Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gratefulness Goes a Long Way

Almost every day we have heard from attendees of the Dallas MQ retreat sharing gratefulness, testimonies of what the Lord did, and excitement for the joy of walking with Him! Their notes are too precious to keep to myself. I hope you enjoy reading the feedback of dear sisters in the Lord as much as I have!
I attended the Maiden's Quest retreat and I had so much fun! Two of my friends were able to come. I have decided to surrender my life to Christ. Your talk was amazing and helped me so much. Thank you so much!!!!!!


I deeply appreciate that you all give of your time to put on such a lovely retreat. When [my duaghter] got home she was joyful and so happy to have attended. Thank you for infusing each session with Scripture and being so transparent and unapologetic about your love of Christ. This was exactly what I was hoping for! It's now my job and delight to pray for application!

Bless you all as you recover from these last two retreats and look ahead to what He has next for you!


I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for a wonderful Maiden's Quest Retreat on Friday and Saturday! I felt so encouraged and challenged throughout the weekend. I found the session called "Before you kiss that frog" especially practical. Thank you so much, and may God bless you all as you follow His leading!


Hey, well there is so much to say about this Maiden's
Quest.... I have learned so much... in how treat myself as a girl, I do play softball at school so I wear uniforms to school which I dont mind because you dont have to worry about looking imodest!! But I have learned so much and put my full life in Jesus Christ and don't care what any body else thinks about what I do and or what I say!!

Thanks a whole lot!


Thank you! My heart was so encouraged by the time spent receiving your inspiration and encouragement, and witnessing your radiance in the Lord! Wow! I could tell all of you are just on fire for our King~ you are living testimonies of the joy that comes from His presence!

I enjoyed the weekend so much~ if I were to pick the favorite, most influential and delightful time of my life, the Maiden's Quest conference would definitely be one of my top choices! The messages were so inspiring and encouraging, the worship so Spirit-filled, and I could just tell that all of you love the Lord so much. Your joy in the Lord is contagious!

I loved each and every aspect of the conference so much, but most of all, I want to thank you all for your examples. Above everything else at the retreat, seeing the four of you full of passion and joy, life and love for the Lord was amazing. I can't tell you enough how much the Lord touched me through your examples~ on stage and mingling with all us girls. I am so proud of you, my older sisters-in-Christ, and I pray for God's storehouse of blessings to just be poured out upon you in its entirety.

I will always remember you, and lift you up in my prayers. Thank you so much for being such pure channels of His message and love, and for directing so many hearts to Him.
Please stay strong in and intimate with our Lord~ you are doing a wonderful work for girls like me, and your obedience and devotion to Him are truly making a difference in many lives. I am so privileged to have attended the Maiden's Quest retreat. I just know God smiles every time He looks down on you and your team! God bless you all so much! May His presence be real to you every day of your lives, and may He always, always strengthen your hearts as His eyes look to and fro throughout the earth, seeking those committed to Him.
I love you in the love of the Lord!


We are praying you all will come next year to minister to us again. It was such a delight to see God at work in your lives. Our girls came away so encouraged to wait on the Lord for their husbands and to do their best and give their best for Him while waiting on the Lord for His perfect timing! We continue to pray for all of you and ours, as you each wait on the Lord in His service, while he is preparing young men to be your husbands. Thank you again for blessing us!!


Thank you so much for the special weekend you gave me! I can't tell you how greatly I enjoyed the Maiden's Quest Conference. It was so motivating and challenging. I'm excited about growing in my walk with the Lord in the coming days! You truly are having an eternal impact. For a very long time I had planned on going to the typical four year college, but after this weekend I am seriously considering staying home and taking classes at a community college and learning how to do domestic things. Thank you for your encouragement in that area. I'm still not sure what I will do when I graduate but you helped me to think a little more clearly about the joy of being a homemaker and serving others.
Again, thank you for blessing me in such a huge way!


I cannot find words to describe how much I enjoyed the conference!! It was just fantastic! It was so inspiring and encouraging! I am amazed at how well you and Tara know the Bible by your teachings! Your teachings were so convicting! I can't wait for y'all to have another conference nearby!

An Abundance of Kodak Moments

Pictures of the Dallas MQ retreat are now up on the web!
Check them out here!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Will of God

As I stated in my prior blog post, I have been praying much for God's specific direction pertaining to decisions that concern future pursuits. As I have been earnestly "seeking His will" for the specifics, I stumbled across a study I jotted down several years ago entitled, "What is the Will of the Lord?", as learned from Luke chapter one. Re-reading this study has served to remind me of the will of God according to the bigger picture.

~ Be righteous, walking in God's commandments - Luke 1:6

~ Believe the words of the Lord - Luke 1:20

~ Go to others in the Spirit and power of Jesus - Luke 1:17a

~ For the hearts of fathers to be turned to their children - Luke 1:17b

~ For the disobedient to be turned to the wisdom of the just - Luke 1:17c

~ To make ready a people prepared for the Lord - Luke 1:17d

~ It is the will of the Lord to do the impossible at times - Luke 1:37

~ Magnify the Lord - Luke 1:45

~ Rejoice in God my Savior - Luke 1:47

~ Keep His Name holy - Luke 1:49

~ Fear Him - Luke 1:50

~ Be humble - Luke 1:51

~ Serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness - Luke 1:74-75

~ For ust to give light to them that sit in darkness and to give knowledge of salvation to other people - Luke 1:76

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


"Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee." Psalm 143:8

Lately, I have been fervently praying for God's clear direction regarding future steps in my life. There are so many opportunities that I could be involved in; so many ideas I have for investing in eternity; so many people who have asked committments of me in different areas.
But what is God's best?

Five years of learning to trust the Lord for direction regarding future pursuits has taught me a whole lot of what it really means to seek His will and wait for His revelation. Just when it seems I have finally learned how to fully trust Him and rest in Him, I am brought face-to-face with a new season of needing His guidance! Welcome back to kindergarten basics.

The above verse from Psalms keeps making an appearance before my eyes, and I feel like it captures the cry of my heart so eloquently! How similarly David and I think sometimes!

Another verse from today's 23rd Psalm also reminded me that "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake."
His Name's sake.
I am seeking the path of His direction not for my peace of mind, my satisfaction, or a boost to my spirituality. It is all for His Name's sake.

How comforting it is to receive such perspective.
Be still my soul. My God is in control.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Maiden's Quest Praise Report

We have returned home from Dallas rejoicing in all that the Lord did this past weekend during the MQ retreat! The Lord has once again been faithful to hear and answer the prayers of His people!

Out of the 202 expected registered attendees, all but one came to the retreat! (And we even had a few unexpected guests show up!) This is an incredible percentage, proving once again that the Lord had the very young ladies/mothers hand-picked that HE wanted at the conference. :-) We found this group to be a delightful crowd! They were friendly, grateful, receptive people with whom we experienced an instant rapport.

Everything about the retreat flowed smoothly from start to finish - even with a small fire mishap thrown in the mix! (A bit of toole in one of the centerpieces accidentally caught on fire from a small tea light, but ended up creating more mess than danger.) This smooth flow was truly an answer to prayer from the Lord, especially during the banquet, considering that we had 22 casseroles to thoroughly heat in ovens/warmers spread out throughout the 4-story church building. :) Thankfully, after our arrival in Dallas on Thursday afternoon, my mom took over as banquet coordinator, and with all her past experience, she was the perfect person for over-seeing this massive endeavor! Miraculously, by God's grace and a healthy dose of creativity, everything came together beautifully.

220 white satin chair covers were once again donated for our use from our sweet friends in Baytown. The Riddells hauled these up to Dallas - and oh! did they ever transform an ordinary eating room into an elegant banquet hall! What an extra blessing from the Lord these chair covers were!

God answered so many prayers to make this retreat possible. He gave us all safety on the road, zero technical difficulties, great peace of mind during our speaking times and smooth flow of speech (unlike the last retreat during which I was fighting a constant feeling of scatter-brained thoughts and unconnected sentances), provision of wonderful elective session teachers, and many other countless blessings!

Most importantly, the girls who attended thoroughly enjoyed the retreat and expressed over and over how encouraged they were in their spiritual lives! Many moms in the crowd also took the time to tell us how grateful they were for the event and for the opportunity their daughters had to hear many of the same lessons/principles they've been taught growing up but from a different perspective. They were excited to see their daughters really listening and genuinely engaged during all the messages. This was a real answer to prayer! For many of the girls there, the retreat seemed to give them renewed courage to stand alone in convictions and decisions that are so counter-culture. It was encouraging for them to know they aren't really alone in the pursuit of surrendered Christianity and virtuous womanhood, but that hundreds of other young ladies join them on the quest for God's best all across the city, state, and nation! Amen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Report on the MQ Retreat

To any of you who prayed for the Maiden's Quest retreat this past weekend, thank you, thank you! The Lord was at work in many hearts and lives - my own especially. He used the whole experience to humble me, strip me of all self-confidence, and teach me to yield my definition of success and perfection to His definitions instead.

There were several glitches throughout the retreat this time such as PowerPoint presentations being messed up, miscommunications, last-minute tasks cropping up right and left, cleaning crews not arriving, being locked out of the building on Saturday morning right up until the time we were supposed to start, etc. Despite these trials, however, the retreat flowed right along and the 120 mothers and daughters seemed to be enjoying it all tremendously.

Many attendees told us how refreshing it was to be hearing messages that were infused with the Word of God and constantly pointing back to the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were hungry for this! This was a goal Tara and I had established going into the conference, so to hear such feedback was exhilarating! Jesus truly is the answer to everything! He is the foundation upon which every encouragement, admonishment, and principle should be based...and we so desperately longed for the attention of our audience to be pointed to Him. What a blessing it was to hear testimony of God's answer to this prayer.

An alumni attendee, age 20, who actually ended up serving as a helper behind the scenes during the whole conference rededicated her life to the Lord in wholehearted commitment to Him after hearing the closing message of the retreat (the only session she got to sit in for!).

Another alumni girl came with some serious battles raging in her soul. She has amazing potential to be used mightily by the Lord as a radiant young lady and Satan knows it. He has been fighting her a lot lately. She came to the retreat with a crumbling defense and some painful battle wounds. Throughout the two days, she often came up to me or Tara and either burst into tears under conviction of the Holy Spirit, or peppered us with pointed questions about struggles she was encountering. I am thrilled to report that the Lord did a tremendous work in her heart this weekend, bringing her to a point of brokennes and repentance over various sins in her life and giving her the resolve to live for Him no matter what. One huge step of victory for her is that she committed to telling her parents of a secret sin she's been hiding from them. She eagerly agreed to let me be an accountability partner for her and we made arrangments to talk and pray on the phone together weekly.

One attendee shared with us that for several weeks, she has been planning on joining the Marines in the near future. However, during the retreat, God conivcted her that such a plan was not in line with His design for women (and we never mentioned one thing about women in the military!). She experienced a new appreciation for being made a girl and resolved to cultivate a delight in femininity. She told us that rather than join the Marines, she is excited to begin preparing herself with the skills necessary for being a wife, mother, and homemaker one day.

For a group of 3 sisters whose family is involved with intensive inner city ministry, the retreat provided a weekend of spiritual rest and renewal that they said they were greatly in need of. As we all know, there are times when we get weary in fighting the good fight and constantly pouring out to others. Their love for the Lord and wholehearted commitment to Him was readily evident; it was such a blessing to know that God used this event as a time to raise up their hands and encourage their hearts.

For many girls, the retreat brought them face to face with the truths of God's Word and the choices involved with wholehearted obedience. Our prayer for these maidens and mothers is that the Holy Spirit would continually draw them and woo them away from the watered-down version of Christianity they may be living into the depths of a tight-knit love relationship with Jesus Christ. No sacrifice is too great to make for Him who gave up all for us!

We are so grateful for each of you joining with us as prayer partners in this ministry! Your time spent interceding for us means a great deal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now, we ask for your prayers once again as we embark upon another conference in 3 weeks up near Dallas. Yes, that's right...I said 3 weeks. :-) There is a huge amount of work to be done wrapping up details from this last conference and attending to the ones pertaining to the next in such a short time. Despite the temptation to become overwhelmed with it all, we are resting in the fact that God is our rock and He will not fail us. We are excited about all He has in store!