Friday, August 23, 2013
You can't protect yourself....ONLY I can cover & protect you............stop rushing My time, not yours.......you cant let My light shine through you, if you're standing in front of Me trying to do it yourself, MOVE OVER!!!!..............Stop walking away from Me, I've got you, ALL of you........NO REGRETS & NO PRIDE....in your own strength you'll get dropped to your knees, lean into Me.......the lessons you've learned, are NOT your identity in Me.....DON'T let go of Me..AM I WORTH EVERYTHING TO YOU??.....COME TO ME, ABIDE IN ME CONTINUALLY.....IT'S YOUR CHOICE........
& on & on He went for another few pages of really to anyone else, jibberish, but He ended with.......I AM ENOUGH & Do you believe I can???? By the end of the hour, He had spoken to every part of my being....every hurt, every joy, every distrust, every choice, just every single part of who I've been. I've shared some here, the others would take up too much room & time. Honestly, you'd probably get bored reading my list.....ask Him He probably has one for you as well....just be willing to hear it.....it can be hard to be held accountable by Our Lord & Savior.
I got my stuff together & headed back to the meeting room....I felt inspired & lighter.....I can't deny I was still trying to argue some of the things He shared with me...aaahhhh the flesh is soooo very distracting...intentionally. I know that He gave us free will, so we could choose to know Him, or not. I just think sometimes that the enemy seems to know too much.....but I am the one who has shared with him, unknowingly until I found Christ....now it's my choice how many areas I let him in on. I got in the door & heard worship music playing softly, I went to where I've been sitting & sat down. I looked around at the few other women had come back & then melted into the music......
The core team leader, began to ask how many of us heard what God shared with us....I know I raised my hand, I don't know how many did....I hope all of these beautiful women heard the gentle voice of Our LORD. She shared what He had shared with her. I believe it was a tiny bit for her.....about idols.....she was collecting friends & then putting them before most everything in her life....even Him. I don't know that verbatim, but I think I'm close. She will let me know if I'm wrong I hope. But mostly what He shared with her, was for some of the other women......she asked if she could come & share with them what He placed on her heart during her time with Him. Of course she also asked each individual woman as she stepped before them, her heart open & full with words He had placed so very purposefully with her to share with them.....this was a beautiful sight to me. A sister in Christ, who opened her heart so wide, He could share His love with her fellow sisters most often, a confirmation of what they had heard Him say during their own special hour with Him......
Another thought came to mind as she walked up to her first sister, asked if she could share & of course she replied "yes." As she began to share what He had asked her to tell her, tears began to stream down her face......at this point I recognized & had my mind stopped on something that she had shared & started to search through my notebook full of His words to me.....there it was, the same message......as she finished sharing, the sister bent down & picked up her notebook & handed it to the core leader, M. She quickly read it & tears streamed down her face, she asked if she could share some of what she had heard & jotted down & she shook her head yes. So as M began to read, tears started to stream down my face.......He had confirmed what He had shared with her in private, with M......
Around M went, sharing with each woman she had heard Him speak to her about.....with soooo many times the woman handing over her notebook.....& more times than not, I was brought to tears......& I searched through during almost all the confirmations, in my purple spiral notebook & found His message to me, included those same words......
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6 NIV
I walked out the double doors of the lobby at the retreat center....it was the most beautiful down pour of rain....I stepped out from under the covered walkway & into the cool summer rain. This is a commodity in the desert....we get so little rain, it is very much appreciated when we get some. I needed a rinsing, cleansing if you will. I felt the down pour soaking me all the way through.....all of me. I stood there for a bit, then turned to head back under the covered walkway & headed to lunch.
As I walked along, I became completely immersed in a conversation with God about the day's trimming...for some reason a soaked pinecone caught my eye, I heard Him say pick it up......I argued of course. But after some back & forth, I turned back & almost ran over one of my new friends, "sorry" I said. "No problem" she replied. I bent down & told her "I've been arguing with God about picking this up.....He won of course." She giggled. I looked at the pinecone, the first word that came to my mind was "saturated".....I could hear His clear message...."saturated in me through my word".....ok so I carried the saturated thing to lunch. I set it gently on a napkin & went to get my food. At the end of lunch I picked up my pinecone & noticed it was a little dried on the outer layer......."with out staying in my word, you can dry up"......so to make sure it wasn't completely dried out, I gave it a gentle squeeze, still moist on the inside....."I'm still in here, you just have to remember that".....so I wrapped it in the napkin it sat on & headed off to evening worship & to find out what God's agenda was for the afternoon/evening....When I reached into my bag for something there was the pinecone still wrapped in the napkin, almost completely dried out....."wrapping yourself in the world will speed up the loss of me." I decided to put it in my room, so I headed over to our room across the walkway, it was still raining & in the courtyard it was beginning to fill up with water. This time I look down & see a pinecone completely immersed in the rain that's collected next to the walkway, I clearly hear Him whisper....."staying completely immersed in Me, will keep you completely saturated with Me!!" I smiled to not only myself, but to the God who loves me enough to meet me where my feeble mind is capable of understanding...
As I walked into the room, the worship music filled the air & transported me to one of my favorite places.....lifting up praise & worshipping a God that loves me for what's inside me.....not the fleshy, easily distracted, worldly part of me....but the part that surrenders & opens itself up to a vulnerability that is very difficult for me to share, ever. When I lift up hands open wide & ready to be filled, I know that He is pleased. So, I was lost in the songs that I lifted up to praise & glorify Him....Again, I hear Him start to work on me about the relationship He took out of it's place in my "forgiven" box. He starts speaking to me about forgiveness.......
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:15 NIV
I take a position I've held for a long, long time....I have forgiven her. I have forgiven her. I have forgiven her.......He gently reminds me...."then stop using your blacking her out as a weapon".....yep you guessed it, my Facebook was blocking her from seeing anything about me or my family. I argued, "if she wanted to be able to share in all the great things going on, she shouldn't have moved across the country with out saying GOOD-BYE!!!!" She doesn't deserve to enjoy watching my kids/grandkids grow up!!!!"....on & on He showed me ever so gently how holding this & using a blackout as a weapon, gave the enemy a stronghold. How even though I thought I had forgiven her, I hadn't repented for my part, nor had I let go. I was holding onto my ability to cause her to stumble & sin.....finally when I understood, He whispered...."go unblock her & let her know that you forgive her"....."NO, NO, NO!!!!" I argued, over & over I explained all the pain I was holding against her....ALL the things I blamed her for.....each time He reminded me that she, like me, was only a person, made of flesh & bone. Me not forgiving her was holding me hostage, not hurting her. So finally, after much rebellion....I walked straight over to my phone, unblocked her & sent her a private message.......a message that this time I meant. I learned that just because I forgive someone, doesn't mean I have to do ANY more than that. It doesn't mean that anything else has to change....distance, if it keeps me on His path, is ok.......I stopped holding onto the past & moved into the future with a simple "I forgive you."
After worship we all joined the circle & the core team explained that for the next hour, they wanted us to just find a quiet spot & spend the time ALONE with God. No talking, just sit down & spend the time in Him & what He had to say.....Yes this was a wonderful time for me. I heard Him speak to what else He was going to be working on & trimming away from me next.......
Part 5 coming soon........it'll be worth it, you know it will.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Philippians 1:27 NIV
The sounds of laughter filled the "Ruby Tuesday", about 20 women filling 2 tables. Lots of which knew each other, but hadn't seen each other in quite awhile. Others, like me, were here for their first time. One of the sweetest memories of my journey is the amazing glow around our tables. I instantly felt like this is where I belong....I felt at peace, "no agenda." We went around our table & shared our names.....I thought "I'll never remember all these names????" But throughout the meal, I learned something about each of the beautiful women, H has a farm & grows/raises her own meat & veggies, or K was a hostess for an amazing Proverbs 31 author. On & on it went. I don't think I have laughed so much in a long time.
After dinner we met to learn more about each other, after all there were 2 tables of women....not just mine. We played an ice breaker. The questions were pretty light hearted & some of the answers would cause the crowd of excited women to burst out into laughter. Then came the first "A".....the question brought a heavy reality into the room...."your biggest heart break?" She looked down as if to find a piece of herself that wasn't crying...then shared her biggest heart break. I think the room held their breath & after the answer let go of the breath. On to the next & on it went, each time someone shared their "A" we all felt the hurt for each beautiful woman's heart break. For me, it was a reminder that life, can be fun & carefree, but there are trials that come & take our breath away.....always. After a break from the games, the core team for the retreat, were asking the women with the "A's" to sit in the "hot seat"....I figured out quickly that it was really a "seat of love."
In the "seat of love" God had the chance to love you directly. He could speak out through any of the amazing women who were praying over you out loud, or He could comfort you through the hands laid gently on you.....I'd never felt God's Presence so thick anywhere, or anytime. It was electrical & calming at the same time. I don't know what carried me up to the foot of the "seat of love" & yet there I was on my knees at the feet of Special K. They started to pray over both of us, hands on both of my shoulders & their words began to blurrr....I began to sob uncontrollably, from a depth I didn't know existed inside me...I tried to stop it, but I just kept hearing Jesus telling me "let it go Robin, let it all go", so I laid there...just sobbing. I began to feel a release of pain, I had sooooo much pain inside to release it seemed like I was lost in the sea of aching & couldn't swim out. I could feel the pain physically leaving my body & as quickly as it would leave I could physically feel the peace & love fill up the empty spot. I don't have any idea how long I sobbed, I just know I couldn't stop until I did. As, I started to seep back into reality, I realized I was being comforted by my new friend C-1. I left that circle, completely vulnerable. Feeling calm like I have never known....
We took a break & then God continued to meet the others right where they were. We were in group circle until well after 12:30 A.M. After a nice hot bath, I laid down & slept like I hadn't slept in I couldn't tell you how long & yet it seemed like I had just closed my eyes when the alarm went off to get up for breakfast. Still I was so awake & alert, filled with excitement at what the new day would bring.
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
1 Corinthians 14:26 NIV
Walking in I could hear the sound of worship music filling the room.....love love love to worship & praise God through music. I felt free to worship however I wanted, dancing, lifting my hands in praise, laying face down, or laying on my back just lifting up the joy I feel to the One who brings the joy. I felt so free, my heart was open for anything He had to do in me.....I was surrendering. After, worship for a bit is a blur for me, I have to be honest. But, I do remember women sharing some of the deepest parts of themselves. I thought to myself, these women are so strong!! What came next hit me in a place I thought I had left behind awhile ago....you'll notice I said "thought."
There's a relationship in my life that I had believed to be all tied up in a nice little box called "forgiven" in my heart. Lots of my past is stashed in that box. They're safe & sound in there & I don't have to think of them that often. I've labeled them forgiven because that way they're "ok" now.....at least that's the lie I kept telling myself....I even told myself that God wasn't talking about those, they were taken care of.....He knows they are there & it's ok....Then one of the women I'll call Cy, shared about this same relationship in her life & the painful truth of it.....I heard God clear as day say "this is for you......& her" but I shook my head & again He said "This is for you & her".....finally I couldn't take anymore so I got up & went into the restroom to argue out loud with Him. The first words out of my mouth were "I cant do this right now....." He of course reminded me that no, I couldn't do it, but He was here & He could....but I still argued "I cant do this right now", He persisted & backed up His argument with an appearance of C-1 in front of me sharing His truth, with the addition of "come sit with me downstairs, let Him walk you through this." I reluctantly walked out & down the stairs...at first I argued & fought the thought of letting this painful relationship out of it's neat little spot in my box of "forgiven."
I have taken this particular relationship out of it's little spot many times in the past. Each time resulted in more & more pain on both sides....this I didn't realize had built up some very deep, truly hidden layers of un-forgiveness throughout my entire life. I carried these layers like baggage for all my life. It's one of the most important relationships, a parental relationship, the same sex relationship which is very important in molding our beliefs about how to act, what is right, I'm sure you get it......very important relationship. When I've believed in the past that I had forgiven all the things I was counting against her for the horrible things she had "done" to me, I really believed it. The enemy however can use this very lie against us, he knows our buttons & exactly how to use them. Even making us believe that we had forgiven someone......then using doubt to bring us back to the same situation, over & over.....all along he's winning, he has taken our attention off the ONE place of safety.....God. So, really forgiving I learned, involves us first repenting....yes repenting.
This thought never crossed my mind. I always knew that in the past with forgiveness, I seemed to be able to feel the same pain, anger, or heartache anytime I chose to. But I never knew that in forgiving, it is just as important to repent, as it is to forgive. Or that if I didn't repent I wasn't completely forgiving & the enemy could use this loose string, to pull me back into sin, anytime.....
I have lost my words for today.....sorry, truly sorry. But will be praying & listening for God to pick this amazing retreat, where we left off.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
So, this time was no different. God provided for me to attend a retreat like I've never experienced before. This was a time He was going to grow me like NO other, I could feel that I would never be the same again. That Him taking me across the country, literally, would make me a different person. A woman blessed by the gifts He would share with me. Amazed by the way He would fill me, to overflowing....learn that truly abiding in Him, was not just something I said, it was the way I lived.
On a hot, humid day in the desert I boarded a plane.....for the first time in longer than I can remember. Grateful to have my sister in Christ beside me & for the "Dramamine" she shared with me. As the plane began to taxi down the runway, I looked at her & said, "no turning back now", she smiled & said "nope." While in the air, I looked out the window & saw we were in the clouds. I was looking down on brown/red with little dots of green every so often, quickly it turned to a little brown with green mostly.
We landed at our destination for the night. Met her dear friend, I'll call M & waited for another friend, she reminded me of an actress so I'll call her AJ, to arrive a couple hours later. Then headed off to M's house for the night. When we arrived her family came out to greet everyone & help us carry in all our bags. I felt as though I arrived home.....the next moment solidified it....as she walked me to the room I was blessed to use while I was there, the very first thing I noticed were the huge frames on the walls holding many pictures....it reminded me of home. I was filled with the feeling of being home. Covered in the peace I've come to know as obeying God's call.
The next morning I was up bright & early, excited for what lay ahead.....a road trip to the retreat center......about 14 hours driving straight through. I can say that I was a little nervous, I didn't know any of these women.....there were going to be another 4 women to meet. Rejection has been an issue with me, even when I haven't realized it was rejection. God assured me with His sweet, calm whisper that He was in control & again whispers "let go, let me." Here they came all laughing & glowing, I noticed that like Special K & M & AJ, there was a freedom about them. One that I knew I was craving, but had yet to understand. Introductions began & I met C-1 & C2, then came little J & miss L. I knew that God had a plan, but I was still a little nervous. We loaded all our bags & headed out.
I did notice as we got closer & closer to the retreat center, the green got lusher & thicker. We all laughed & shared & laughed some more. Special K got a text from an old Navy friend MC asking where she was heading & when Special K told her where & why, she knew God was telling her to invite MC, after all there was only 1 spot left. MC said she would pray, see if she could get a few jobs covered & if so, yes she would love to. We shared some of our stories & it seemed like a lot less time than it was when we dropped M off for a party she couldn't miss in the same town as the couple that opened their home to us. We pulled up to M&M's house & out Mr. M&M came to help us, it was now late & we all were ready to lay it down....or so I thought. Special K & I were sharing a room/bed...in this cute little farm house. She started talking to me about her experience at her first retreat years ago, sharing how God revealed Himself to her. I could feel Him whispering "come to me" I told her I wanted this too, she prayed with me. Shared about repenting for our sins, for holding onto the pain others had caused us is indeed a sin. She shared how she had repented those sins which emptied her of pieces of the world so God could fill her with Him. So I started releasing my grip on the pains of the past, laying them at the cross. Emptying me of me, then I could literally feel God filling me with more of Him, deeper parts of Him. After the intense introduction to Him, I fell asleep & didn't move an inch all night.
The next morning I woke up ready to run to the retreat center....I felt on fire. I got the opportunity to share a wonderful conversation with Mrs. M&M. The start of the chat was about baby girl having Fibromyalga & the struggle I had understanding such a young woman struggling with such issues. This conversation quickly turned to what God had for me next which was not about baby girl, but about me & how I was manipulating my relationship with my Sweet Hubby. See when holidays come up, or our anniversary, my bday, etc...He will ask what I want, to which I always reply "I don't need anything." So when the special day comes along, I anticipate what he might surprise me with.......& everytime, it's the same thing, NOTHING. Then I get upset & take it out on him & our family. He's confused, he gets defensive, I lose it, & around & around it goes. Well I have no idea how we got onto that subject but she shared how she used to do that until she was told that this was her fault, not his. He was just doing as she asked, he didn't have any idea she was secretly hoping he would go out & surprise her, nor would he have ever figured it out. So, here I am helping cut tomatoes & God is speaking to me through this amazing woman of Christ. Telling me to stop expecting a change, unless I was willing to make it....wow that was all I could say.
We left their home & headed out to our retreat center once again. This time however, M & AJ were riding with another sweet friend, J. So our truck was down to 6, which was much more comfortable for us all. It seemed to only take a couple of hours to arrive at the center. As we arrived, Special K got a text from MC & her prayers were answered & she was coming to fill the last spot. So, we were blessed with a room with 3 beds & started to unload before heading off to dinner. As we unloaded our bags, I saw many other women doing the same. None of which I knew.....
PART 3 COMING SOON........
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
For almost a week I've been away from my home in the desert. God's taken me from the beauty of the desert to the lush green of the south & to the amazing white sands along the gulf coast.....where I stood in the warm waters & sat in the sand letting the tide wash over my feet while I took it all in. This beauty is wonderful, but not the reason He took me on this journey.
I've shared my deepest desire & prayers have been for Him to fill me up with Him. Less me, more Him. As I prayed this I had NO idea what this would look like, feel like or what it would really mean. All I knew was that I wanted to let go of the worldly fleshy me & be filled to over flowing with Him.
Just the little He had trimmed away of my flesh brought a peace like I've never known. All the painful trials I have walked through, well if I'm being honest, He carried me through, were necessary because I learn everything the hard way of course....also each one taught me how to let go & let God. Of course I had this funny idea that i could do this thing called life, my way.
So, He took me from the distractions of my life at home, to a place I only knew one person. Truth is I really only know her surface level. But He knew His plan & rather than deny His calling, I chose to obey. This was EXTREMELY far out of my comfort zone. It was almost like He answered for me when I was invited!?!?! When that "yes" came out I probably looked around for where that came from....because I knew I would have plenty of reasons why I couldn't possibly go......excuses to step off His path & ignore Him answering my prayers. As usually happens since I've asked Him to save me, that recognizable peace completely enveloped me, which tells me I'm on the right path. So, when each of the enemy's attacks came, I was comfy in my Fathers protection.
I laid any worries I might've had, at the foot of the cross & loudly rebuked the enemy in the Name of Christ!!! So, i said yes & followed through with what He asked me to do!!
It's late here, gotta catch a flight tomorrow. I'll share part 2 of this blog soon!!
Saturday, August 3, 2013
You know those whispers that seem to come out of no where? The ones that question who you are, what others think of you, or if you're good enough to be called a "child of Christ? I DO.
Since I began to feel His calling me to His path, His plan, the one He planned so very long ago. I've fought with every bit of my being, drop of flesh & all the stubbornness the world taught me, not to let Him have my heart, mind & soul. I can't even really remember why I fought Him so hard. I only have slight inklings it was my not wanting to relinquish ANY of the control I had finally begun feeling.
In my family's homes, that I grew up in, the vast majority of control laid in my mother's hands. My dad was in the navy & they were constantly breaking up & getting back together for as long as I can remember. My dad was pretty easy to get along with in my eyes. I will freely admit I was a daddy's girl. I, after all, was his very first child. Being a daddy's girl & just as stubborn as my mother, didn't really help me get along very well with my mother.
Since she was my main female figure all my life & of course because I loved her & wanted to please her, I did everything I could to get her attention. Good or bad, whichever choices that got me her attention, it didn't matter. In my family's house she used corporal punishment, usually in the form of my dad's belt, but a brush or hand worked in a pinch. She would swing with each syllable of every word, aiming for my butt, at times missing her mark.
This was not abuse when I grew up. I can say that it did mold me & create in me a strong fight against being controlled, being vulnerable or letting anyone really love me. Please don't get me wrong, I love my mom, I'm glad she wanted me to be a good person.
Flash forward to the present & that back story may help you to understand my issue with control. When I could fight His pulling me close no more & relinquished part of me to Him, I had this completely overwhelming PEACE, a PEACE I've never known.....it was comforting & deep. I NEVER wanted to live without it.
The world, however, has no place for this PEACE. So, I have stepped on & off the path He has for me. Each time He will call me back every so gently, usually I would end up back at rock bottom before I reach up & ask for His help....most of the time even after I asked for His help, I clung to my flesh & worldliness until I had no where else. That's hard for me to admit now days.
If I let the world, other people or anything else take my focus off my walk with Christ, it's a distraction & no matter what it is, if He shows me it's distracting me, it's gone.
Just knowing my Creator is in control, all I have to do is listen for His whispers....helps me to recognize the enemy's lies. The major difference in the whispers I've found, is if it's God's whispers, they'll line up with His Word. The enemy's whispers beat you down after taking you of the path. The enemy wants you to feel unworthy, he wants you to believe your not as good as your fellow Christians. He tries to trick you into thinking some lies about God doesn't love you as much. The enemy uses our pasts against us in his fight to keep control of us. ...he hates us.
So, the next time you hear those whispers of self doubt, berating or judgment.....rebuke the enemy in the holy name of Jesus Christ.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
and let the discerning get guidance--
So, as we were sitting under the overcast sky, enjoying all God had planned for us that day, we were both sharing things that our amazing Father has been unfolding in our lives....I don't really remember who began the conversation but I know it's going to be a very big change for my relationship with my LORD.
Earlier in the year my friend had shared some great advice. She has been blessed with the gift of discernment, just like I have, only she is much farther along in her walk with our Savior. She has been through some of the trials & errors I've been stumbling through with this wonderful gift that allows us to see truths or deceptions according to His Word & what He shows us....in most situations. She had already learned to lift up the people who do not accept her insights, to avoid those conversations that God's love was not recognized, but instead caused lost friendships & that made others feel judged. He had walked her down His path for her.
Back to us & our visit. We got into a conversation about what I'm definitely feeling God is leading me to. But because of my flesh & the world's views, I doubt. I can't imagine Him choosing me to complete this task, as important as it is......me!?!?! After all, I'm just a wife, mom & Nona......not at all able to do this???? I listen to her tell me about a retreat she's been going to for several years. She shares how much she's learned & received from all of them.....a complete Spiritual awakening.....as I explain what I'm feeling God placing on my heart, and asking for her thoughts & advice, she's texting away. She says "I'm supposed to ask you...." to which my heart leaps forward, which I've finally learned, is God's way of showing this stubborn woman that this is the right answer, ding ding ding......good job. I tell her before she finishes "YES!!! This is where He's going to show me His plan....answer my doubts!!!" She says "hold on let me finish..." she tells me she is texting her friends to make sure there is room for me. She is finding out the costs...etc." Then she says "yep theres room!!" We prayed together, I could feel the peace set in.....
Now I'm floating on air, because I have an answer, on our way home. She tells me to pray about it, talk to my husband, pray about it, check finances, etc.....when I got home, I did just that. When I got the ok from the hubby, I checked the bank & God's provision was already in there. So, I text her & told her it was a yes....yes I would fly on an airplane?!?!?! then road trip with women I have never met...she's the only one I know. Yes I'm ready to step out of my comfort zone & let God show me the way, in a radical new way!!!
I've kept this prayer at the front of my prayers, since that day. God has shown me in many ways this is His will for me. I've cried & doubted & feared....the biggest fear I have, There's no turning back for me & God when I do this. I will know what He's been leading me to do....I will be asked & have to answer His calling to walk with Him....or walk in the world.
So, everywhere I turn I have been seeing lots of Scripture that keeps reassuring me that I'm on the right path!!
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
Matthew 16:24 NLT
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Well He's got me on the move....I'm soooooo excited, we leave on 8/7/13. I'll be experiencing so many firsts this trip. I know God's planning on growing me into the daughter He created me to be. He's stretching me with flying, a road trip with strangers, mostly & growing me to be more like Him during a radical Christian women's retreat which promises to be a spiritual enlightening like none I've ever experienced in a place I've never been to!!! We are flying to Texas, then driving to Florida......this is gonna be great fun & the beginning of a new season, one that will help trim away more of me & fill me with more of Him.