Tuesday, October 22, 2013


This past weekend I went to a women's retreat where I knew a handful of people and only a handful of people knew me.  I enjoyed the time with these women, met a few new ones, but did not feel responsible or guilty for not finding out the stories of the other 100 women in attendance.

It may sound strange to you, like I didn't care about those other women or something.  And, truly, in the past, this would have been weird for me.  Previously I would have learned the names of every woman at the retreat and taken time to learn at least 1/2 of their stories if time allowed.

However, this retreat was different.  I went into it with intention, intention to trust God had something good for me, for my heart, that He would be faithful to meet me where I was, even though I didn't even know it myself.  It was through a church we kinda sorta, only once in a while attend. Once I went to an official women's ministry event (with dim lights and I was able to slip in and out, unnoticed).  At the retreat, I didn't know which women helped with the ministry team or planned our weekend away, but I'm sure grateful they did.  I simply went because a friend of mine was flying in to share, and I threw it out there to a couple friends who went along, too, though they knew no one, either, and weren't sure what to expect.

Me and my sis, playin'

We played on the playground during free time and now I want one of these in my back yard...

I. Am. In. Love. With. Aspens.

Mmmmm, smell the pines!

Room and car, mates :) Refreshing, to the heart, inspiring women, these girls...

Celeste Barnard shared her story and heart with us.  This girl was on fire!  I hope she inspires you one day, too!  I was so happy for her as she was able to share her first book with us, which you can find here.  

It was refilling to attend a women's ministry event I had no part in planning.  I love gathering women together, as it's my passion and the way I've been wired.  But I didn't realize how much my dried out heart needed a bit of refreshing, and it came...now I can't wait to plan a weekend for other girls...

So, in keeping with the theme of thankfulness each week, I'd like to share gratefulness from my weekend away:

  • A retreat center nestled Rocky Mountainside, the setting still sprinkled with vibrant yellow aspens amongst the thriving green pines
  • A gluten free chocolate cupcake upon arrival
  • A friend willing to share her story with authenticity in order to pave the way for healing in other women's lives
  • A husband who sees, and benefits from, the value in Mama getting some time away to refresh
  • An intimate, good, and gracious God who knew the parts of my heart which longed for refilling, but didn't even know how to cry out to Him for what I didn't know I needed
  • A basketball, friends, and a sunny court to pretend we were back in High School
  • A chain hung porch swing overlooking miles of mountains topped in white snow
  • Hours of car time to learn more deeply the stories of the beautiful women on this same adventure
  • Having God speak directly to me, those thoughts and ideas smarter than I could ever think of
  • Hugs and kisses upon my arrival home
Not only is there value in women gathering outside of the day to day routine, but there is value in the quiet refreshing which comes when we are intentional about saying, "No" to the routine, for a short duration, and saying, "Yes!" to whatever God may have in an outside quiet space.  This doesn't mean we should steal away for retreats every weekend, nor are we able to escape on vacations when the going gets tough or our hearts are dry.  I believe we can be intentional with God at home where nothing particularly profound is happening.  In fact, I believe it's there He encounters us if we stop and look around, giving thanks for the day to day and the little things.  But in this space in time, I'm grateful I jumped on the opportunity to retreat.

Two friends are linking up this week:  Heidi Jo and Heidi Jo.


  1. Sounds really really sweet. ..&fun! What a gift to just did deeper & focus on a few friendsrather than the whole crowd. I'm glad you got filled up to pour out again.

    I've been slacking on my thankfulness writing& hope to rejoin you in giving thanks too.

  2. I posted! Yeah for me. :)