Sunday, March 30, 2008

Retreat Recap

Let me start by saying that when we get to the pictures - they are NOT in the order I wanted them to be, but it took so long for them to upload - I'm leaving it.

Our retreat was fabulous - I'll start by sharing the events, but I'm also going to share some of the information from one of the discussions that was given by our speaker.

On Friday night - we arrived just in time for dinner, and getting our stuff to our cabins. After dinner, we had our first worship session and speaker discussion. The women that lead our worship did a really great job, and the music was chosen well!! A lot of my old favorites, and some new songs as well. The speaker, Libba, was an amazing woman... she's one of those people that has lived through incredible odds (she's got some severe health problems) but her faith is so incredibly visible through all of her actions. She told us stories about sharing the Lord with people at different times in her life... and one of the times she was in the middle of having her third or fourth transplant, and witnessed to the anesthesiologist!!

We had a breakout session with our small groups, and started that with a game. The retreat planners took some beach balls and wrote some "get to know you" questions on them... you'd toss the ball around the group, and whatever question your thumb landed on when you caught it was the one that you'd answer for your group. Our first discussion with Libba was about the story of Mary & Martha... so we talked about that story in our small groups, and also went through some discussion questions about what we learned.

At the end of that time - we had the opportunity to work on a breakout session that was a craft project. We took small spiral notebooks, and decorated them with scrapbook items to make personalized prayer notebooks. It was really fun, and such a cute idea... some of the different journal designs were really amazing! We've got some really creative people at this church!

I ended up getting to bed at about 11:30 on Friday night, but had a wonderful time... when we got to our rooms that night - they surprised us with letters from our husbands... mine was a lovely 2 page letter from John... such a special treat, and it came at a great time for all of us.

We started the day on Saturday at about 7 AM. Unfortunately the people that run the retreat center had a glitch with the pilot lights on the water heaters... and some of us ended up taking COLD showers to get ready for the day. (Lets just say... I was ALERT and ready to learn!)

After breakfast - we had some quiet time to spread out on the grounds of the retreat center and pray/read scripture...or whatever we wanted to do spiritually. We had a drama at the beginning of our session that followed our theme (spring cleaning) where we wore some decorated yellow dish gloves and did a little workout. It was really funny... and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Our second speaker session was amazing. She taught us about Psalms 51:10, 12-13 - Through those versus, she taught us about having a clean heart, a committed heart, and a called heart for God. Listening to the stories of her experience and her life - really drove the points home, and I wish that all my friends could have been there to hear what she had to teach us.

We had another small group discussion before lunch, and I had such a great small group!! Our leader Nicole was able to keep us on topic, and draw some really interesting and heartfelt responses from us... I learned a lot about the women that I was paired with, and I think they learned quite a bit about me as well.

We had some more free time during our next break, and they set up "washtubs" for us to leave notes to each other... and I took that time to write several notes to the people that I'd met this weekend.

The third session was about fasting, and I didn't feel that I can do that at this time medically - with the little amount of food that I can take in, and my health needs... but had I really known that she was going to cover ways to do it without skipping meals - I would have attended this discussion. Instead - I played Pounce (a card game) with some ladies in the retreat center cafe.

At the end of the day - we had some more time of worship, and reflection at this lovely rock pond, and then our weekend was over. I can't wait to go on the next retreat... but this was so life changing... and so out of character for me... I never go to events without a friend to take with me... but I jumped out there, and I know that I've been rewarded by meeting some really lovely women - and getting to know others better over the course of the weekend.

This is a picture of the view from my cabin's porch.

Our washtubs hung on the wall so that we could fill them with bubbles.

The lake that is on the retreat center's property... we could have gone canoeing... but didn't.

Another view of the reflection pond... where we closed the retreat.

Most of the ladies on the retreat... we had a few that had to leave early.

The flip flops that the retreat planners made for everyone... they were on our beds when we checked in.

My bed...

The porch at my cabin...

The barn where we had all of our sessions and events...