A little over a year ago, Joel and I received a generous gift from a dear couple from our church:
An overnight stay at Shepherd's Gate Inn, the beautiful retreat home of REST Ministries.
We were humbled by the gift, and excited about the opportunity to "get away" and rest.
However, this gift was given to us after the birth of our 3rd child. Noah was only a couple months old and we were unable to take him with us then.
So, we waited. And waiting for the perfect time to retreat resulted in a few more stressful months.
But, oh... how we serve a Perfect God! A God whose timing is Perfect and who shows up faithfully in our time of need. My personal basic need was for REST. I looked forward to the time Joel and I were able to retreat and rest together. My daily and weekly demands of caring for our family, our church family, and friends were starting to weight a bit heavier lately, so I deeply desired to "get away".
So, on a cold but beautiful evening in January (well over a year AFTER we were blessed with this gift), Joel and I arrived at Shepherd's Gate Inn. From the moment I saw that place, I sensed God's love and care for people like me and Joel. People who were tired and in need of rest. To take a deep breath from the daily noise.
It. Was. Beautiful!
It was GRAND!
It was what we needed...
We were warmly welcomed by our hosts, Chuck and Becka. Chuck opened the big double doors, helped us with our luggage, while Becka welcomed us with her genuine and warm smile! Our first impression of them was more than positive. It was trusting!
The time of arrival was also perfect! Dinner time! The house smelled like a good homecooked meal! And believe me! Usually, if I don't have to cook, I'll eat anything! But this was exceptionally blessing my senses and my palate that evening. Yum! So good! Janet, one of their faithful volunteers, truly knocked it out of the park! From the meals to the dessert! Delicious!!! And it was at the dinner table where Chuck shared with us the story behind this ministry. God is SO faithful! I was humbled by the reality that God is in control of EVERY detail. If you happen to have a few moments, PLEASE, do yourself a favor and visit their website to get more information about this place. Their testimony is incredible! Hearing how God brought this place to pass, the means by which they were able to acquire this incredible home, and the faith and prayers behind every piece of the story. Amazing! Absolutely incredible!
REST Ministry and Shepherd's Gate Inn truly ministered to us by giving us the space we needed. We took that deep breath we needed. Chuck and Becka took a few moments after dinner to talk to us about the importance of REST and to pray for us. To pray WITH us. To pray FOR us! And oh... their prayers were answered - tenfold! We experienced physical healing and multiplied rest! Thank you, God!
Despite being such a short time there, between enjoying a quiet evening, getting to sleep in without the crying and demands of kids, spending extra time in the Word with the Lord, and going for a walk with Joel while we prayed for our family and our kids, this time away will be tucked away as a special weekend for me.
I am so thankful that our church allowed us to take a weekend off.
I am so thankful for our friends who saw the need for Joel and I to "get away".
I am so thankful for my in-laws who took the kids for that time.
We already talked about going back there in the near future.