Saturday, September 21, 2019

Return from Arizona ~ Ladies Retreat

"Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God;
for it is pleasant; and praise is beautiful."
~ Psalm 147:1 ~

My heart is extremely full of praise and thanksgiving!
Thank you each and everyone who prayed for me 
as I traveled to and from Arizona.
I had also asked for prayer on behalf of mom as she 
had surgery on her hand and elbow, and with another praise, 
the surgery went very well and mom is doing great.
Mom can already feel the change from the nerve block
and is able to use her cane now with out severe pain.
I've had a song of praise in my heart now for the past few weeks as
God's goodness time and again, fills my heart with joy.

Arizona was HOT 🌡☀️
I'll never forget the day it was 109 degrees!
It was a great time regardless of the heat
and I was able to accomplish so much for mom.
I did some pruning on a few cactuses around mom's home
and found it quite different from the type of pruning here in Colorado.
Mom and I took a beautiful drive through the
Saguaro Desert National Park on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
You know...the more I visit Arizona, the more beautiful I find it.
Such beauty in each and every cactus, even this disfigured one.

The second day on my drive home I chose to take a scenic route 
and I was not disappointed!
My dad loved taking the back roads and I'm no different.
It was a perfect sunny day and it was as if I had the road all to myself.
Slow and peaceful is the best way to describe that drive.
Donatella and I stopped a number of times
and took a leisurely walk discovering new territory. 
Oh the new smells that Donatella enjoyed,
she was in her Hound dog glory! 🐾

As I came around a bend there was a herd of buffalo in the field
and what a magnificent sight!
This was quite an awesome ranch and well looked after.
The buffalo seemed quite at peace on those grounds near that pond.
I quickly turned the car around and sat by the roadside 
drinking in the beauty of this magnificent animal, God's creation.
When I left Arizona the temperatures were in the 90's and cooling down some.
I left behind warm sunny days and beautiful blooming foliage
and was greeted with the changing of colors in our Aspen trees.
One of the mountain passes I drove over had a few clumps of yellow
popping up announcing that Fall was arriving.
While I love and enjoy all the seasons, I have to be honest,
I am not ready for this next season quite yet.

"God is with you"
"If you have a heart willing to be changed
and a mind willing to be stretched, 
our God has something amazing planned for you.".
This was the theme for the ladies retreat 
with Liz Curtis Higgs in Pagosa Springs Colorado.
Three days after I returned home from Arizona, I repacked my suitcase
and headed for some quiet time alone
just me and God, and a whole lot of joy and laughter
with author/speaker Liz Curtis Higgs.
It was through a dear blogging friend and her giving heart
that I was introduced to Liz just after my knee surgery over a year ago.
Liz is a cancer survivor who has an infectious positive attitude, who is
full of joy laughter and a smile that warms your heart.
Being able to go to one of her speaking engagements 
has been a desire of mine since I first read her book
"31 Verses To Write On Your Heart".
Liz teaches the Word of God in a way that you understand it ~ word for word 
and in a way that is thought provoking for your own personal walk with the Lord.
 She's amazing!

~ Liz and myself at the retreat ~

I had the most wonderful time at this retreat!!
I left Pagosa Springs having met new friends and sisters in Christ
and a renewed and refreshed heart through the working of the Spirit.
Liz does not usually speak to small groups,
but God opened up that door for a unique purpose 
and I truly believe that it was God's appointment for my being there.
Three Bible characters Liz spoke of were, Sarah, Lea and Hagar,
and she shared how "God was with them".
God knew them, He knew their situations, their troubles pain and sorrow
and He met them right where they were and never left them.
God's love is enough, may we never forget that!
The joy of the Lord is our strength,
the strength of the Lord is our joy.

You know summer is coming to an end when these beauties arrive.
These happy little "weeds" line our highways 
as our Summer comes to a close.
I love seeing these as they show off their happy faces,
it's just knowing what follows... the end to another Summer season
that I dislike about their appearance.
I'm doing my best in making the rounds so I can visit with you,
but these last few weeks have not allowed for many visits.
I hope to catch up with you and the beauty you share 
with us throughout our blogging community.
Take care my friends and God be with you.
God is worthy of our praise!



FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Debbie ~ what a joy filled post. What a wonderful opportunity to see and hear Liz. Love the pic of the two of you. I also have been blessed by her writings.

Good to hear that your Mom is doing well, an answer to prayer.

Enjoy your changing season. Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

P.S. Loved the heart shaped cactus in your header.

Natalia said...

Lovely photos, what a fun it is to yave a safe and wonderful trip like this, Arizona must be amazing! Have a lovely day ☺

Sandi said...

I always enjoy your uplifting posts!

I, too, am sorry to see summer go. It went very fast this year.

Carol said...

I hate to see summer leaving us although I enjoy fall a great deal, but I know what follows and how I hate snow and cold! I would love to visit Arizona one of these days.

Elizabethd said...

What different lands we all live in! Cactus, buffalo? No such things in England! I am always fascinated to see the scenery and areas where other people live.
Your retreat sounds God given, Debbie, so glad you benefited from your time.

NanaNor's said...

Dearest Debbie, Love catching up with you here! Such praise about your mom's surgery and recovery. Then what a blessing to go to the retreat-I haven't heard of Liz before, but definitely want to get that book! Pagosa Springs is a beautiful place, only been there once but loved it. Seems that our colors will be about a month late. Our mornings are cold but afternoons still warm. I love fall, just not winter.
Sending love, hugs and prayers your way.

Debby Ray said...

Welcome back, dear Debbie! It sounds like you had a wonderful time and praise God that your mom has done so well! I haven't been been to AZ (or anyplace like it) but would love to visit sometime. And I just LOVE Liz Curtis Higgs! She was the speaker at a retreat a group of ladies and I attended...she is just fabulous. I also follow her Facebook page where she does video blog posts. We have used a few of her books as study materials as well.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Welcome home, dear Debbie!! Prayers were certainly said for you and your mom. I’m happy to know that she’s doing so well. How wonderful for you to go to the retreat when you got back. I’m grateful to have Liz’s book gifted to me from someone special. I’m happy to know that you met her in person. Now you’re back in CO and Fall has arrived. God bless you, my friend.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Praying for you and your family.

God bless.

Lea said...

So, so good to hear from you and read about your visit with your Mom, your drive there and back and your inspiring retreat. It doesn't get much better than that. My brother and his wife recently moved to Ora Valley, Arizona. We plan to go and visit in Jan or Feb. Have a beautiful Lord's Day!

Joyful said...

Dear Debbie, I didn't know about your mom's pain or surgery but I'm so glad to read that the Lord brought her through it in a great way. What a marvellous answer to prayer. I love your photos of Arizona. I think it is a place I would love for some of my family members lived in a semi arid place too for many years. It could get so hot in summer. I don't do well in such heat myself but I do love the scenery. Your scenery in Colorado looks pretty spectacular too. I love your story about meeting Liz and getting to the retreat. It sounds like you had a wonderful time of refreshing. God bless. xx

Anne Payne said...

I'm so glad your summer was filled with bountiful blessings! Our God is a good good God!!! Meeting Liz in person would be amazing! I have long admired her teaching and appreciate her love, compassion, and gentleness that she portrays. Glad you are home safe and sound, my friend! Love you!!!

happyone said...

Such a happy post. So glad to hear all is going well.
I like taking back roads too.
The cactus look like it has a face and its right arm is raised and waving. At least to me it does. : )

Debbie said...

I guess my first comment didn't go through....Thank you for such an inspirational post, Debbie. How wonderful that your mom is doing so well. Your photography is fantastic! what a gift! Your joy is infectious! How nice to have the Holy Spirit as a traveling partner....showing you so many blessings along your route. xo

Granny Marigold said...

How fortunate your Mom is to have you to care for her when she needs extra help. Likewise you are blessed to have her as well.
I cannot imagine 109 degrees. Just too hot!!

Ruth Hiebert said...

It is so good to hear those praise reports. God is always working for us, but there are times when we see it more. Your uplifting words are encouraging.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Love the heart shaped cactus as the beginning, and then all the unique and beautiful in their own special way. Love your message here..and so glad that you were able to spend time with your mother in such a wonderful way, and then to come home to that marvelous that is amazing how God timed it all. Thank you for sharing with us. So glad you are home safe and sound. God bless you and prepare your heart for "winter" glad you have autumn to gradually work you way into winter. Just take it one day at a time. God is with you no matter what the season. Amen?

Terra said...

The women's retreat with Liz sounds like a true blessing. I think she would be a dynamic and faith filled speaker. That odd looking cactus is very handsome.

Jill said...

So happy to hear all went well with your mom's surgery. I think I could visit Arizona but not live there.... I don't do well with the heat at all, lol. I'm the same way about driving, I always take the backroads and enjoy the scenery. The highway stresses me out too much as people drive so crazy now, on their phones etc. These are lovely photos and the retreat sounded really nice! Enjoy the rest of your week.


Regina said...

So glad your mom's surgery went well and she is able to get around now. What a blessing! Yes Arizona is such a beautiful state to live in. I love seeing the antelope, deer and elk grazing in the fields along our highways. We have wild burro crossing signs but I haven't seen one of them yet. God's creation is beautiful.
Kaitlyn keeps wanting us to pull over off the road to pick wild sunflowers but we decided there's plenty to pick on walks on our country roads.
Well have a blessed week!

ShazInOzCardsCalligraphy said...

Dear sweet sister, Debbie, your post was bubbling over with the joy of the Lord, praise His name for His mercies are very great, in health, in travel, in enjoying time with loved ones and being feed in the Word and revelling in the glories of God’s creation I so enjoyed your Photos as well the blessings you shared.
Thanks for being a blessing, and may God bless you too.
Hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

{Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
{Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

Creations By Cindy said...

So thankful your mom's surgery went well. What a blessing right there for you. All of your pictures are just beautiful! WOW! I know that you will treasure the moments if your back room view. How awesome that you got to attend such a wonderful ladies retreat. I taught one or two of Liz's bible studies before. She has such a wonderful spirit and wit. Her bubbly personality surely is contagious isn't it? Hugs and blessings, Cindy

hobbyloes said...

Glad your mother got through well and doesn't have that much pain anymore.
What a blessed encounter with Liz.
How beautiful are the catuses, what a heat it was there.
Wish you many blessings dear Debbie ♥

Conniecrafter said...

Good to hear your mom is doing so well and you were able to spend some time with her too, I bet it meant alot to her. It has been HOT here too, but we are getting a little relief before we go in the 90's again. The yellows are looking so pretty in the trees. I love all the different areas of our country but I do love the trees over the wide open, it just makes me feel cozy.
Your ladies retreat sounds like it was just what you needed, so good to hear that it was all you had hoped for. It is amazing how God leads us to what we need.

Debbie Nolan said...

Ah Debbie - I am truly grateful to read that your Mom's surgery was a success and that you had such a safe and blessed trip to Arizona. Your photos are just breathtaking. As for Liz Curtis Higgs...I have heard of her but never read her books...I am going to do a library search and hope to find one of her books on the shelf. What a blessed trip God gave to you sweet friend. Thanks for sharing. Hugs!

Cheryl said...

So thankful you are back home safe, sweet friend! And, the ladies retreat sounds just amazing and so full of blessings. God is so good. :)

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello Debbie~
It was delightful reading your blog! So nice to hear your news.
Glad your mom is recovering well and nice to know you and she had a blessed time together!
Your Retreat sounds like it was totally hand picked for you by God : ) I love when that happens~
I am always a little (or a lot) sorry to see Summer go; as beautiful as Autumn is - our Winters here are long . . . But it is what it is and I will set my heart to be thankful for Every season! <3
Loving hugs to you, karen o

Carla from The River said...

Hello, Good news regarding your mom. Safe travels too, I know those safe travels are something I also thank God for. My son has been commuting to college. I am very thankful for safe travels.
Enjoy your Colorado Autumn!!
Love, Carla

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