This post was written by my dear friend, soul sister, and my creative partner, Wendy. A week from today, I will be on a plane to California for our annual Creative Retreat – a time to gather with other like minded women seeking to glorify God with these gifts that He’s given us. I am thankful for her wise words. Please welcome her!

There is a time and a place for therapy.

When a muscle is strained, there’s physical therapy; for the patient who’s undergone a stroke, speech therapy; children with physical delays need occupational therapy; and those held in emotional bondage benefit from psychotherapy.


Photo courtesy of Wendy Speake.

My dear friend, and author of this blog, is in need of a little therapy right now.  Even as I write, Kelli is flying home from an intense weekend with family.  After receiving the devastating news that a loved one is battling an aggressive form of cancer, each family member came together for the deep heart therapy that can only be done in one another’s presence.

The Stuart Family lifted up their beloved patriarch with prayer therapy, before Kelli’s father-in-law began chemotherapy.  Now all the Stuarts have scattered back to their own cities and little families again.  How difficult I imagine it will be for Kelli and Lee to not be with their loved ones during the days ahead.  Which is why therapy must continue. 

Prayer Therapy:  Those who know and love Kelli and her family, I beseech you to pray for them during this time.  Pray for the healing of her father-in-law, wisdom for his doctors, comfort and peace for Lee’s mother and siblings, and lift up the grandchildren… as the sting of illness and the reality of heaven sets in.


Photo Courtesy of Tammy Labuda Photography.

Friendship Therapy:  We desperately need friendship when our hearts pump hard to comprehend our circumstances.  There are seasons of grief when we pull away; retreating into prayer closets, lifting up our hands in private worship.  But a time comes when friends must join in the retreat.


“Retreat: A movement away from danger, back along the original route.”


Photo courtesy of Tammy Labuda Photography

 How appropriate that Kelli and I are hosting our annual Creative Retreat at my home in one week’s time – Our safe place to move away from danger, and find our path again.

Sitting in my backyard yesterday, creating watercolors with my children, I thought of Kelli, and sent her a text:  Let’s do some watercolor therapy when you come.  She responded:  I agree. 

 Water clear and paint brush dry 

Blank canvas ‘neath the western sky 

Young woman sitting all alone 

Breaks silence with a subtle moan 

Bare shoulders kissed by heavens sun 

She lifts her eyes, bids healing come 

Picks up the brush, then comes undone. 


Photo courtesy of Wendy Speake.

Ironically, or not at all, Kelli sojourned to my home for last year’s retreat, after the heartbreak of her unfruitful adoption.  She retreated to my front porch, blindsided and raw.

 Prayers and friendship mingled with food, adventures, laughter and late nights, as healing took place.


Photo courtesy of Tammy Labuda Photography

Sometimes the therapy a heart needs most is to RETREAT.

Retreat into the healing, dry climate of Southern California’s hills,  and the quiet of a backyard, and the rhythmic movement of a paintbrush.

 If you are hurting today, which many of us are, I encourage you to retreat, to find refuge, and to dwell in the shelter of the Most High.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day… (Psalm 91:1-16)

(Thanks to one of our amazing photographers, Tammy Labuda, for always capturing moments of inspiration so expertly. Check out Wendy’s beautiful new site here.)

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