What? A retreat at the beginning of school year?!?
Thus, my lapse in a blog update last weekend. The Radiant Women's Ministry at the church I attend put on a women's retreat. We all met a various places and times last Friday and made our way to Sutton and the Victory Bible Camp. Sutton is about an hour and a half north and east into the mountains. Friday night was all about hanging out and getting to know the women... well, okay, I did bring some papers to grade so I wasn't socializing too much - but I felt if I graded Friday night I could enjoy the rest of the weekend. AND I DID!
The picture above was the view Saturday morning as I was heading out for a walk, all by myself. Yes, I truly felt this weekend was about some time for me. Of course I wanted to get to know some of the women I always see at church but always felt like I didn't have time to make connections; but I also felt this weekend was a gift of rest.
So, I enjoyed my peaceful walk and felt my body just relax. I wasn't walking because I needed to exercise and it was the end of the day and my mind was racing with all the things I needed to still do. No, this walk was peaceful. Just me, the crisp morning air and sounds of nature. To my surprise, I happened upon this little waterfall.
After my walk, it was time to start the day. Our guest speaker for the weekend, Gwen Adams, gave 3 amazing sessions surrounding the topic of "Who am I?" So many wonderful points were made, but the greatest thing I took away from the weekend was reevaluating where I spend my time. Yes, I have my quiet time with God in the morning - but then what. Gwen pointed out that we will see and hear God when we invest in our relationships that hold promise; spouse, children, friendships/spiritual partners, parents and church family. I really reflected on what sucks my time away that I don't always realize that whatever it is takes me away from relationships. So, I made a plan to make some of these adjustments. One of them was doing a house hold chore every night so that the weekend was free for me to hang out with Leif and the kids and not be busy all Saturday morning cleaning the house. I'll admit, it feels weird to sit here Friday night and realize the laundry is already done and bathrooms are already cleaned. However, I'm excited to have basically all of Saturday morning to hang out with my family - doing nothing else, but enjoying our time together.
I loved seeing this little flower at our camp for the weekend - it just brought a smile to my face!
After our session with Gwen, we met in small groups and then had at least 2 hours of free time. So, what did I do? I took a nap!! Then went to 2nd session, had dinner and free time again - and guess what I did - went and finished a book and was asleep by 8:30pm!! All you mothers can appreciate the idea of not having any demands on you and how your body just screams- rest! So I did!
Sunday morning was a very reflective morning for me as I've been struggling with making friends here in Eagle River. I was blessed with a very powerful moment as I sat in front of this lake early in the morning. A lone loon was sitting on the lake just swimming around occasionally calling out to anyone who was listening. I sat there and watched and realized that was me. Just sitting calling out to try to make friends, but not really making the effort to fly off and find a group of friends to join. Partly, it's my personality - I just don't do well with large groups, but much better 1 to 1 or even a small group of 3, but I'm never going to get to that place of finding a close group of friends if I don't make the effort to join the larger groups first. Needless to say - this weekend was emotional and life changing - but also relaxing and refreshing.
As we headed home, it was amazing to see how in just 2 days the way the leaves are changing. Surly a sign that summer is ending and winter will be here before we know it.
We had a busy week of school and events but looking forward to enjoying a nice long 3 day weekend. We kicked off the weekend by sending Papa to go watch the high school football game to support the students he works with and to give him a break as he was amazing with the kiddo while I was at the retreat last weekend. The kids and I took advantage of the break in the rainy weather we had this week and headed to the park to soak up some last days of summer.
Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!