|Jennifer Armbruster, Jennifer Johns, Sara Streitmatter, Chris Butler and Tara Dunn
Five of YWAM’s adoptive moms had the wonderful opportunity to meet up at the recent Created for Care March 2012 Retreat at the Lake Lanier Legacy Lodge and Conference Center in Buford, Georgia. These retreats are designed to provide encouragement, resources and a spiritual recharge for moms. I’ve asked these ladies to share what the weekend meant to them…
Created for Care was better than I ever expected! It was great being with women who are PASSIONATE about Jesus and have a LOVE for the orphans. I loved being able to meet up with other YWAM moms whom I have emailed with before but never talked to. It was great being able to talk to them and totally understand where we had all been at one time. I loved praying and encouraging each other throughout the weekend. I have made new friends who I will continue to stay in contact with. They really are the best! : ) The speakers and breakout sessions were good, the worship was great but my date with God was awesome. Forty-five minutes of uninterrupted quiet time with God. No kids needing me, no phones ringing, no distractions. It was exactly what I needed that weekend. I have not felt that close to Him in a long time. I could hear Him speaking to me. It was an amazing experience that I needed. I am so thankful for the weekend away at Created for Care. I pray that next year I can do it again and maybe more YWAM moms could come too.
Of course, getting to meet other YWAM moms in person after having talked via phone, blogs and Facebook was incredible, as well as meeting so many other adoptive moms. I went on the retreat for rest and community, but I also was longing for the Lord to give me a new vision to enable me to walk in the call He has placed on my life to be an advocate for orphans. Now that Jace is home, I find myself asking the Lord, “How do I walk this out now? What should it look like?” During the retreat, they offer what is called a “Date with God” where you are given an hour of uninterrupted time to meet with Jesus. I expected the Lord to download a very specific vision to me of how He wants me to walk out this calling in this season. Instead, He revealed to me that He is giving me a precious gift of rest. Not necessarily in the physical sense since I now have an almost-2-year-old in my home:), but in so many other ways. I’ve always been a type-A, achiever to the max, but God is teaching me to slow down, and surprise surprise, that can’t be rushed. My eyes were opened to see that this is a season for me to crawl into His lap, learn from Him and to cherish this time of watching Him bring restoration and healing to my son. And I know that this season of rest and learning is so crucial for what He has for me next in this calling. I came back home refreshed and with a clearer vision for what God has for my family, and for that, I am extremely grateful. I will definitely be going back next year and hope many other YWAM moms will be there too!
One of my favorite parts of the Created for Care weekend was the opportunity to meet up with other YWAM moms. Three of them I had never met in person, so to finally be able to give them a big hug and get to know them face to face was awesome. There is a special bond among adoptive mamas and the fact that we could have uninterrupted conversations about everything from hair products to potty training to theology was priceless. We laughed and cried together during those three days. Relationship is such an important part of who we are as women and to find kindred spirits with whom I could share my heart was such a gift to me. There was excellent worship, a variety of breakout sessions to choose from, and the keynote speakers shared from their experience as adoptive mothers. Over and over through the weekend, we were reminded of just how much we are loved by God and how special we are to Him. It is easy to lose sight of that in the hustle and bustle of life as we are caring for our families. I also came away from the weekend with a renewed sense of purpose as I endeavor to be the wife and mother that God created me to be. I look forward to attending the retreat again next year and I hope to meet more YWAM mamas then. You won’t want to miss it!
~ Jennifer J
I am certain I acted like a school girl squealing with delight, finally meeting my friends in real life! Each session we attended had something to offer this mamas heart. Every worship song lifted me up. I cannot write about C4C without mentioning “Date with God”. It was a vital part of the weekend. Honestly, I thought it sounded a little strange when I first heard of it. But it wasn’t strange at all. God met me there! He spoke directly to my heart. He encouraged me. I was blessed; every minute of this retreat was just what I needed and I didn’t even know it.
~ Jennifer A
Created for Care was an amazing weekend to put it mildly. To be with other moms that understand our joys, struggles, and our deepest hearts’ desires was a true blessing. To be with 450 other moms who have had their hearts broken for the fatherless, and are walking through different phases of the journey. One of the things that I loved the most was shared during one of the last general sessions…. that when we are called to something we need to make sure to follow the ONE who has called us, and not the calling itself. This weekend truly focused and kept us all pointed to the Father! The best part of the weekend is how its purpose wasn’t to glorify adoption, but to worship the ONE who adopted us all. It was such a blessing to get to meet many friends, a lot of whom are YWAM mommies, who before this weekend I only knew through Facebook. I do encourage anyone who possibly can to start planning now for next year. You will be very blessed!