Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fair Warrior, Women's Retreat June 2016

The past few posts have been about church because as I get this old blog caught up, church is where we have been spending a significant amount of time.  Something huge happened for me and to me the first weekend in June, I attended my first retreat, ever.

I am not one to venture away from home alone.  I attended cheerleading camp in high school and I guess that was okay but I didn’t love it.  I didn’t do many sleep overs at friends and I don’t do mom’s vacations.  I can count on one hand the number of times I have slept alone in my house and I have only left my family once when I went to New York with my mother, sister and cousin ages ago.  So when this retreat, Fair Warrior, was announced, I was intrigued and I stuck the save the date card on my wall and I thought about going but I was not that committed to the idea.  When the details were released and I realized a retreat is not like a resort and single housing was not available, I promptly threw away the save the date card.  No way, no how, was I sharing a bedroom, sleeping on a top bunk and sharing a bathroom with women I did not know.  

Greg pushed me to go.  He told me to go talk to the woman at the registration desk in church, ask questions, and take a leap of faith.  He assured me he and the girls would be just fine without me for two days.  I took this leap of faith and registered but told him I would drive myself up.  He laughed at me and because he knows me so well, he realized this was my escape plan.  Have car, can leave.  A few days before the retreat one of the women I do know, a mom of Grace’s friend, called me to ask for a ride.  Bam!  Escape route blocked.  God chuckled and I fretted.  But I said yes and we drove up and had a lovely dinner in Brattleboro, VT before checking into Camp Spofford on Spofford Lake in New Hampshire where I did indeed get the top bunk in a dorm style room I shared with my new friend and two other women.  The funny part is we were all set in another room we thought we were assigned to but had to move all of our belongings at 10pm Friday night when we realized our mistake.  After setting up again, I called home to say goodnight and wasn’t that surprised when the wave of homesickness washed over me and I just wanted to jump in my car and drive myself home.  Home to my girls.  Home to Greg and my bed.  Home to where I was comfortable.  Home to where I was content.  But I did not.  I pushed through and went inside, said goodnight to my bunkmates and did manage to catch a bit of sleep through my tossing and turning on that top bunk.

The rest of the weekend was filled with worship, small group discussions, a few tears, many laughs, new discoveries of places nearby and places within myself, a deeper understanding of my faith and my purpose and friendship.  Oh the friendship.  I came away from this retreat deeply connected to church and the women in it.  My votive holder given as a reminder that God takes broken pieces, puts them together into something beautiful and lets his light shine through, sits on my dining room table as a reminder not to forget the lessons I learned this weekend but to reflect on them often as I continue to grow and learn.  


Theresa B said...

I am just like you. I don't travel alone or do mom's trips. Heck, I took my family on a blog retreat with me! I like being in my home with my family. Perfectly content. I saw the picture of bunks and was like, "No way!" But, maybe next time, I will remember this and maybe I will be inspired to give it a try.

I have been to retreats that were local and I could come home at night and sleep in my own bed and it was always meaningful and I always felt a deep connection with God and the people that shared the retreat with me. It always felt like a safe place where everyone was free to express their fears and secrets.

LJS said...

The room with the bunks is the first room we moved into, the wrong room. We had to undo our beds, and move everything over a cabin at 10pm. I turn into a pumpkin at 9:30 and this made me a bit weepy. In this room I had a lovely bottom bunk by the door but in the new room, which only had 5 beds, I was stuck with the top since everyone else was already settled. It was a lesson in perseverance and trust.

I will most definitely go again next year. I would love to see a mother-daughter retreat offered. I learned so much about myself and came to trust God even more.

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