March 7, 2007

Weekend Retreat

This past weekend I had a lovely mom's retreat with a great group of women from our homeschool support group. We rented a cabin on a lake up in Northern Minnesota at a resort that included a wonderful Aveda Spa. We drove up north on Friday through the remainder of the snow that dumped on us (over the two weekends we have well over 2 feet of snow total) and blew the snow around. We arrived safely though three cars of women for a total of 10 lovely ladies and enough food to keep us going for over a week!

Friday night was a nice time of unpacking and getting settled in. We had a chili dinner and lots of yummy appetizers. We all joined in a rowdy game of Taboo and learned a bit about each other during the process. People then naturally split into groups that were following their interests. A few tried to go to bed early though we realized the walls were thin and we probably kept them up nearly all night. A few others joined in quiet places for intimate conversations. One group spent the evening watching Pride and Prejudice. I joined a group playing the card game Hearts and sharing stories from our lives. The last group headed to bed around 2am.

Saturday was a full day for many of us. A nice breakfast started the day as people got up at different times and helped themselves. I headed out for an early morning walk with a group of ladies which was refreshing but a bit chilly through just my jeans. We made a stop in the lodge for some coffee and warm up time by the fire before heading back to the cabin. We had some quiet time in the cabin and then I headed out again with another group of ladies for a horse drawn carriage ride - pulled by Clydesdale horses through a wooded snowy path - beautiful! Another group headed out for some cross country skiing and others were taking walks again.

Then it was time for my afternoon spa appointment. We all had different times and were arriving and leaving the spa at different times. They had a lovely relaxation room where we were able to sit around in robes and chat while we relaxed before or after our services, a sauna and everything you needed for showers and getting ready. I had a lovely 1 hour deep tissue massage that was wonderfully relaxing. I was truthfully being spoiled with the weekend.

Headed back to the cabin for another evening of fellowship and fun with my friends. There was good food and drink and lots of interesting conversations. Several went out to dinner though many of us stayed in to enjoy the many wonderful appetizers we had here. My dinner was made up of wonderful cheeses, veggies and fruit with a few other appetizers thrown in. A large group of us headed downstairs to watch the movie Calendar Girls while another group stayed upstairs to watch One Night with the King. Personally I think the movie Calendar Girls is a hoot and is fun to watch with a group of girlfriends. I started to not feel well and headed to bed early.

The next morning people went to spa appointments, skiing, walks, or just lounging around the cabin relaxing and enjoying our food. I slept in late and joined the group shortly before our service time together. We all joined in the living room for a mini service. We sang worship songs together and one woman shared some bible verses and we shared things on our heart at the time as women, wives, mothers and homeschoolers. One woman shared a beautiful testimony she had put together for her church service about how her home is her sacred space. It was touching and powerful and inspiring. We then shared prayer requests and prayed together for an extended period and closed with worship songs again. It was a special precious time where we drew together not just as friends but as Christian sisters. There were many tissue boxes being passed around our little circle of friends. What a powerful way to bring closure and transition back into our homes from our weekend away.

Each woman there was a gift to the others - each one blessed me in a special way and I am thankful for the time apart we had. Time to draw close to one another, time to laugh and let our hair down, time to have fun, time to cry, to share, to reminisce and to hope for the future. Time to share our stories and our lives with each other. Mostly we just had a lot of fun and it was really great to see each other in that context free from other responsibilities and worries if just for a few short days. Friendships were formed and strengthened, individuals were refreshed and inspired and ready to return anew to our families. Memories were made and time was cherished.

Thanks to all you wonderful ladies and I encourage everyone to take time away to enjoy their friends and to take care of themselves for just a few days.


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