April 23, 2008

I need to … (part 1)

Filed under: dreams,hopes,memories,retreats — writebrainit @ 11:24 pm

“I need to jump in a puddle!”

Recently I was graced with the opportunity to attend and participate in a retreat. Now I used to work on a lot of these, and I honestly miss them. Even when there was work involved, the retreat and prayer aspect of the weekend always left me with a real sense of peace. The people in attendance all minister to youth in one way or another, so I admit that I had some initial struggles with why I was invited. I didn’t allow it to bother me too much though, I used to minister my faith to the youth of the world, things change and I no longer do this. However, I think I didn’t allow myself to feel out of place because I still work with youth as well – working with children who have mental and behavioral health concerns. And there’s the whole thing of ‘and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love…’

We prayed, listened and shared, fairly quickly. I was blown away by the immediate honesty and sharing of feelings and emotions. There was both tears and laughter. I know that some of the immediate emotion was shared because many of these people know each other fairly well and work, collaborate and share together.

One of my favorite small group sharing opportunities occurred on the second day. We were split into groups of three or four and were to share some of our memories. I can’t remember the exact direction, but it had to do with thinking of something we did as a child that we are missing right now in our lives. I don’t exactly remember the one I shared because I really do miss a lot about my childhood – I think I shared about riding my bike in the small town we lived in. I often think back to my childhood in Bozeman, MT and while I am not resentful about our move to Nebraska, but I do often wonder how different my life would have been had we remained in Montana. It’s funny because recently I have re-connected with some of my friends from that time and with the stories they have shared and the direction their lives have gone, I know my life would have been very different.

Anyhow, back to the retreat. After the small group sharing, we had the opportunity to share with everyone something that we learned from our small groups. One woman shared that she had learned something from one of the people in her group. She had talked about jumping in puddles. When she spoke of this, there was such excitement in what she was saying that had it actually been raining, we would have all been racing outside to jump in puddles. She ended her comments by punching her fist and saying, “I need to jump in a puddle.”

That phrase kept playing in my head for the next several days. Her excitement at the thought of jumping in a puddle had me excited. I have jumped in puddles, so in my mind, I made it my own and thought, ‘I need to jump in more puddles.’ Again it ran through my mind over and over for days. It has been too cold out and there aren’t any puddles, but believe me the next chance I get, I’m jumping in a puddle.


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