Thursday, March 24, 2011

Retreat blessings

I have always loved retreats because you get away from the craziness of day to day life, you spend time with old friends and make new friends, and you get reenergized!  That is what happened last weekend at the Campus' Womens' Retreat and for that I am very thankful.  Terry had a math tournament at GACS on Saturday so Marjorie came in town to help with the boys.  She arrived about 12:30 on Friday and as soon as we got back from picking Isaac up from preschool I packed up and took off.  Hayden had woken up at 5am that morning and has been waking up before 6 often lately so I was tired and wanted to rest before the retreat began.  A few months ago I was asked to be a small group leader at the retreat.  I have never been a small group leader before and although I was honored to be asked and excited to step out of my comfort zone and do something new I was also a little nervous.  There would be 6 ladies in my group and I only really knew two of them.  Although I am generally not shy (actually the opposite I would consider myself talkative and outgoing) I can be a little self conscious when I am around people I don't know or when I am in a role that I am not completely comfortable with.  I knew though that if I prepared the best I could, prayed about it, and let God take control that everything would go smoothly and it did!  The first group was brief and gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to each other as well as talk about the names of God.  The first group went okay, but afterward I was criticizing myself (in my head) for the way I said things.  I continued to pray though that I would just be in the moment, that the Spirit would fill me, and that God would work through me and the rest of the group times were wonderful.  The 2nd small group discussion was about falling in love with Jesus.  I began the discussion intending to apologize to everyone for my bad habit of talking fast by telling everyone that my best friend reminded me that I talk fast and somehow that led into a discussion about Terry and how we met (I hadn't planned to talk about that at all).   I soon realized that what I was talking about led perfectly into the ice breaker question about falling in love.  That small group time was my favorite.  We sat outside because the weather was beautiful and we all enjoyed being outside in God's beautiful design and everyone really let their guards down and shared.  It was beautiful (yes I realize that I just used beautiful 3 times! :).
I have a bad habit of being long winded and telling a lot of details and that goes for when I am writing as well so I am going to try and write the rest of this blog by just mentioning what I consider highlights from the weekend.
*I roomed with my best friend and got to spend a lot of time with her which is something that is pretty rare these days.
*I roomed with Dawn, a friend who I think a lot of and enjoy spending time with.
*I roomed with Paige, someone who I had never met, but enjoyed getting to know.
*I learned more names of God then I knew before.  It is so awesome that he reveals his character to us through all of these different names.
*I had a late night snack at one of the hotel restaurants with good friends.  We enjoyed good conversation and a singer and piano player who was performing there.  A lot of the ladies from the retreat were there and really got into the fun music.
*Laying in bed staying up til 2am talking.
*Singing beautiful worship songs.
*Sitting outside in God's beautiful creation with my small group and having a great conversation about falling in love with Jesus.
*Getting to know Maggie and realizing that she might be the answer to my prayer to find someone to watch the boys next school year.
*Spending personal time with God.  Saturday evening we individually went through four stations, reading scripture posted on a path outside, praying with an Elder's wife, writing prayers of adoration and confession and nailing them to a cross, and listening to worship music and reading the names of God and what they mean.
*Hearing Annabelle talk about seeking His face day to day.  A couple points that she made that I liked were to reflect on your life by using the 3 Cs.  What are you talking about in Conversation, what does your calendar look like (how are you spending your time), and what does your checkbook look like (what are you spending your money on).  She also talked about how many of us like Facebook, but how about spending some face (seeking him) book (in His Word) time with God.

Okay, so I don't know if it was much shorter that way, but it was a little easier.  I am very thankful for all the people who put so much time, energy, and heart into planning the retreat.  It was a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Karaoke, Basketball, and the Circus

The weekend before last we had quite an eventful weekend.  Friday night we had plans to watch Terry play in a basketball game at GACS.  This was the annual GACS Faculty versus Legendary Globe Trotters Game.  Terry plays in a basketball league, but most of his games are late so the boys don't get to see him play very often.  The game didn't start until 7pm so we had planned to go out to eat as we usually do on Friday nights.  Friday afternoon I was sitting outside with Hayden while he played just before picking Isaac up from preschool.  I was looking at an Atlanta Parent magazine and came across an ad for a restaurant on the square of Lawrenceville called Singing Bean.  It mentioned that they had kids karaoke every Friday night from 6-8.  I immediately thought of Isaac.  Isaac has always loved music, singing, and being on a stage!  I thought this would be something fun and different to do so I told Terry that we should go for a little while before his game.  Isaac of course lit up when I picked him up from school and told him about it.  We got there at 5:30 thinking we could eat before the karaoke started.  We sat down in the karaoke room and Isaac immediately wanted to know when the karaoke was going to start.  He had never done karoake before, but we explained what it was and he was ready!  A couple young girls came in with their parents.  One was probably 6 or 7 and the other was probably 10 or 11 years old.  I started second guessing my decision to come as I reminded myself that Isaac couldn't read and therefore wouldn't be helped by the words on the screen.  He seemed a little intimidated, but still ready to sing so I started looking through the book of songs and trying to think what he could sing.  I saw that they had "This Is The Day" and smiled knowing that was a worship song he liked.  I thought that he could sing that with a little bit of help from us.  However, when the song started I quickly realized that it was a different version then the one we were used to.  So, he stepped down so we could think of another song.  The younger of the two girls started singing a popular hit song and did well for her age.  Isaac really watched her and I wondered again if this was a good idea.  He still wanted to sing so I decided we better stick to a song that he knows all the words to, a real kid song.  So, I suggested Old MacDonald.  Now if we were at home he would never want to sing that song on his stage, but I think he felt as I did that he better stick to a song that he really knows.  When it was his turn and the music started he proudly started singing.  Terry and I stood in the back taking pictures and trying to record it with our phones while at the same time singing along with him so he would know which animal was coming up next.  Everyone clapped and as soon as he got off the stage he asked if he could sing another one.  After the girls had another turn he got back up on stage and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Another family had come by this time and everyone was so sweet cheering for him.  By this point Terry had to leave to go to his game, but Isaac pleaded for one more song so he sang Jesus Loves Me.  I love that he sang this one because it is what I have been singing to both the boys since they were born.  I was really surprised and impressed that he didn't hesitate a bit about getting up on stage in front of a group of people that he didn't know.  I kept telling him how great he did and how proud I was of him on the way to the basketball game.  He seemed proud of himself as well.  I think we will be returning to the Singin Bean!

As I mentioned earlier every year some of the faculty at GACS play the Legendary Globe Trotters.  We got there shortly after the game had started and quickly spotted our friend Sara with her two little boys.  Her son Henry is Hayden's age and they are in Bible class together and she has a little boy named Cole who is just 3 months old.  Henry, Isaac, and Hayden enjoyed playing on the bleachers together.  We would point out when the daddys were playing and had the ball and they would cheer.  We were sitting right behind the players and Isaac often tried to talk to his daddy and decided to help himself to the players' water.  It was fun to see Terry play, but we were only able to stay until half time as it was past the boys bedtime and still had to drive home and get them in bed.  We told daddy bye as well as Sara and her boys and headed for home.  On the way to the car Isaac talked about what a great basketball player daddy is.

On Saturday we took the boys to the circus for the first time.  Mimi and Papaw got us all tickets for Christmas.  I was really excited because I looked forward to seeing their reactions and because it brought back memories from childhood.  I went to the circus one year for my birthday and invited a few friends.  I think it was maybe my 8th birthday.  They invited me to the ring and let me ride on one of the elephants!  I am going to find those pictures and I will post them.  I had heard that there was a pre-show for kids so I wanted to get there early.  From the minute we walked into the arena Isaac was a little nervous and asked daddy to hold him.  He knew there would be clowns which he isn't crazy about and he didn't know what else to expect.  Terry did convince him to walk and hold his hand.  We found our seats and I was a little disappointed to look down on the floor and see how chaotic the pre-show was.  There were three different rings with shows going on and tons of people walking around trying to see everything.  Since there were so many people it was hard to see much of anything.  We picked up some clown noses and Hayden got a circus tattoo on his arm.  Shortly after Hayden and I went back to our seats the show got started.   I think Isaac was immediately in awe as they started with a circus parade.  There was so much to look at that it was hard to take it all in.  Hayden seemed to enjoy it as well as first, but it didn't keep his attention as well as I thought it would.  He quickly wanted to move around.  It might have partly been because we had already been there for an hour for the pre-show.  The show was quite spectacular.  The prices were as well!  We knew snacks and such would be expensive, but they were even more so then we expected.  A large lemonade was $10.  So, we all shared one and guarded it like it was gold so that it didn't get spilled.  I think Terry was in awe of the show as much as anyone.  He was constantly pointing things out to Isaac.  It was cute to see them glued to the action and trading comments.  I regretted not hearing those comments and seeing more of the show because I was wrestling with our little monkey.  All in all though we had a great time and it was a great family memory!