12717847_10153910103704321_3014427980180873906_nThe Winter 2016 Reserved Retreat is over!

I watched as the women walked in. Weary, not only from travel, but from life. The lines of stress etched in their faces. Many walked in with heavy burdens; alone, unknown.

They walked in, unsure of whether this would be a safe place; unsure of what was happening back home. Many were not sure they could make it another day living with a child whose behaviors and issues had made life unbearable.

I watched as they tentatively reached out – hoping to find camaraderie but afraid because they had been burned through judgment, criticism or misunderstanding too many times. So they sat back, trying to see if they could open up and be completely honest there at retreat, but it didn’t take long for them to feel safe to open up. From the opening session, the pure honesty from speakers and fellow retreat-goers made one thing clear: this was one place where they could be understood, known, loved, and cared for – not for what they did but for who they are: a Daughter of the King.

I watched miracle after miracle as God reached in to pull these war-torn women out of their isolation. So many times I overheard comments like, “I thought I was the only one who…” or “Me too!” Prayer warriors who had committed to praying for these women from the time they registered throughout the weekend wrote letters as if they had been reading the women’s journals. God spoke through the sessions, but also through each of the women as they shared their stories, laughed, cried, hugged and prayed.

Through rest, self-care, art, massages, worship, pampering, fun, and friendship, the Lord moved in a way that I’ve rarely seen. I watched God speak directly to and encourage their souls. I watched as a group of weary, isolated women became life-long friends in the matter of days. I watched God rejuvenate and restore. I saw different faces leave the event that those that came. I saw the lines of stress replaced by joy, hope, peace, and rest. I saw God show up in the miraculous.

Here’s How You Can Pray:

These women live in a moment-by-moment battle for the lives and hearts of their precious, wounded children. They need ongoing prayer and support. What they are doing isn’t easy and can’t be done alone.

  1. Please pray for the women to have God’s power, wisdom and strength to keep going.
  2. Pray for continued breaks and times of rejuvenation throughout the year.
  3. Pray for professional support and resources for these families.
  4. Pray for ongoing community for these women among others in the trenches. While some have found that back in the Tri Cities, others were from different cities or states where they didn’t have the resources we have. While we have created an online community among the participants, please pray that they find ongoing, local supports.
  5. Even before the retreat began God started to give us a vision for seeing this retreat happen in other cities and states. We are working with a team in Seattle to see it happen on the western side of the state this coming fall. There are others interested in bringing it to places like Phoenix, Indianapolis, New York, and in Wisconsin. Pray that God will direct to where and when it needs to happen. Please pray for funding. Our ultimate vision would be that no mom would ever have to pay to come to retreat, and we would love to have financial backing to be able to send as many moms as possible to a rejuvenating retreat.

If you are an adoptive or foster mom and didn’t get to make it to this retreat, keep checking our Web site for retreats planned in Western Washington in the Fall of 2016 and next year at other locations around the country.

Jennie Owens
Follow Me

Jennie Owens

Co-founder at Forever Homes
In addition to her work as an author, parenting coach at Canyon Lakes Family Counseling Center and as a foster parent trainer for the State of Washington, Jennie is an adoptive mother with more than 20 years experience in foster, group and residential care.
Jennie Owens
Follow Me