Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joy and Peace, Indeed!

Casey, Braelyn and I had a delightful weekend. I think it may have been our best retreat to date. (I am not counting B.B. retreats...B.B. meaning Before Braelyn.) The car ride there was a little stressful. Braelyn and I were both a tad bit grumpy, BUT! when we stopped for gas something marvelous happened. A Christmas miracle, if you will. Casey went inside to get some water and snacks to have in our room, and then I went in to use the restroom. As I was leaving the store, I glanced down and saw a perfectly good Christmas CD sitting on the edge of the trashcan. And not just any ol' Christmas CD...the Yo-Yo Ma, Songs of Joy and Peace CD!!!! Gasp!!!! I immediately picked it up and got in the car. Casey said he saw a lady throw it in the trash, so after hesitating an good 30 seconds or so, and racking my brain as to why one would throw such wonderful music away, I claimed it as my own. Truly, God was protecting me by dropping this little gift into my lap, or CD player rather, because just before we stopped I had listened to just about all the Backyardigans I could handle and was seconds away from ripping my hair out. So...Thank You, Lord, for stopping me from balding myself. I think I would have regretted that decision. And thank You for such beautiful music. It was a welcome blessing to my ears and my soul. Joy and peace, indeed!

Soon, we arrived at the Piney Woods retreat center in Corrigan, TX. Our host put us in a great cabin, perfect for a family. Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, TV and DVD player downstairs. Two twin beds upstairs. This was so great because it meant that I didn't have to sit in dark silence while I waited for Braelyn to fall asleep. I could put her to bed upstairs, and work on Christmas stuff and read with the lights on!

As if all this wasn't enough, God continued to bless our family. I decided, despite the late hour, to take Braelyn into worship. John Sherrill was the worship leader and I hate to miss an opportunity to worship with this dear friend, so I gave it a shot. For the fist 20 minutes or so, Braelyn had her hands over her ears...the music is always so loud at things like this, but soon enough, she got used to it and we enjoyed singing to Jesus together. Then, she sat quietly in my lap for the next 30 minutes while her daddy boldly taught the beautiful Word of God. My heart was so full. The next morning we went to worship again, and again, she sat through it all. Although, when Casey would get kind of serious and stern, she would say, "He's so mad!" It made me laugh.

I still can't believe it. We've been to retreats where I didn't get to hear Casey preach a single word. Here, I was able to enjoy 3 whole sermons!

It was such a great retreat, for the students, as well as for our family. It was good for the 3 of us to get away, be outside, be offline (hence, no book review), worship together and enjoy each other. And bonus...I got a lot done on my Christmas gifts. I am glad we went. I feel like we are entering a season where traveling with Casey will be a much more pleasant experience.

PS~ I listened to the Backyardigans all the way home...with joy and peace. ;)


Casey Cease said...

It was a joy to have you both there! I thank God for the Yo-Yo-Ma Christmas Disc. Even if you did steal it from the poor lady who didn't want to look like she was stealing from the gas station. ;-)

Love ya!


Casey Cease said...

Just Kidding about stealing the thrown away disc sitting on the edge of the trash can. ;-) = J/K

Abbasgirl said...

Wow...what a great weekend! Such blessings from the Lord for all of you.

Did you see the new pics Andi posted of Ashley?

Cynthia said...

That is wonderful Steph! Doing things as a family, minus the constant begging for good behavior, must have been so refreshing. More camp trips in your future then?!

Jenny said...

thank you for the updates and the reading! you have to get the Veggie Tales Christmas CD. It is an old one but so delightful and funny! A very Veggis Christmas. it is 12 years old and still a charmer to our oldest girls who were wee ones when they first heard it.