by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
“Today I will choose LOVE.
If I mistakenly choose distraction, perfection, or negativity over love, I will not wallow in regret. I will choose love next. I will choose love until it becomes my first response…my gut instinct…my natural reaction.
I will choose love until it becomes who I am.”
-Rachel Macy Stafford
Does it feel like you are constantly running in circles?
Does it feel like you’re always thinking of the needs of others?
Does it feel like you never get a moment to breathe or stop or rest?
Does it feel like your to-do list and calendar dictates your day?
Does it feel like you lose your patience and temper with those closest to you ?
Does it feel like you have too many decisions to make all at once?
These were questions and sentiments that a group of young adult women kept echoing. We gathered for a night to retreat. To rest. To pray. To laugh. And to share.
I love to retreat and I love the holiness that opens up when people gather together. Especially a group of women. This retreat was no different. As we talked and shared I felt our hearts and burdens lighten a little. Not because our challenges and lives weren’t difficult and busy, but because we saw that we weren’t alone. We saw in the faces of our neighbors that someone else could hold us in prayer. Someone else knew what it was like to be at the breaking point. Someone else knew the pain of challenging relationships. Someone else knew the desire for a more relaxed life.
I also think I love retreats because even though it’s a great time of fellowship and sharing, it’s a time that points directly to God. A time of giving thanks for relationships that God has blessed us with in our lives. A time of giving thanks for God’s grace that overcomes any of our faults and misgivings. A time to remember that we are deeply loved. A time to relish in being children of God.
We left the retreat that night not with our problems solved but rather the assurance that whatever life threw at us we don’t have to face it alone.
Our focus for the night was reflected in the words, Only Love Today. So as we gathered in love we left in love. For that night, love was indeed present. And love would continue to walk with us.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of a toddler, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com