Retreat Reflections ☀️

Ahhhh… We just returned from our Present Moment Retreat refreshed and renewed! ❤️ What a true honor and blessing to guide yoga, build community, and nourish the body, mind, and spirit! 🙏🏻

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“The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.” ~ David Whyte


From my retreat journal… “But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment. And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words. God, the searcher of the heart knows fully our longings, yet He also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, His holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny. So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose.” ~ Romans 8:24-28, The Passion Translation


Please enjoy the following visualization meditation I guided at retreat — bringing a little beach therapy back for you! 😊

Message in a Bottle (11 minutes)

 

Capturing Columbia! 🇨🇴

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.” — Hillsong United

¡Buenas!

Columbia CAPTURED and CAPTIVATED us as a family. At first, it was the unique smell of the country as we first stepped outside the airport in Barranquilla. The beautiful ocean coast of Santa Marta, and the lush banana fields of Sevilla, Magdalena caught our eyes. The tastes of fresh coconut, plantains, and savory rice and meat dishes entertained our pallets. However, the precious Columbian people completely stole our hearts! Even in the poorest of physical circumstances, they had each other — a sense of community and togetherness. The patience and joy of the children encouraged us to embrace these qualities more so in ourselves.

Our days were filled serving in the Compassion Child Development Program in Sevilla, as well as making home visits to families who have children participating in the project. Compassion International beautifully addresses the physical, social/emotional, cognitive, and spiritual needs of the children and families involved in the program. They are making a HUGE difference in this community, and a global impact as they service needy countries all around the world.

We personally sponsor two children in Columbia, and were blessed to visit and play with them both for an entire day! Yasir and Jadis traveled far to join us for a water and beach experience. They journeyed by plane, boat, and bus to visit us. It was their first time to the city, and to the ocean. We had the BEST time ever! They hugged us continually and told us how much they loved us. They brought us beautiful, homemade gifts. Their family members were overwhelmed with both shock and gratitude. We treasure the opportunity to continue our relationships through regular letter writing, prayer, and financial support. We know God has big plans for Yasir and Jadis and their families! Please continue to pray for health, provision, opportunity, hope, and joy.

You will be My instrument. I will transform you and make you into a different person. As I train you to hear My voice, you will become a sharpened instrument in My hands. These are the days that I will train you and instruct you in My ways, giving you many secrets of what I am about to do. For I will make you a missionary of hope to many. You will be a voice that always brings life to others and grace to the weakest one. I will put words in your mouth that have never been declared or spoken before. I chose you for a purpose, and My plan for your life will be fulfilled. — I Hear His Whisper, Brian Simmons

Thank you for supporting us in this call of EXPANSION! May we all continue to LOVE, SERVE, and INSPIRE locally and globally through our thoughts, words, and actions.

“We will show mercy to the poor and not miss an opportunity to do acts of kindness for others, for these are the true sacrifices that delight God’s heart.” — Hebrews 13:16 TPT

Dios te bendiga,

Jon, Heather, Madeline, Mackenzie 

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Contemplating Columbia 🙏🏻

WOW!

In a few hours we leave for our family mission trip to Columbia with Compassion International! As I reflect upon my recent journal entries — may the following messages given to me encourage you to LOVE, SERVE, and INSPIRE in ways beyond your wildest dreams! ❤️


Be focused and fierce in prayer. Close your eyes to the obvious, and behold a vision of restoration and justice. This is what God wants to bring to earth. There are people who need you to close your eyes and see them when you pray. I mean really pray tenacious prayers that reach heaven and scare you as they pass over your lips.” ~ Lisa Bevere


“In a short while, you will be standing firm on the mountaintop. The vision you carry will unfold and carry you there. My encounters with you will increase and I will be instructing you on a new level.” ~ I Hear His Whisper, Brian Simmons


“When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s Kingdom is right on your doorstep!'” ~ Luke 10:9, The Message


Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” ~ Isaiah 58:10 (NLT)


“It doesn’t matter what others see for you. If God has spoken, believe Him. Go where He tells you to go; listen to what He speaks to you. Follow this Lion as He leads, and trust the knowing even when others might not understand. Are you ready to be amazed?” ~ Lisa Bevere


We are flying into Barranquilla, staying in Santa Marta, and serving in Sevilla, Magdalena, Columbia (see map below). This Compassion Trip is entirely possible because God opened a HUGE door for us to go, and because of the generous support of our dear family and friends!

Over 65+ individuals and/or families have helped us via fundraising support etc.! We are beyond grateful for each of YOU! — Kelli Abramovich, Debbie Ayer, Angela Bertram, Krysten Begley, Del & Betty Blake, Dan & Wilma Bohlmann, Barbie Borinski, Ed Canavan, Beth Cellular, Nicki Church, Clarkson Family, Teresa Demeter, Jaime Finnessey, Lyric Godfrey, Brittany Greathouse, Mary Grubb, Denise Gusich, Kay Hannah, Jen Haren, Hedrick Family, Jennifer Herman, Cindy Hoel, Diane Holtrup, Libby Hunt, Kim Family, Larish Family, Kim Mack, Tracy Macon, Mandat Family, Brenda Matthews, Lisa Maxcy, McFarland Family, Dana McNally, Ed McQuade, Amie Moller, Munson Family, Nichols Family, Virginia Orr, Hanan Palz, Maggie Parrish, Marcy Pratte, Maile Propst, Raber Family, Charlie & Pam Rehfeldt, Chuck & Mary Rehfeldt, Heather Ripberger, Nathalie Rivett, Nicole Roberts, Todd Rogers, Bob & Jackie Rundio, Stephanie Russell, Saar Family, Amber Samplin, Kate Shipp, Stephanie Sinagra, Bebe Smith, Summer Standifer, Susan Tangeman, George & Michelle Taylor, Martin & Haydee Taylor, Tracy Trapnell, Trowbridge Family, Valencia Family, Shauna VanHemert, Dan & Melana Wallace, Wang Family, Terri Wiest, Lynn Dee Witteveen, and Suzanne Zupancic. ❤️


Please continue to keep us and our team in your thoughts and prayers as we serve the beautiful children, families, and communities of Northern Columbia April 4-9, 2018. May God bless you beyond measure! 🙏🏻

❦ God, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to love, and hearts to grow in our understanding of You.

❦ God, use us and our team to love these kids and their families, and use us to be Your message to them — that You see them, know them, love them, and have amazing plans for them.

❦ God, may our team be an encouragement to everyone we encounter!

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Breakthrough💥

Springtime is the season of reNEWal — abundant life awakens and is displayed all around us — the warm sun, blooming flowers, birds chirping in song, change in the air. It is the perfect time to BREAK THROUGH OUR BLOCKS. “Sometimes we’re so blocked in a particular area we don’t even consider a breakthrough a possibility. We’re so blocked we don’t even see our blocks. Stay open. Don’t limit yourself. Something that yesterday seemed entirely unfeasible and forever beyond your grasp may tomorrow, next month, next year — or today — become something you can do naturally, something that’s available to you. It can come as a total surprise, in an area you hadn’t considered. Your breakthrough may happen in an area you’ve been struggling with and working on.” ~ Melody Beattie

How are you reNEWing? What breakthrough are you looking for?

Life is more than setbacks, and it’s not static. Appreciate and respect where you are now. But let yourself move to the next level when it’s time. Celebrate your breakthroughs when they come. Listen to that quiet voice, that fleeting thought that says, Why don’t you________? — even if it’s something you’ve never done before. ~ Melody Beattie

Who or what is pulling on you?

What do you think you should do?

Now take it to the next step, the next level. What does your heart lead you to do?


Bhavana Meditation:

Bhavana is a Sanskrit word meaning reflection, contemplation, infusion.

To practice a bhavana meditation, think of a quality you would love to be permeated by, and soak in it.

  1. Think of one, two, or three qualities you would love to be infused with. Ask within yourself, “What would I love to be filled with? What kind of energy? What quality of being?” You could write these words in your journal. Your words might be quite different from one another, such as power, peace, love, excitement, stability, clarity.
  2. Give yourself a chance to love each word, leisurely. Bond with the word; let your body be at home with it.
  3. Develop a rhythm of leisurely thinking of each word and then pausing to feel it resonating in you. Like when you drop a pebble into a pond, watch the ripples. You might think one of your words every ten or twenty seconds, so it takes a full minute to think all three. Get used to this rhythm: the word, the feeling of the word, the sensations and imagery, the silence after the word, then the next word.

You can meditate in this way for five, ten, or twenty minutes a day. You can do this with any quality you love, or are devoted to, or have faith in. ~ Lorin Roche, The Radiance Sutras


“There is purpose and value in each day of your life, in each season of your life. Nurture your times of action, of creating, of doing, and value your quieter times of going within. Study nature’s ways. Learn her rhythms, her seasons, her cycles. These same seasons are within us. Nurture and trust the seasons of your soul.” ~ Melody Beattie

May you be reNEWed in this season of your life. Stay open. Don’t limit yourself. A breakthrough is happening.💥

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Transformation ❦

Butterflies go through an incredible journey. They start out as larvae, next they become caterpillars, and finally they attach to a leaf or tree and enshroud themselves with a fine and strong cocoon. Then they appear to sleep. But, during this time when they remain out of sight, they are silently TRANSFORMING. Nothing is visible to the eye that observes from the outside. An inner process of transformation changes an earthly caterpillar with its belly on the ground, into an extraordinary creature with beautiful, iridescent wings. The old form must die or be released for the beautiful, new creature to emerge and take flight. With people too, very often inner, silent transformation is continually taking place, mostly beyond our usual realm of conscious awareness. Through healing practices such as yoga, it is possible to transform the worm-like qualities and shed them like an old cocoon. It takes courage and a willingness to grow and change. What old cocoon would youlike to shed off today? What would help you transform, grow, and fly? You are free when you are fearless.

Journaling Questions ❤️

What are you feeling full of right now?
What are you releasing from the past?
What are you opening to ?
What are you closing to?
What are you inviting in?
What are you letting go of?
What are you celebrating?
How do you want to feel?

Set a fresh intention for the coming week.

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Do you think the caterpillar knows what it will become as it retreats from the world into its cocoon? Or is it a grand gesture of faith, and simply trusts everything will be OK in time? ~ Nigel Coates

Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see. ~ William Newton Clarke

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~ Maya Angelou

Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time. ~ Deborah Chaskin

“Just as the world around us changes and evolves, so do the circumstances and situations in our lives. We live in a universe that is alive, vibrant, and constantly evolving. Change is the way nature, the universe, and the Divine move us through each period of our lives. We are led to our next lesson, our next adventure. There’s no need to deny change, to fear it, or fight against it. Change is inevitable. Just as the earth is in constant motion and transformation, so are we. Growth can be gentle now. Growth can be fun. Breathe in new air. Breathe in new energy. Exhale the past, its feelings, beliefs, and toxins. Let it go. Let yourself be transformed.” ~ Melody Beattie

Butterfly Meditation ❤️

As you take in a deep breath, start to visualize the ground below you filled with the color of your choice. This color extends 50 feet down into the earth. Now, begin to imagine the energy centers on the bottoms of your feet opening up. As you inhale, visualize the soft color you have chosen filling up your feet. When your feet are completely saturated with the color, bring the color up through your ankles, legs, pelvis and lower back. Each time you exhale, witness the color leaving through your lungs, carrying any tension and stress with it. See the tension dissolve into the air. The color is now reaching your abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, neck and head. Exhale the color slowly out of your lungs.

Imagine you are a caterpillar. You are crawling on the tree where you live. Attaching yourself to a branch of the tree, you slowly start to form your cocoon. Gradually, you surround yourself with a golden, silken thread until you are totally hidden. You are inside the cocoon, completely surrounded by the softness of silk. You rest in the warmth of the golden darkness. You are not fully aware, so you do not know what is happening to you. However, you somehow sense that in this apparent stillness the Divine is at work. See if you can sense what is happening to you. At last, the cocoon breaks open, and a ray of light penetrates through a split in the cocoon. As the light touches you, it makes you feel a sudden surge of vitality, and you realize you can shed the cocoon that is around you. As you feel the cocoon falling away, you begin to discover that with it you have shed the defenses and supports of your safety net, and your past. You are freer than you ever dreamed you could be! You are now a beautiful, multicolored butterfly. You realize your boundaries have widened, and you can fly wherever you want. You feel light, fearless, and free.

Butterfly (Song Lyrics by Lenny Kravitz)

You are the most beautiful thing
I’ve ever seen
You shine just like sunlight rays
On a winter snow
I just had to tell you so
Your eyes sparkle as the stars
Like the moon they glow
Your smile could light the world on fire
Or did you know?
Your mind’s full of everything
That I want to know
I just had to let you know
I just had to tell you so
You’re my butterfly
Fly high
Fly fly fly ❦

 

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