Monday, May 18, 2015


The days of my life [were] all prepared before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139:16 The Message)

On April first, my husband pulled the moving truck up to the house as my phone rang. I was far too busy for phone calls, but the Oregon number caught my attention and I answered. It was Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center, asking me if I wanted to come to a women’s retreat in May. I had signed up on a waiting list months before and there was a room available now.

“Um. Wow. I don’t know! Can I come right now?” I asked for a week to think about it. My best friend and I talked (I texted her in the middle of my moving day) and we decided to do this. The speaker at this conference was Margaret Feinberg. Lissa and I had read her Joy book (among others) and wanted to hear her in person. We also wanted to walk on the beach and go to coffee shops near the beach.

It was good to have this getaway to look forward to during the month of April. The move threw me off kilter and my husband was in the middle of his busiest season, and it was all just crazy.

I have a lot to say about this conference, but one detail of the messages really stands out. Margaret spoke of casting anchors into the future. When we experience rough times, one way to find hope and joy is to look forward. Plan something. Something you can actually do (not, as she mentioned, a trip into space). 

I realized that this trip to Cannon Beach was an anchor for me. When I couldn’t find half my clothes or the last box of china, I looked forward to walking on the beach. When I felt empty and out of touch with Jesus, I looked forward to hearing his message through Margaret.

Margaret pointed us to the book of Philemon. She reminded us that Paul, writing from prison, asked Philemon to get a room ready for him. He was planning a trip.

Lissa reminded me, in times of spiritual emptiness, to “get a room ready for Jesus.” I was intrigued by this thought. I am sure that each of us prepares for worship in a different way. (My preparation for a quiet time of worship at home involves some incense from a Greek monastery, a cup of coffee, and a Baroque music CD.) Planning a time of worship in the afternoon can be a simple anchor I toss out in the morning. 

Casting anchors into the future expresses our faith that God has our future planned--a future full of hope and joy.

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 43:3-5)

photo credit: Cannon Beach via photopin (license)

1 comment:

  1. Ruth, I am overjoyed that Cannon Beach Christian Conference was an anchor for you. We had a blast! Praying that you continue to use joy as a weapon sweet friend.