February 24, 2007

Mother Daughter Retreat

Rhia and I just returned from our first mother daughter retreat. We went to a conference at a local church designed for girls ages 8-13 and their mothers. The conference encourages girls to turn their hearts to God and to their parents. To focus on godliness and making good choices to set a solid foundation before the teen years.

The conference was very encouraging and enjoyable. There were many funny skits, songs sung, good speakers and great messages. Rhia's favorites were the "chalk talk", the wisdom-folly skit, and the art dealer skits. During the chalk talk a woman drew a picture with chalk while she and others told stories that in the end related to the picture she was drawing. Rhia enjoyed watching the picture come to life and the talent of the artist. What started with a few lines and colored chalk swirls ended up as a beautiful waterfall and mountain scene with a robin being held in the palm of God's hand. It was beautiful and the whole process was powerful.

The skits were funny and had meaningful messages at the same time. They drew home the points of the chats and lessons well. Rhia's favorite was the story of Wisdom and Folly and the lives they chose, the paths they walked and the results and consequences of those choices. It was funny and well done while powerfully driving the lessons home. The second skit had to do with honesty and making choices for the right reasons and was set in a pink panther detective style.

The weekend was a great time of drawing closer to Rhiannon and spending time together. We spent a night at a hotel with friends of ours and enjoyed a nice sit down dinner together and the girls had an evening in the pool before we retired to our own rooms for some time to talk and pray together. Rhia and I read Philippians 4:1-10 together and talked about it for sometime.

Rhia was on the younger side for this conference and at times got squirmy for the longer sessions but overall she did a great job and I think she really got a lot out of the conference and especially out of the special time away with me. There were several other families from our homeschool support group there and it was enjoyable to spend some time with them as well.

Rhia made a new friend who lives in Iowa and the story of how she did is quite interesting but she would like to blog about that tomorrow so I will leave it to her. One of the most encouraging things about the conference was all the great models and examples of older girls that were training the younger ones. At the end of the conference these girls all came up to stage and I was overcome by these young ladies who are making such good choices with their lives and encouraging others to do the same despite all the pressures to do otherwise that they face. That image is one I hope really sticks with all the girls who attended the conference today.

It was a blessing to spend some time away with Rhia and on topics like we talked about. Thanks to Serona and the kids for letting us get away even during our first real storm in Minnesota. It is still snowing and while I do not believe the predictions of 15 inches I am encouraged and glad it is snowing now that we are all safe and sound at home.


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