This morning Claire and I grabbed our Bibles, notebooks, computers, headphones, colored pencils, crayons, candles, snacks and coffee to get us ready for our all-day Velvet Ashes retreat day.
Two years ago I found out about this ministry to women who live overseas. Whether they are missionaries or expats living somewhere other than their passport country, they designed their ministry to be a service of helps, resources, community and retreat.
But the once a year retreat is not in person! Rather it is an online retreat that you can go through by yourself, with one other person, or in a group. I've done it alone for the past two years, but this year asked Claire if she wanted to join me. So today was the day!
This year's theme for the retreat was "Shalom", a word that I didn't know much about until spending significant time in the Word today and seeing all the places where it shows up! I actually studied through eight full pages of Scripture, looking them up, diagramming them, looking for broad sweeps of meaning, and for personal truths for me today.
Did you know that the word shalom doesn't mean just "peace"? It's biblical definition is much fuller, encompassing wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, contentment, harmony, well-being, security; being safe in mind,
body and estate.
We finished around 5:30 this afternoon and were sharing our thoughts on how God had met us and what was significant from the day, when all of the sudden we looked out our back window!
It had been raining throughout the day, and to be honest, I hadn't taken much note of the weather, knowing that it was supposed to rain all day.
But not THE WHOLE day, according to God!!
What could be more meaningful from Him than to end our day with a spectacular full rainbow??
It is the sign of his covenant between the earth and Him (Genesis 9:13), that He would not destroy the earth again (9:15). Each time we see it we are to remember His promises and everlasting covenant with us, and all living creature of every kind on the earth (9:16).
Truly, it was the perfect ending to an amazing day of meeting with the Lord; not only were we nourished and tended to by Him, but also reminded so very poignantly of His goodness and that HE IS GOD, our SHALOM!!!