- Todd Unruh
What I've Learned At RHR
Throughout this late summer and fall, most mornings have found me headed east into the glorious sunrise, arriving at Raising Hope Ranch by 7:30 just in time for the 30 minute exercise period. Yoga mats are spread out on the living room floor and the scratchy old projector shines weakly on the hanging white sheet. We use an app called FitOn which gives us everything from gentle stretches to strenuous muscle-building exercises that leave us somewhat breathless. The online yoga instructor encourages us to focus on our body, find a rhythm in our breathing and enjoy finding strength within to do even more than we thought we could! What a good feeling of health and accomplishment!
With yoga mats stowed away we again gather in the living room… David Benner books and journals in hand. After receiving the reading assignment for the day, we scatter to find a quiet place of our own in the sunshine alone with God. How precious are the truths I have learned during that dedicated half hour of study. Identifying and releasing erroneous beliefs about God.. Learning to grasp a little more of His pure love for me- not based on how I perform, but just because I am me.. Realizing how transforming such love is- from the inside out.. Releasing long-held fears because fear keeps me in bondage until I let God’s love cast it out. Only then does surrender happen. Only that which I give up can ever truly be mine. As I surrender, God becomes ever more real to me, a presence beside me to be enjoyed, a Spirit within me, flowing through my life, influencing my actions.. open prayer a natural way of daily life. Surrender is not weakness, an inability to set boundaries. It is rather the deepest type of strength there is..
Called in by the clanging bell we find our places around the breakfast table, peacefully talking about irrelevant daily things of life as morning sunshine streams through the patio doors. After we’ve finished eating we go around the table sharing what personally inspired us from the day’s reading in the Benner book, allowing each other to glimpse our hearts’ needs and inspirations. What a powerful way to start each day! I am so thankful for the growth I am experiencing at Raising Hope Ranch!
Books by David G. Benner:
Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality
The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery
Desiring God’s Will: Aligning Our Hearts with the Heart of God
Written by Regina Unruh