So all week I have been down with a sinus infection after pulling up some old rug upstairs 🙁. It's a different way the LORD "makes you lie down", Psalm 23:2a. But the lying down was necessary as He began the week telling me to "slow down". You heard that if you listened to Tuesday's podcast.
In the lying down to get better, I started reflecting on healing waters that I got to soak in at the end of June. And in that, I realized I hadn't really shared the experience with you the way I wanted to yet! So today is that post, complete with 2 videos and some pictures with captions for context....
If you've been getting the email blogs for last couple of months, you know that at the end of June, I went on a road trip that was part vacation, part ministry. I've referenced it a few times in email blogs I've sent and in some podcast episodes, but haven't shared many pictures or videos of the first part which was the "restoring my soul part". I've wanted to give the LORD public thanks for it. He was so kind to refresh me with natural beauty of His making, with quiet, still waters to restore my soul! Be encouraged as you read, that it is His nature to bless and restore His servants!
First how did this "restore my soul" trip come about? It came about as I started dreaming about "what if"...
"What if" I could go on a "healing waters" type of vacation within a reasonable budget? This made me remember that I always wanted to visit a place with natural healing springs. So I got on the internet and found a place within driving distance called Warm Springs, VA. Turns out they have a natural hot springs, one with a facility that was under renovation, but was recently opened in Spring of 2023. So I booked a bed and breakfast nearby, and hoped it would be a refreshing part of my get-a-way.
God answered big time!!!
Right below this post, is a video of one of the natural hot springs that I experienced! This is a natural stone basin whose octagonal facility recently underwent a $4M renovation. This place was established way back in 1761! It was the first spa structure in America! It was not covered by a bath house until the mid-1820s, at which point it was covered by an octagonal frame building. A second structure, the Ladies’ Bath House, was built in the mid-1870s. As you will see in my video, there are changing stations, as well as pool noodles so you can float easily and relax in the mineral rich waters! It was an amazing experience and soooooo relaxing! Float times are one hour and cost just $35.
One the day I went, it was an unusually cool and rainy summer day. Normally rain ruins a vacation, but for this experience it added to the refreshing! I was glad it was not a hot, sunny day because when your body is immersed in 99 degree water for one hour, I wouldn't want to be sweltering in sweat, sun beating down on me. It was wonderful to have a cool breeze to refresh me and living water from the sky (rain drops) gently falling. There is also a generous white noise experience from the sound of the spring waters tumbling out of the basin, and into the natural creek outside. I did a women-only soak, and it was just 8 of us ladies. And while they didn't have to do so, everyone stayed silent and simply floated in the water. It was absolute bliss for this introvert!
I was able to experience a second hot spring through a tip from the bed and breakfast owner where I stayed. He told me to make sure to visit Omni Homestead to just walk the grounds to enjoy it. He said that I wouldn't be able to use the facility since I was not a guest, but he said they let people walk the grounds.
So after the warm springs experience, I realized I had enough time to visit the Omni before sunset. I walked as much of the grounds and indoor areas as was accessible to me. It was amazing! During my wanderings, I grabbed the hotel activities brochure and noted there was a guest experience of pool and sulphur spring for hotel guests.
Initially, I was bummed that it was for hotel guests only, seeing priority first given to hotel guests also getting spa services like a massage. I saw the hotel was packed, so I figured with the number of rooms and the number of spa services, there was no chance of getting in.
But then next morning I felt stirred again to say, "What if?" "What if they don't have a lot people booked because it is cool again and forecasted to rain all day? What if they let me in? What if God steps in and gets me in?"
So I prayed and told the LORD that nothing is impossible with Him and and asked Him to help me. Then I called and told them, "I'm not a guest; and I do not have any spa services booked, but I would like to use the pool and spring facilities for the day. Will you let me do that?" The guy immediately says "Yes, what is your name? I'll reserve your spot right now." I squealed with delight upon hanging up! I knew my KING was in every part of that!
It did rain gently ALL DAY. And that was fine with me. I reveled in it. I realized because of the sprinkling, it kept people away! There WERE hardly any people enjoying the facilities! I had a blast! And typically I am not one to be in water for very long! I can't remember the last time I was in a pool for more than 30 minutes. But I spent 6.5 hours in and out of all of the water experiences! I cannot explain how truly refreshing it was to my soul!
The idea of the set up was that you are to go from hot waters to cold waters. It's a therapeutic activity called "contrast bathing". Blood rushes to your skin to help you cool down in the hot water and then blood reverses course and rushes to your organs to protect them from the cold. It strengthen your immune system and helps your parasympathetic nervous system engage for deep relaxation! It was so awesome! It makes me want to go back as I review these memories within this post!
I figured out a circuit and spent most of my time outside. I went from the hot tub to the eternal springs pool (cold water) to the natural sulphur springs (99 degrees) to the natural cold spring shower, to the dry sauna, then back to the natural sulphur spring, then the cold pool, to sauna, to pool, to sulphur spring, to natural shower, to sauna, etc. Over and over and over again. 5 hours went by in a flash! Then I finished up in the women's facilities! They have a steam room with essential oils being released and little stone cubicles that you tuck yourself into and do not have to see anyone else! It feels like you are in it by yourself. Your skin sweats out toxins. After that you are encouraged to head to the cold shower experience where you push a button to release ice into a bowl to rub on your face and body, then press another button for cool air, then another button for a cool rain shower. To warm up, you lay down in heated chairs contoured to your body and rest. Those chairs were amazing! So peaceful!!!
I didn't do the sensory shower which included a thunder storm audible experience. I finished up by taking a shower, putting on a fresh comfy robe and heading up one floor to the relaxation room and brought my bible. I read and praised Him, and ate fruit and drank herb tea. I felt so pampered by the LORD. Truly it was all more than I ever expected! The LORD was so kind to me to surprise and delight and refresh my soul in this way! So thankful!
As a servant of God, this experience was rest I truly needed! He saw. He knew. He provided and encouraged me to dream a little and think "What if..."
So consider, are you pouring yourself out in service for ministry? To others? He promises to refresh the weary! Ask! Pray! Seek Him! Pursue the rest HE promises!
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul, Psalm 23:2b-3a.
Now take time to watch the videos and scroll through the photos! All glory to God! His handiwork! His provision! His goodness!
Believe! The LORD is your Shepherd! You lack nothing!
This video shows you the Warm Springs, VA hot springs pool. You are immersed in a natural mineral rich spring that is always at 99 degrees, as it releases from the earth! This spring is magnesium rich, while the one at Omni Homestead is sulphur rich!
This is a video from the horse stables down through a road that leads to the Omni Homestead resort. The resort dates back to 1766! There are many areas within the hotel that highlight George Washington! At the time he was a Colonel, and he gave a 300-acre land grant to Captain Thomas Bullitt to reward him for his services. Bullitt brought his militia to the hot springs in what is now Bath County, Virginia. In 1766, the Homestead hotel was constructed and named for the homesteaders who camped out in the area and built the hotel. The hotel was brought into national recognition in 1818 when Thomas Jefferson spent three weeks soaking in these pools to help alleviate his rheumatism. This area became an area known for its healing waters.
These are just a few snapshots from my travels which includes 1 night in a NY state park and then the rest are from Warm Springs/Hot Springs, VA. There are captions for each for a little context! Click to see full picture! Enjoy!
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!