“Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined.” Deepak Chopra
Between the busy winter with old friends in my Kingwood, Texas townhouse (northeast Houston) and my move to a sky view condo in Clear Lake (southeast Houston) in mid-April, I was gifted with a beautiful time apart. “My plan” was to use the week between the two rentals to drive to Florida to see my children. By the final day of the Kingwood move-out I was so exhausted that I wondered how I could possibly make the drive. And then on my last day in the townhouse, when I ate something that disagreed with me, I knew I could not go to Florida. I was at a loss as to where I would stay until the Clear Lake space became available. I felt a bit panicked and “homeless.” Dear friend, Peggy, took me in for two nights. Her suggestion of “retreating” to her favorite Mo-Ranch, near Kerrville, Texas, prompted me to think of other, more convenient options.
For a number of years I have been attracted to St. John’s Retreat Center near Montgomery, Texas. – just a 90 minute drive from Kingwood. I had explored the web site, the teachings of The White Eagle Lodge and considered attending one of their events. I had never taken action on those ideas, but it was fun last summer, in Lynchburg, Virginia to meet John, a member of the Lodge, who sometimes attends retreats at St. John’s.
After the townhouse was clean and the car was packed, I settled into my traveling chair in the empty townhouse to see if I could locate a place to stay. I was confident that as I called down my short list, that Spirit would open just the right location. The first call –to St. John’s – revealed that their Meadow Cottage was available. It is a secluded, comfortable mobile home that sleeps five. They asked that only vegetarian food be taken on the grounds, so it was my plan to “purify” my diet with vegetable soups, salads and smoothies. I wanted reflection time to “listen” for guidance. I had been wrestling with feelings of unworthiness, questions about my purpose and fears that I was not loveable or loving.
I arrived to a warm welcome that felt much like “homecoming.” When I mentioned that I had met John in Virginia, I was told that he would be arriving two days later to attend the scheduled Angel Healing Workshop. “Spirit shivers” validated that I was, indeed, in the right place.
Spring wildflowers were in full bloom. I enjoyed them from my front deck and walking the trails throughout the retreat grounds. It was my intention to take the traditional bluebonnet drive that my husband and enjoyed every spring during our 23 year marriage. It was such a surprise and joy to find the hilltop labyrinth framed in both bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush.
I used my time apart for reading, personal meditation and introspection, while, also, taking advantage of the daily meditations, noon prayer service, healing events and Sunday worship at the beautiful “Temple” on the grounds. It was a real pleasure to see John again and to meet the other angel workshop particpants. I formed special connections with two lovely ladies – an occupational therapist who works with young autistic children in upstate New York and a preschool speech therapist from Belgium. With hesitation, I asked if they would like to read the children’s book I plan to publish. Their beautiful validation of the project and suggestions for making it more wonderful brought tears to my eyes.
I had been reading, God’s Joyful Surprise: Finding Yourself Loved by Sue Monk Kid, and by the end of my stay, I am delighted to share, as I did with my two new friends, that I experienced finding myself both loved and loving. I’m so grateful for Spirit’s “change of plans.”