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Great Expectations



I love to plan and organize. For the past three years, I’ve used these skills to coordinate the women’s retreat at my church. Yet, the planning has left me a bit “unretreated.” My mind is so preoccupied by the details, that I’m not able to wholly focus on seeking God during the retreat.

A few months before last year’s event, I began to pray for some time away, a personal retreat of sorts. My husband was supportive and encouraged me to getaway.

Not really knowing what it would look like, I persisted in my prayers.

Several weeks later, information about leadership training opportunities for women came to my attention. Lord, could this be what you have for me?

After talking with my mentor, I did some further research on these conferences. God eventually led me to Colorado Springs for a Women Reaching Women Fully Loaded Conference and Beth Moore Living Proof Live event.

God Is In the Details

As the trip began coming together, I felt very at peace about allowing God to take care of the details. I didn’t feel the need to plan and organize every aspect myself.

The day finally arrived. After kissing my husband and two young sons goodbye, I hopped on a bus to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport leaving on a Wednesday morning to return late Saturday night. Although I had invited two different friends to join me, there I was, traveling alone.

I would soon see that God definitely knew what He was doing!

My time in Colorado Springs, was spent marveling at the mountains, meeting wonderful women, and enjoying some quiet times with the Lord. I sat under many great speakers, learned so much about women’s ministry and was fed like crazy from Scripture!

Go Ahead and Ask

One of the highlights of my trip was seeing God answer what I would have called a “silly” prayer.

It was Friday. My morning would be spent finishing up at the leadership conference. Later that evening, I would head for the Beth Moore event.

As I stood in the bathroom getting ready for the day, I looked in the mirror and prayed. Lord, I know this is silly, but it would be so cool if I could talk with Beth Moore today.

After attending the morning sessions at the leadership conference, I walked to the main session room for lunch and learned we had an unannounced, surprise speaker … Beth Moore! To make a long story short, there was a question and answer time and I was able to ask the last question.

Seeing my silly prayer answered reminded me that God delights in giving His children good gifts!

Expect the “Un”expectable

Another important lesson learned through this experience is what can happen when I come to God with great expectations.

From the moment I booked the plane and reserved the hotel room, my mind began to dream of what God would do. An entire weekend, just Him and me! What would be learned, who would be met, how would I be changed?

While sitting at O’Hare airport waiting to board my plane, I got out a small spiral notebook, turned to the back page, and wrote: “Cool Things God Did.”

From that moment on, it was one gift after another. From praising God for an entire row of seats on the airplane all to myself, to a great time of fellowship with my cousin and her family, to the opportunity to talk with Beth Moore and even a ride home from the airport on the “party” bus, my page was easily filled entirely.

What if I entered each new day, each new hour, each new minute of every day with such great expectations? Steven Curtis Chapman says it well in his song, “Great Expectations”:

Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond my wildest imagination
Lord I come with great expectations

Before my journey even got off the ground, I was expecting God to work and move in a mighty way. And I was not disappointed!

I definitely am not a great cook, but I do believe I have found a great recipe for a getaway. Begin the journey with prayer. Appoint the Lord as travel agent and allow Him to take care of the details. Enter into the adventure with great expectations!

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Keri lives in Loves Park, Illinois with her youth pastor husband Brandon, vocabulary rich four-year-old Owen, and mama's boy two-year-old Miles. She works part time in the public schools as a speech-language pathologist and is involved with Jr High and Women's Ministries at her local church. Keri enjoys researching anything on the internet, planning and organizing events, and driving through Rock Cut State Park looking for wild turkeys with her family. In her spare time, Keri attempts to capture the pieces of her life on her blog titled Great Expectations.

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Great Expectations

by Keri Early time to read: 3 min