Uplifting in Discouragement Part 3

Okay, so here’s something very cool. Before all of that emotional, spiritual stuff happened, I had seen the pastor’s wife, Chris, that morning. She stopped by to say good morning, and said, “I had no idea you were coming!” I explained, in short, all of the last minute things that had brought me there and that I was so excited for the weekend. We had our brief conversation, and both went about our business.

After our time of worship, Chris got up to welcome the speaker again and announced that she had some gifts to give away. We had little lanyards with our names and each woman had a different number. She started calling out random numbers and whoever owned the number got up and chose a gift. Now, I’m never the person to win those sorts of things, so I tuned out and just clapped for the women who got something. It was nice little treats such as lotions, soaps and candles. You know, little things that women love.

Anyways, all the gifts had been handed out. Then she said, “I have a couple bigger gifts to give away. God put this person on my heart about 4 months ago {when Katie was getting married. We were all around each other a lot at that time}.” Then she said, “Savannah Lucero,” and I thought, “me?” Well, duh, that’s my name. I walked up to the stage where she was standing and she looked me in the eyes and said, “I have a gift for you, but first; God put you and your husband on my heart, and I wanted to tell you Don’t. Give. Up. Keep pursuing the Lord and He has a special place set aside for the both of you and you are going to do awesome things for Him.”

Wow.

Even thinking about those words that she spoke to me 6 days ago brings tears to my eyes. We haven’t had a lot of rainbows and butterflies in our journey, but those words made me want to keep fighting. And to never give up. I just thought how good God is that He spoke those words to our pastor to give to me at the exact moment I needed it. I had been so down and torn up trying to fight all the battles life has given me. And then this glimpse. This glimpse of the end of our fighting and our struggles, showing me that YES! Someday, it will all be worth it. All of it. And that there won’t be a single thing that I will look back on and think, “Man, I wish I didn’t have to go through that.” Because the end is in sight, and I see a beautiful light glimmering just for husband and I.

So there you have it. Oh yeah, the gift! Remember when I talked about how I {very} briefly thought about going to the spa, and then I saw the prices and changed my mind? Well, that sweet lady gave me a $100 gift card toward the spa!

It was such a special treat and I had been wanting to get a massage for like the past year. It’s awesome to me how she didn’t even know I was going to be there and all these amazing things happened. There for a reason, right?

A glimmer of hope in a dark, dry world.

A glimmer of hope in a dark, dry world.

Okay, there’s still more {yes, I’m sorry. I’m a talker} but until next week, I hope you all enjoy your weekend and beautiful weather!

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Uplifting in Discouragement

I have to share with you something amazing that happened to me this weekend.

I went to a Women’s Retreat with 250+ women from JFC, as a last minute deal. I was planning on going about 3 weeks in advance, then roommate things fell through, and I had just made terms with myself that I wasn’t able to go. So of course, Husband buys a TV instead since we weren’t spending the 200 bucks for me to go {okay, we really deserved it – we had been watching a TV that had LED leaking right through the middle. For two years}.

So, on the last day of registration, my friend texted me and asked if I was going, and I told her no, unfortunately. She responded with “well, there’s still one more spot in my room!” That gave a little glimmer of hope, but then the TV thing crept up in my mind. I said “thank you, but let me speak with Jason. We didn’t think I was going, so he bought a TV, and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to swing the money.” After I asked Jason, {and I told him ONLY IF it’s not putting us in a bad situation – could you imagine going to a life-changing event to come back to face guilt and ruin everything you gained?} she responded to me before he could and told me that the church would give me a scholarship to go.

So, the decision was made. Total God thing, right?

Anywho, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the amazing stuff.

I read the email that was sent to me after I registered to go, and it said if you mention that you are at the Jubiliee Fellowship Ladies conference, you get 30% off at the hotel’s spa. So, I searched the website, and even with 30 percent off, the cheapest thing was a 75 dollar pedicure. No thanks. And that was that.

A series of other last-minute God things helped me get up to Beaver Creek, and while the girls I rode with and I were about an hour late, we made it in the middle of the first session where Terri Furr was speaking. It was a little difficult for me to get into at first because I came halfway through and wasn’t entirely caught up with what she was talking about. But then the end of that first night kind of set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

These words: Pride really isn’t the conventional way we think of pride {oh, I’m so good at this, etc.}. Pride is preoccupation with one’s self.

Woah. Maybe that doesn’t rock you like it rocks me, but it in all my sadness, complaining, talking about myself; that is my pride. Talking about how rough life can be or how things always happen to me that don’t happen to others. That really threw a wrench in my thinking.

Then she said: The opposite of pride is humility. You become humble when you choose gratitude.

That makes total sense, right? Instead of my normal, “woah is me” thoughts, I should be thanking God for what I DO have. Which is so much more than some others. Then, my thinking will shift to those others who so often go with out. And like that, gratitude changes pride to humility.

Okay, so that was the first day. And that was after I didn’t think I was getting anything out of the first message because I came late.

But like I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out how good God is {if all this hasn’t convinced you yet}.

gratitude

Beautiful Things

Okay, so I have to admit: I’ve been absolutely horrendous about keeping up my Beautiful Things posts for Fridays. You know how it is, life just gets in the way sometimes, or if you’re like me, you often forget to snap a photo in the moment. So this week, I don’t have a picture for everyday of the week. I have a bunch of pictures {I’ll only post a few} of one really beautiful moment that was so special to me.

I have long dreamed of having a farm, and as husband consistently discouraged that dream, it went from being a farm, to just having land with a few animals. A few chickens, a goat or two and maybe some horses. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Anyways, I did some research and convinced husband to go with me to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary – an animal sanctuary that rescues farm animals from slaughter or other abuse.

Being the die-hard animal lover that I am, it’s pretty needless to say that I was in heaven for an hour and a half. And bless husbands heart, he agreed not only to go, but also to drive the hour and a half east to get there, then back. He knew I would love it, so it wasn’t so bad for him.

Here are some snapshots of our little trip:

This sweet cows name is Beatrice. Beatrice was born at the sanctuary and has never had to suffer.
BeatriceTurkeyRooster
This sweet blind cows name is Pierre. He has a best friend who leads him around. They are always touching.

PIerre

Okay, so besides dogs, goats are absolute favorite animal.
Goat1

Alaska!

We had a week of delicious food – Monday was maple & soy glazed steak with salad, Wednesday was Teriyaki tofu & chicken with bok choy & broccoli, Thursday was 5 bean soup at a friends, Saturday lunch was curry tofu with carmelized onions and dinner was kale & white bean soup, and Sunday was pot roast with sweet potatoes, wine and carrots.

I felt more productive this last week than I have in awhile, and I didn’t do a whole lot. Except plan a trip for Husband and I to ALASKA – yep! I am so excited, I can’t even contain myself. For those of you who know, we didn’t have a huge honeymoon – more of a long weekend vacation that included a 14 hour drive to Phoenix {not so relaxing}. While it was super fun experiencing a road trip together {seriously, no pun intended – the long drives Hubs and I have together are some of my favorite memories with him}, our trip didn’t scream “RELAX”, so we have been been in discussion of a real honeymoon since then.

I love being hot, and loathe being cold, which is why an Alaskan vacation is kind of funny to me, but I’ve always wanted to go. I went on one warm vacation when I was 14 to Cabo San Lucas, and had a blast, but I think I’m a little more adventurous than a leisurely trip to the beach. So, we have planned an Alaskan ADVENTURE package – 7 days of Alaskan adventures, with one day to rest, shop & eat. Sounds like my kind of trip!

If any of you have an tips as to what do, where to eat, how to spend and Alaskan adventure, PLEASE let us know!

Alaska

Enjoy your Monday!

*Image via Michele Cornelius, 123RF.com