Dearest Created for Care Moms,
I have been thinking about the words to say since the Lord first laid this on my heart during our time of planning our 2017 retreats. At first, I thought certainly I must just be tired—certainly He wasn’t really asking us to bravely follow this way and asking you all trust and join me…by doing something I didn’t expect.
When you hear God speak in a way that surprises you and you want to be certain— always go two places: on your knees and to His Word. I wanted to be sure I was hearing Him right. The more I was on my knees and the more I was in His Word—the clearer and clearer it became. Yep—I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. It didn’t make sense. But I knew this was the way to follow Him.
I felt the Lord saying it was time for our most sacred, sweet, treasured retreats—to rest.
Y’all. 7 years! Seven sweet years. As I poured over scripture I smiled reading about the Sabbath year—(rest)—that follows after many years of planting. For 7 retreats we have gathered, planted—and oh how we have reaped! We have reaped healing, new friendships, so many laughs and such refreshment seeing we are not alone. Now—we feel Him saying rest.
I scratched my head a lot at what He was saying—what it meant—and what He was asking us to do. I shared this with a few trusted prayer warriors and mentors—and some times questions followed…”Why not pass this down? Train someone to do it for you? Keep a good thing going?” And I prayed.
Each time I felt the Lord saying the same thing—Rest. Then reach out. Really do life together. I have brought you together for a time…now GO.
We met as a team—and it was amazing…like mind-blowing…to see that the Lord was also leading the rest of our team in this way too. Loving your family, leading children to Jesus and staying connected to your community is a lot of work! Planning retreats—y’all…we had no idea how much work. But. It has been a joy. Now we feel like the Lord is leading us all to really reach out to our community.
He has shown us through Created for Care that we are not alone. Hearing you all sing “It Is Well” has shown us what authentic, real worship together looks like. Through the speakers and breakouts, He has given us resources to equip us and resources to help others. Now we want to go do that in new ways—in real ways—in uncomfortable, good, brave ways.
And while Created for Care has, for many of us, become our place of rest and comfort—some times He shakes things up a little bit, gives us a new challenge and asks us to bravely follow.
Will you begin praying about who you can bring in to your encouragement community? Are there foster and adoption moms in your area you could begin to meet with? What if you used our resources from the past years—and began to use those to encourage other foster and adoption families in your child’s school, in your church and even simply in your marriage? Will you pray about going to new, brave places with us?
One of the hard things for me about leaving Created for Care retreats is they are so good. The Lord keeps saying over and over to me “Sometimes I ask good things to end.” Isn’t that true? But in our minds and hearts we think good things should go on forever! I believe the Lord asks good things to end when He has something even better ahead for each of us.
For me, I want to spend more time with my family and make the most of every moment while they are little. I want to say this is good, but you all are more important than good, and we want God’s best…for me, for you, and for whatever He is calling each of us to.
We want to continue our presence online to encourage you and to let you know when there are special things like retreats or conferences. But we also want to challenge you to go with us as God asks us to rest and be present…to really dive deep into relationships in our community. We want to be obedient and faithful and brave. We want to trust Jesus and follow Him when He says turn or wait or stop or go. We know many of you will have questions and many of you will miss our sweet gatherings… and we are right there with you. We have questions and we will miss it too!
More than anything though—we are excited! We started 7 years ago feeling like a fish out of water—and we close out knowing there are now thousands of moms…a great cloud of witnesses…who run this race with us! We needed each other—and now we have each other. It’s our prayer that you will continue to retreat in smaller groups that go deeper and further than a big group could ever offer. We want your homes to be filled with hope and your time with other moms to be filled with encouragement and laughter…whether its karaoke or coffee and a lot of chocolate.
Maybe one day after this Sabbath rest the Lord will say bring it back ladies…and if He does you can count on us following. But if He doesn’t, we cherish the sweet years we had worshipping with you, learning beside you and doing ridiculous skits to make you laugh.
So now will you pray about what His plan is for you in reaching out to foster and adoption moms? As we step aside will you be brave and take a step forward? Will you be the one who takes our baton and instead of calling hundreds…just pray for 5 or 10 or 25 you can bring together right where you are?
We will be sharing resources for you to use and we might even make videos to make you laugh. 😉 Things may even get crazy and we could ask you to pack your bags and go with us across the world to love on adoption moms in another country. Our ears will be listening, our hands will be open, and our hearts will forever have all of you in it.
So we can better focus on our families, we will be closing out our store and all sales in the beginning of June. Until then, we will keep all of our past audio and video on the site for two reasons: to help you stock up on past goodness to find encouragement, and to bless others while also helping us close out our books. Thank you for joining us in loving and serving other mommas!!!
You are so loved!
Andrea and the Created for Care Team