Friday, April 6, 2007


I can't believe how this week has FLOWN by! The Ft. Jackson retreat was INCREDIBLE! Let me just say that God Almighty was so thick in that place that you could smell Him, taste Him and even see Him! The first night opened with the ladies - who were all (but one) military wives - giving a bit of their testimonies. I suppose having your husband in possible PHYSICAL danger every day would cause you to make sure your "house is in order" because I can't imagine how the people that don't know the Lord deal with the stress of that situation. One lady's husband is in Afghanistan and his office had been bombed last week! Did that make the news? Of course not - he's a chaplain! (we won't go there!) The most amazing thing to me was that they all said they DID NOT want the military to pull out of this war until the mission was COMPLETE! Unreal!

Anyway, for me the Lord spoke in a fresh way that nearly knocked my socks off! I went knowing that I was going to be doing the cooking for the ladies - that's the whole reason I went - but MY agenda was to pop in and out of the sessions at MY choosing and participate at MY discretion. Typical MARY attitude! Well, the Lord had a slightly different agenda! I was in the kitchen just about the ENTIRE time! I mean, after all, I was preparing meals for 20 women. Fortunately the Lord arranged this facility that the kitchen was right by the meeting room so though I couldn't be in there I could hear what was happening. Even more difficult for me, as those of you who know me can testify! I could hear them and I would be in the kitchen doing dishes and saying "But Lord I could really share some words of wisdom right there" and He of course would say "You missed a spot girl!" haha (just kiddin) The point is that I was in a completely different territory. I was behind the scenes - not opening my big mouth - and yet the Lord was using me in a BIG way. But here's the BEST part - my cup was filled to overflowing with the Lord's blessing! These ladies were so grateful to be served and not have to clean up or think about their next meal. The Lord had given Jennifer and I the menu several weeks ago - stay with me yes, He gave us the menu - because ALL the ladies were so happy to have asparagus. No one fixes "fancy" asparagus for their kids and husband and it was just another special gift from the Father!

There was a session when the ladies broke into spontaneous prayers all over the room. The Lord was moving, He was listening, and I'm tearing up just remembering His presence. This warrior Cathy, prayed this prayer like I have never heard! I was walking into the pantry passing by the room where they were meeting and it was like the Lord said STOP right in my ear - more like I ran right into Him! I stood there listening to her heartfelt cry to the Lord and then began watching the ladies all take turns crying out to Him and here I was in my apron and slippers! haha I ended up in the room because I just HAD to get in there. It was one of the sweetest times with a bunch of women I had NEVER met in my entire life!!! God is so good!

Well, since the retreat, my oldest son was baptized Palm Sunday morning! AWESOME!!! That day was just one of those out of body type days! Just incredible. Then this week is spring break for us and I went to WV to visit with my family. Had an incredible day with my sister Regina - who needs your prayers as well! She treated me to a pedicure and manicure! How cool is that?! She's the best! I love her so much! (and not just because she does nice things for me! haha) Anyway, the Lord has been blessing me like crazy despite me! That's just how He is! I pray that each of you know that He "rejoices over you with singing"! He wants to bless you too! That's just how He is!! Seek Him...first! Love to all.


Leigh Gray said...

Oh I feel like i can breath or at least let out my breath that i was holding now that you are back. I missed you so much!!!! It is so good to see you back in the blogging world. I love reading your wisdom and thoughts. I am so pleased to hear how awesome everything went. God doing His thing and showing off again!! Too cool!

I love you dearly..........

Jennifer said...

Valarie, thank you so much for your sacrifice! I know how much work goes into cooking for a large group...I used to do it every Wednesday evening. I was able to be in there experiencing for myself the Glory of the Lord, but what was neat was that I was getting to do so with my dearest freinds! Praise God! I could go on and on but I've got to get my boys in the bed! And thanks for your sweet words on this site! You are such an encouragement! ~Jen