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!

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