Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Watermark's Women's Retreat

Renew, Refresh, Rejoice
This was the theme of the Watermark Women's retreat this past weekend. It was a much needed break for me and renewal with my heavenly Father. I learned so much, and have so much to share. We had two amazing speakers, whom the Holy Spirit used to glorify himself through their words. I am going to share an overview and what I took away from each session.
Jennifer Clouse
Session 1
Where do you find your identity?
Honestly, the first thing I thought of we pretty typical to what most women said and say
Personal assistant
This are for sure roles that I fulfill but they shouldn't be where I find my identity and sadly I most often do. Daughter of the King wasn't my first answer to this question and it should have been. Because I am. Instead I take the roles that I fulfill and make them my identity. I try in my own strength to do them SO perfectly because that is my job after all. But as Jennifer told us 
No on likes to be around perfect people
This is so true. I hate it when I am  around someone who list of their accomplishments like badge of honor that I should bow before. As moms we can easily fall into trying to be all things for all people, this is IMPOSSIBLE! I have a really hard time accepting that the people closest to me don't need me for everything. I am learning that it need to be enough to be a Daughter of the King. Christ is where I need to find my identity, I am His creation no on else's.

In Christ or Incognito?
Roman 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world,
 but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, 
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, 
what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Renew our minds
Root of our problem
Recognize our impostors

I love how Jennifer puts things

Our Father sees the things in me that needs to be gutted and recreated
The problem: Finding our identity in anything other than Christ
The cause: Sin; something that we have done or was done to us
The effect: Gen 3:7-10, 11-13
~Hiding and pretending
~Isolation and withdrawal
~Shift blame

Jennifer's correlation between Adam and Eve feeling naked in the garden after they had sin and how women feel shame with our bodies rang so true for me. So often my happiness is determined by what I see in the mirror as a dress. Having two babies hasn't helped with my body image. I listen to the lie that I am not beautiful, or my body is ugly. I doesn't matter that my husband, or friends tell me I am beautiful, once I've listen to the lie nothing changes my mind. Satan has won. I don't want anyone to see me, being exposed is scary. But being exposed is the only way to be fully known, loved and seen.

We come to Christ because we're sinners, then we spend the rest of our lives trying to prove to ourselves and other that we're not 
~Dr. Henry Cloud

Oh how sad and true this can be for me. I pretend so much that at times I am not sure that I realize I am pretending. Isolation, withdrawal and hiding are used when not living with our identity in Christ. I m not big withdrawer but I do hide behind masks and isolate mentally. 
 I very much identify with the statement
I try to be all things to all people so that they can't have a reason to reject me. 
I live in fear of human disapproval, I suppress my feeling and try to present a 'perfect image' so that no one can see the pain I hide. I have never put in word what I so often feel in my heart. I have only verbalized this to my husband.
I am really good at hiding behind different mask which are;
I am very together
 I am happy 
I am independent 
I am not hurt
I am competent enough to not need love

We are either hiding completely or pretending to be something we aren't
We can so easily be defined by:
You know if these things rule you if:
When ____ goes good I feel good about myself
When ____ goes bad I feel bad about myself
Another hard thing is when someone complements me. Now I don't boast in the complement, but it can feel like something else I have to live up to. 
Jennifer's phrase was.  Don't put the jacket on my back!
Don't let a label you are given {i.e. good mom, great wife, funny person, so organized, etc.} define who you are. This gifts are from the Lord, and we are to glorify him in them not make them about us. 

Masks keep the real me 
from having real relationships with real people 
and a real God.

Do you know what masks you hid behind? Admitting them has been very freeing. It is so tiring keeping up with the masks. I am learning that it is ok and good to not 'be all things to all people'

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