[The Nacho Libre Fundraiser at the monastery! Awesome idea and so much fun was had!]
You might remember that I spent a week in Virginia last year at a monastery. I will be the first to admit that I was totally hesitant prior to the monastery experience, and I might have even thought it was alittle weird and goofy. However, there is something special about that place. Other than the wonderful people and the beautiful chapels and grounds, the halls of that place are filled with the Holy Spirit. I lovethe prayer chapel and have been known to spend hours in there, laying on the floor with my Bible and journal and some crayons or colored pencils. So this past week, I just wanted to seek refuge in the prayer chapel--specifically on the floor between the pews of the third and fourth row on the right side--but the schedule was just too hectic. I longed for that space. I needed that space.
So, after an awesome week, and a time of worship and renewal at The Ascent, I decided to stay in Virginia alittle longer than I had planned. The goal of my first day was to spend as much time outside with God as possible. My other favorite place in VA is on the bank of the James River.
[Two afternoons on the James River. Can it get any better than the picnic photo?! And my view?!]
Whenever I had the tiniest bit of free time, I would make my escape to the river! It was freezing cold every time, except God brought the warmth and minimized the winds for my Sunday afternoon on the river! I spent 4 hours there...with my Bible and journal, enjoying His warmth, the water and the sounds of the waves. Then I decided to take a walk, well, more like a trek. The Noland Trail is a 5 mile path through the woods and around a huge lake, and this time of year it was absolutely beautiful with the changing leaves! I set out on the 5 miles, hoping that my foot would hold up. I did all 5 miles and my foot felt great! And has felt great since then! I got back to the river just in time to see the sunset!
[The BEAUTIFUL fall colors on the Noland Trail! God is good and He created us to admire His beauty!]
The goal of my extra morning in VA was to wake up and spend time in the prayer chapel. This was really just a culmination of the week...and a time to find calm and peace, and to thank God for everything that had happened in VA, before I started my 10+ hour drive back home.
So much more happened while in Virginia, and I look forward to sharing those stories with you. I feel like I could write a few chapters of a book right now, so I will stop here for today. I am going to get all of my thoughts in order, and then the storytelling will begin! God is up to some pretty cool things, and His joy is filling my heart on a daily basis!