Montana Women Enjoy 'From Broken to Beautiful' Women's Retreat
Ladies from across Montana met at the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau, Sept. 8–10, 2017, for the Montana Christian Women's Retreat. Forest fires saturated the skies in dense smoke outside, but inside the fire of the Holy Spirit burned brightly as Tawny Sportsman from Oregon led those present on a journey, “From Broken to Beautiful.”
Sportsman began with the story of kinsugi, a centuries-old Japanese art through which broken pottery is repaired with gold. Described as “the art of precious scars,” “embracing damage” and “recognizing beauty in broken pieces,” kinsugi illustrates God’s work of restoration and redemption in our lives. Which of us have never experienced a “chip, crack, or break” in life experiences? Sportsman challenged, “Could we live in a world where we embrace our brokenness instead of trying to hide it?” When we bring our broken pieces to Jesus, He puts us back together in a way that renders us more beautiful than if we had no scars.
This healing leads to a life of gratitude. Sportsman explained, “Thankfulness is something you feel; gratitude is something you do.” As an expression of her gratitude to God, she began to keep a blessings jar, filled with colorful notes of the special blessings poured into her life each day. In this way, she actively acknowledged the good things in life and discovered more deeply the Giver behind the gifts.
“There’s a science to gratitude,” Sportsman explained. “Gratitude has the power to heal, energize, inspire and change lives, if we let it." She encouraged all to incorporate a blessings jar in their homes and in their churches. "To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments," Sportsman explained. "To rehearse God’s accomplishments is to discover His heart. To discover His heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver.”
The weekend was filled with spirited singing, mingling of friends and making new ones, good food, and fun activities. Choteau’s Old Trail Museum opened its doors for the ladies on Sabbath afternoon. One of a series of museums on Montana’s Dinosaur Trail, it reflects the natural and cultural history of Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front region. Next year’s retreat will be hosted in Butte, Mont. Start making plans to be there.