak about the first 10 minutes of my talk. I spoke about God's plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), sharing with them our pregnancy story, and how God's plans are very different from our own!
His love endures forever!
Everyone laughed at my jokes!
His love endures forever!
Two women came back on Saturday to hear as much as they could of Saturday's talk BECAUSE of what I said on Friday. They had other activities they needed to do, so thought they would just come for Friday night. But, they returned on Saturday!
His love endures forever!
One dear woman told me that HER daughter is also expecting her fifth child. The daughter is very anxious, not excited, struggling with the pregnancy. The dear woman told me, "I know God had me here to meet you, hear your "pregnancy story" and share your words to encourage my daughter!"
His love endures forever!
Two other women laughed as they told me the one woman was contemplating not coming to the retreat. But, her friend said, "You have to come, because you invited me and that's why I was coming!" The first woman told how the Holy Spirit reminded her of that, and how thankful she did come! She said it was she needed!
His love endures forever!
What she may not have known is that my dear prayer partner and I prayed before the retreat that He would bring all that needed to be there, drawing their hearts and placing an overwhelming desire in them to be there! This was answered prayer!
His love endures forever!
Every woman there made a commitment to seek Him more and more and to be faithful in daily prayer and bible reading.
His love endures forever!
His message of how much He loves us so ministered to the women who so desperately needed to hear it!
His love endures forever!
The weather forecast called for snow on Saturday for Okoboji. NO SNOW!
His love endures forever!
I got a little "turned around" when driving home, but God led me the right direction!
His love endures forever!
I felt His protective hand watching over me the whole way home, stopping at gas stations and "truck stops", feeling completely safe and at peace.
His love endures forever!
When I called Brian and told him I was on my way, he warned me that there were terrible rain showers in Cedar Rapids, so be careful on the roads. I do not like to drive in rain! I lifted this up and prayer, asking God to keep me dry! I drove the WHOLE way home without one drop of rain on me! I experienced my first rain drop (drizzle) when I got about 2 blocks from home!
His love endures forever!

May the peace that passes all understand keep and guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!
Bless you all in abundance today!
Love,
Tracy

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