The Does My Life have a Message? Weekend at the Bosque Center (November 6-7) for women of the Diocese and their friends was attended by a total of 50 women. This was the 4th Annual Weekend Event and each time new friends are made and inspiring ideas are shared.
Katrine Stewart was the leader this year. Attendees came from Lovington and Farmington, from El Paso and Carlsbad, and from Albuquerque. Several women took advantage of the ‘Re-focus’ sessions with Katrine Stewart on Friday during the day. This was time to journal and look at the story of Mary and Martha from the Gospels, and what their story might teach us about stress, confronting God, and living as women of faith.
The weekend itself started with dinner on Friday evening, followed by a time of sharing a meaningful life ‘message’, Bible verse, or motto; along with 3 words Christ has spoken to our hearts. After breakfast on Saturday morning we shared Eucharist in the beauty of the Bosque Center. It was a lovely time of music (thanks Gay Crouch) and prayer; the perfect way to start out time together.
Katrine’s talks on Saturday led us to contemplate what a retreat is and why women on the ‘front lines’ of ministry sometimes need to ‘retreat’. A soldier on the battlefield is sometimes called to retreat in order to regroup, rest, heal, strategize, and refocus the attack. In the same way, busy women need time to step back and let God show us a bit more of the whole picture as we rest, listen, and refocus our lives and ministries. Katrine reminded us that God sees the whole tapestry, while we too often focus on just the knots staring us in the face. In community we are strengthened to let God’s light shine through the cracks of our humanity. Through the mentorship and friendship of one another, we learn to invite others to ‘come and see’ Christ.
Katrine suggested that the way culture tells us to fill the ‘God shaped hole’ is in opposition to the light-giving way of discipleship. ‘Messages’ from parents, culture, and other influences impact how we face life. As we learn to weigh the various voices and determine which are worth keeping and which are not we are more open to Christ’s invitation to ‘come and see’ God. When we are planted in the good soil of the healthy messages, we can hear the voice of God that is imprinted on our heart. Then we love without giving up, love others more than ourselves, love what we have rather than wanting what we don’t have, love without keeping score, love and be able to make mistakes without giving up, love and put up with anything, love and trust God, and love by keeping on until the end. We are a new creation, transformed by grace.
Katrine urged us to remember that emotion is neither right nor wrong. What matters is what emotion is put in the engine of the train. The messages from parents, culture, church, and even pets can derail us, until we look for Christ’s message in the voices.
There was time to journal and share insights during the day. Wonderful fellowship occurred as women met new friends and renewed acquaintances over meals, during breaks, and while sharing experiences.
Next year’s weekend (our 5th) will be on November 18-19. Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss this Spirit-filled time of retreat and re-creation in the beauty of the Bosque Center. Also, join together in Socorro for Mysterious Lent (with the Rev. Carole McGowan) on March 5. Other opportunities are on the calendar page. See more photos from the event on the photo page, too.