Tongue-tied at a Writers Retreat

October 1, 2010 | 19 comments

Sun pops over the canyon wall, day’s first light. And I descend stony steps to the jade reflecting glass, unrippled.

The river drops off the edge of earth, like one of those infinity pools at fancy hotels. And I’m caught breathless at this — very mirror of Heaven, a reflecting glass of God.

For a moment, I come untethered from the shackles that chain me to Earth. And if I bend down to touch the mirror, maybe I can clutch a piece of Heaven right here?

I’ve come for a writers retreat. But I can only grope for the words to describe this. So I stammer and sputter and blush and trip over my words. And all the wrong ones tumble out. Are there even words for this?

Perhaps these …

If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now


I’m here at Laity Lodge in Texas for two more days, learning more about the craft and spirituality of writing with a group of people who love words … and the Word.

I’m due back at the lodge shortly, so I’ll let a few photos tell a piece of the story.

Bible Dude and Getting Down with Jesus. Bible Dude, aka Dan King, is High Calling’s social-media guru. (I’m here as part of the team of editors for The High Calling.)

Marcus Goodyear, senior editor.

Gordon Atkinson, the Real Live Preacher.

Ann Kroeker, my editor, who is also the author of Not-So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families.

David Rupert, Red Letter Believers.

Laura Boggess, The Wellspring.

Ashley Cleveland, a three-time Grammy and two-time Dove Award winner.

Ann Voskamp of Holy Experience, me and Deidra of Jumping Tandem. (Ann is author of the soon-to-be-released One Thousand Gifts.)

Words that could change the world, if we let them.

by | October 1, 2010 | 19 comments


  1. Lyla Lindquist

    How glad I am that you said yes to this.

  2. Linda

    I'm praying for a real time of rest and renewal for all of you. You are all just the best. It makes being a part of the High Calling community all the more special.

  3. Rebecca Ramsey

    Looks like a fun and meaningful time!

  4. Graceful

    It's so lovely to see these real-life pictures of some of my favorite writers. Wishing much inspiration to you all!

  5. S. Etole

    What a treat … to see the faces of so many of these writers …

  6. Linda Worden

    So thankful that our paths have crossed at this retreat. Your warm smile extends friendship and is testimony to the Savior who shines through your words. Looking fw to more blessings as your blog voice continues to be heard.

  7. Sara

    What a wonderful retreat! So often we experience the profound nature of God within Nature itself. Nature, with every fiber of her being, sings out continuously the absolute glory of God. Why, oh why, can we not ever seem to do the same?

  8. Jennifer

    May God use this retreat to refresh you–maybe finding the words isn't what you're to do now. Maybe the truth is found in listening.

  9. Beth E.

    Beautiful pictures…I think your words described the beauty very well! I'm glad you are enjoying your retreat. What a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get together!


  10. Janis@Open My Ears Lord

    So nice to see the photos of those I follow at High Calling. Makes me feel like I'm experiencing the moment with those whose writing I love.
    Have a blessed time,

  11. Deidra

    I am singing those same words. If ever I loved Him …

  12. Connie Mace

    May a multitude be blessed through your obedience to GOD.

  13. Stacy

    Just stopped by for the first time and so glad I did. You are a beautiful and gifted writer and in your words, there is peace and the heart of God. Love the pictures of the still water and "mirror of heaven" as you referred to it. And that plaque at the end, yes, what change would come if only we would live by these words.

    Blessed for stopping by….thanks.

  14. Dan King

    Like Deidra, I join you in singing…
    If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

    Thank you Jennifer! This was truly an amazing experience… an incredible gift.

  15. Dan

    Great pics. I wish I'd stayed for the retreat, but I was too devastated by the scavenger hunt. Dan R.

  16. Cassandra Frear

    Glad for you, friend.


    I'm waiting to see some of your beautiful writing again!

  17. L.L. Barkat

    Beautiful photos, beautiful words! 🙂

  18. Duane Scott

    Oh… I want to go too!

  19. A Simple Country Girl

    I missed this earlier, but so glad to find it now. I just posted on reflections (thanks to Claire's prompt) and to see this. What timing!

    Oh, how your arms must have been covered with all manner of love dust at the retreat…



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