Sunday, September 30, 2012

Women's Retreat

Summer has come and gone....stress is still here...mentoring continues...ministry continues...school continues....and somewhere in the middle of that we try and find time for ourselves!  Not so sure when that happens, and I'm sure most of my readers understand that 100%.  It always seems like our time is not our own. We either are a mother, a wife, a teacher, a (whatever your job is), a cook, a chauffeur, etc. you get the drift.  Hence the name of my blog, "Missionary, Mother, Wife, Nurse".  Well...my husband being the AMAZING team leader that he is realized that we (the ladies of Team Honduras) were looking a little frazzled.  He realized that most of us, if we had been attending a church in the States, would have gone on a women's retreat.  I attended our women's retreat EVERY year I was at my home church.  We didn't have anything of the sort - so he created one.  So, we are off for our second annual women's team retreat for the women of Team Honduras - this includes women who are not actively on the field (yet).  Example - Michelle Cain - who is currently in language school and will be joining us sometime next year (August...mas o menos) flew in today to join us.  Renee (another future team-member) currently living in the States was not able to join us - given the fact that she just had a baby 2 weeks ago - we are giving her leave this year - but next year....

So, we will be gone for the week.  Each of us have been given a topic to teach on.  We will have 7, 40 minute sessions where each of us will teach on an aspect our team leader has given us.  I will be teaching on Suffering.  I realized, while preparing for this session, that I've endured a LOT of suffering in my life.  From a very traumatic childhood, an abusive first marriage, my mother who passed away last year, I certainly feel qualified to teach on Suffering.  Why?  Because I "came out the other end" better for having been through it.  A couple of quotes I will be using for my teaching (hopefully none of my team mates will read this before we leave) are, "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering."  Friedrich Nietzsche.  "God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering."  Saint Augustine.  "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller.  And one of my favorites, written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a renowned author of many books on suffering wrote this, "The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen."

And finally - a quote to end on by Tennessee Williams:  "Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you are dead."  Amen brother!  Our life is full of suffering, but how do you come out on the flip-side?  That's what makes us who we are.  

So blessings to everyone!  I'll be out of contact with you all for the week - no internet where we are going...

3 comments:

Melissa Sherlin said...

Great post, I am sure everyone will be blessed by your testimony! Praying for you and for your soul to be refreshed during your retreat.

God bless you!

Pamela said...

Hey Erin,

If you have any suggestions or resources for the topic you are teaching on, suffering, I would love your suggestions. My teammates and I have been discussing this topic a lot and I think a few are just not understanding this. I would love a book with a biblical perspective, or more of your thoughts if you ever have time to write about it!

I hope you have a restful and enjoyable week and get in lots of fun girl time :) You deserve it!

Blessings,
Pamela

Missionary, Mother, Wife, Nurse said...

Pamela - we are currently going through RC Sproul's book on Suffering. It's entitled Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life. One of our team mates who is an amazing woman, but just doesn't like "Jesus books" (her words) but she is absolutely LOVING this book, as I am. I hope this is a good resource for you.