Hello there! I hope you had a lovely weekend... I am grinning ear-to-ear as I type this because I am still on a "God-High" after mine! This past weekend was our church's very first women's retreat, and it's a weekend I will never forget! Since there is really no way to put into words the things that happened, the hearts that were changed, the breakthroughs that occurred, and the love that was felt, I'll just post a few pictures of the details and the fun. You'll just have to be there next time to experience the rest for yourself!
In order to "get away from it all," I found a cute little cabin about 45 minutes from Lexington, otherwise known as the middle of nowhere. Google is my friend... and it turned out the be the perfect venue for 15 ladies to enjoy some peace and quiet (which was frequently interrupted by side-splitting laughter!).
We had planned to check-in by 4pm and told everyone they could start arriving at five. Between the craziness of running around picking things up, last-minute shopping, and weather, we arrived to set up around 4:40 PM and scrambled to set up. In record time we moved furniture, set up snacks, "themed out" the room, and set out welcome cards for the girls.
And then due to an accident on the only road that led to the cabin, everyone was late. As in two hours late! So Gretchen (our other TurningPoint pastor's wife) and I waited... and waited... and killed some time with silly pictures. The good news was that we had time to unwind by the time everyone arrived, rather than being two frazzled messes!
Finally the ladies started arriving and the fun began. That first night, we all stayed up past midnight talking and laughing and we finally had to tell people to go to bed! I could have sat there all night, but knew we had the whole weekend ahead of us.
Saturday was a full day with many group activities, our teaching, worship, and even a campfire. I thin we would all agree, however, that the "love dinner" was the highlight. As a group, we participated in a remembrance of the last supper, complete with the washing of the disciples' feet and communion. It was... in a word... POWERFUL. I am not sure if I have ever physically felt so much love in one room in my life.
And wow was dinner good! Granted, I think the food probably tasted better because we all got to enjoy it while it was hot and without having to jump up and run to the kitchen 10,000 times to fetch milk and napkins and ketchup, etc. That and I did not have to tell a two-year-old that he did in fact have to eat the rest of his chicken. It was lovely.
We ended the night with worship under the stars. It was cloudy when we went out there, but after a song or two, the clouds literally parted and we could see thousands of stars. I know I said it that night, but I do think He heard us and did that just for us. There were so many special, small moments like that... far too many to recount. We ended the night with what else but s'mores around a
campfire bonfire. Who says girls can't do these things?
By Sunday morning, none of us felt rested, but all of us felt refreshed and renewed, basking in the love of our God. As one friend of mine put it, "I feel like I have love oozing out of every part of me." My cup is full again, and I hope that I can hold this in and continue to do the things that keep it full... get up before the family to have some quiet time, to read, to worship, to pray. Getting out of bed is always difficult, but I'm never sorry that I did it.
I think we can officially say that the Inaugural TPC Women's Retreat was a success and are already getting asked if we think we can top it. All I have to say is that since it wasn't our work that made it so wonderful, I think it can be done. We did the planning in order to bless others, but in the end I feel just as, if not more, blessed than everyone who joined us. It's a level of satisfaction that I don't think I've ever reached, and I am already looking to what comes next. This weekend was just what I needed... nourishment for the soul and the start of many great new friendships. I already can't wait 'til next time!
Thank you to everyone who took a leap of faith and joined us this year, having no idea what to expect! I look forward to more great times with you all in the coming year!
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed are those who take refuge in Him.