In this life, there are certain twists and turns that lead us to contemplate “WHAT is God’s plan for my life?” and “WHERE is He leading me now?” A recent twist of events in my own life has led me back to these questions. A career change for my husband has led us in an entirely new and exciting direction. After a lot of prayer and discernment my husband has accepted a job in Elkhart Lake. Yes, Elkhart Lake! ~ “Home” to our annual Women Celebrate weekend.

Over the past 11 years, thousands of women have joined our team in this quaint historic town with its luxuriously grand hotel. But, never in my wildest dreams, did I think I’d be there for any other reason. It has been a strange but exciting journey so far. We still live in the Fox Valley, but because of the distance, my husband stays there a few nights during the week in a cozy little apartment. While spending a weekend there recently, I experienced a very special moment as I literally “walked” down memory lane. I shared this with my WC sisters, who have in turn asked me to share it with you. I hope it will inspire you to come…or come back…to this very special place.


While moving Jeff into his temporary “home” in Elkhart Lake, I took a late afternoon break to walk our dog. I went two blocks south toward the glistening lake, took a left turn and there, right in front of me she stood – my grand Osthoff. I walked further to get a front and center view from the lake, as I felt compelled to just look at her. As I gazed upon her white grand beauty, tears filled my eyes. I looked to the solid blue sky and then toward the ballroom area. I pictured God looking upon each woman…sending His Holy Spirit endlessly and gracefully…year after year… smiling at all the hearts He has entered and changed…some for a moment, some forever.


Countless blessings and memories swept over me. Hundreds of retreat experiences flashed before my very eyes. But most profound, was the steady stream of HIS love and mercy, poured down upon us. My heart burst open and my voice followed, as I lifted sincere prayers of gratitude out loud in her vast but deserted front lawn. I finally walked on, with an absolute bubbling of my soul! …SO blessed am I…SO blessed are WE! 


Once again the words of Isaiah ring true, reminding me that His thoughts and His ways are much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9). One day He will reveal His perfect plan. But for now, I will continue to sing Lead me Lord, Lead me Lord by the light of truth…to seek and to find the narrow way. Be my way, be my truth, be my light my Lord, and lead me Lord. today. All glory and praise to you, my Lord Jesus Christ.

Joan Van Grinsven ~ Women Celebrate Team member