Sunday, June 12, 2011

Image of the Maker Retreat

Mercy. Runnermom truly did much running last week--on the highways! I was home a total of two days! First week of summer, and I did major traveling up and down the roads! But, that's ok! Had an out of town photo shoot (so MUCH fun!!!), then college orientation (so VERY expensive!!!), and then....a retreat! Just for me! I had no idea how much I would need one by the end of the week. My soul needed much filling, and the Lord was willing!

The retreat took place in a small community tucked in hidden mountains not far from Asheboro, NC. I actually did not get lost driving there. Amazing! And, I worked in a trip to Mary Jo's fabrics along the way! I have NEVER seen so much fabric in one location as was in this warehouse! I'll show you some pics of my next project--when I have a chance to work on it.

I went not thinking that I would know anyone....wrong! As I was checking in, my sweet friend, Lisa Whittle, met me with a hug! What a beautiful heart she has. I met so many lovely ladies with hearts so full of love for Christ. My precious roomie was also a runnermom! Some ladies were local; others came from as far as Texas and Michigan. We worshiped along with Christa Wells and Nichole Witt--they are SO incredibly talented!  We sang, prayed, and heard from the Word with author and speaker Ann Voskamp. Her message was for us to search our hearts and see what God was creating within us.  Are we using our talents in a way that glorify Him? Are we embarrassed with the gifts that He has given us? Do we have the courage to use and share the gifts that He has blessed us with to the best of our ability?  God gives us beauty each day---how do we attend to it?

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion a the day of Jesus Christ."  Phil. 13:12

Friends, Ann touched on so much more....things that I still need to ponder and reread in the Word. But one of the things that He stirred in my heart was my photography business. Am I using it in ALL the ways He desires? I have been struggling with trying to discern His will in one specific area. It's a scary place for me! It's not a moment where I can tell my client, "Wait a minute, let's do that shot again!" When a wedding is taking place, you have to  be ready and focused at all times! Friends, He has been placing opportunities in my path--which I have really tried to skirt around! But, God will continue to whisper to my heart until I answer Him. As Ann put it, am I willing?  Two years ago, He placed a precious friend in my path to encourage me to shoot photos for others--not just my family and friends. She even went as far as to ask me to contribute photos for a book of hers---her first. Scared?  Yes, m'am! Obedient?  Most definitely. Am I willing to say yes again? Praying....

Hope y'all enjoy some of the shots from the retreat! New faces and new friends! Many more pics--I'll share more later!

Me, Jess--the other runnermom and my roomie, TJ, Kristi, Carrie, and Lisa

Nichole, Christa, and Ann

Broken pieces that will become whole

Lisa Whittle and me! Just love this gal from Proverbs 31 Ministries!

 My other Lisa--I think I have met my match with the camera!! Too cute!
Sweet blessings,


Leebird said...

Hey beautiful sister, So glad you had a refreshing (and challenging)time. God is good at both, isn't He?

I'm reading 1000 Gifts right now, and boy is it meaty! I'm forcing myself to slow down and really let it stick to my bones.

So jealous you got to see Lisa Whittle...she's been such an encouragement to me...having you and her in the same room would probably have been too much for me! :) Love you both a buncha bunch!

Praying for you as you obey the Lord's whispers about your photography. You have so many gifts to share...your heart being the biggest one.

Love you, Bird

Danielle said...

You are just too precious, lady! Seriously. And you need to tell me about these retreats! Especially when they are so close to my area--or kinda close.LOL

I will be praying for you as you seek the Father's guidance.

Love ya!

thejoyproject40 said...

I just loved meeting you this weekend. You are such a breath of fresh air and i could hear you say "mercy" over and over again. Thank you for using your gifts and stewarding them well by sharing with others. You will be in my prayers and i will continue to check in on your blog. Your bracelet will be on it's way shortly! love the photos!

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said... happy to hear about this! He was faithful give you familiar faces and new friends! Love this!


Shibby Shab Lu said...

Susan! Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog. I looooooved meeting you and look forward to a life long friendship. Your photos are beautiful!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Wish I could have been there. I know it was a refreshing and blessed time. Is your grad headed to college and where? Oh how I remember that time, joy with tears. Mine is headed to grad school at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte soon. He has been with us since Christmas and I will sure miss him. It will be empty nest all over again. Have a blessed week. Jackie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Your hair is darling, as is your heart. I know that God is willing to show you his heart in the matter of your life; He's certainly been faithful to show me his in recent days!

You are far more talented than you think you are. Love you, sweet friend.


Sassy Granny ... said...

Nothing like a collection of godly sisters for God's spirit to move. I just know you had a blessed blast. Loved the pictures, too!


Lelia Chealey said...

Oh, love this post Susan! I too am reading Ann's book right now. I find myself re-reading a sentence over and over until I "get it". :)
And Lisa her. her.

I hope they have a section in heaven of just bloggy girlfriends. I've grown so much with you all over these last 4 years.

Love you Susan. Use those gifts God has blessed and trusted you with for His glory!

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Sonja said...

The pictures are always such a treat. I know it was a wonderful time being with other christian women, nothing like a bunch of sisters getting away together!

I pray you will be guided in the photography, to know clearly how to proceed.


Ginger said...

As always I love reading your blog! So uplifting. Hope you are doing well. I've been so slack in visiting blogs this past year, I didn't realize that your mom had passed away. I am so sorry.

I'm sure you were so proud of your son on his graduation! What a joy...I know your parents were celebrating! Thinking of you.

Jennifer @ said...

Oh friend ... What an amazing opportunity to attend that conference.

I do hope that you are able to take Ann's message deep into your heart and act on it, by using these (many!) talents you have for His glory. ... Frankly, you're already doing JUST THAT!

So blessed to know you, and to see the many ways God works through you, dear one.

ajnrileysmommy said...

just stumbled across your blog...enjoyed reading your thoughts :)

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LisaShaw said...

You are adorable dear friend! As are all the ladies in your photos! Looks like it was a Christ-centered time indeed!

I miss you very much Susan! Stopped in to love on you. I know you are having a full Summer as am I. Praying for another retreat together!

Love ya!

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