Monday, October 31, 2016
I was giddy about this event from the moment I signed up! Dinner in the woods? Yes please! We had lovely weather and it was chilly and felt just so glorious and Fallish!
What a treat to follow the path, see the pile of rocks from those who had experience meaningful moments before us and be led to a place prepared for beauty, refreshment, slowing down and enjoying fellowship and food.
My camera was busy snapping away at the beauty of the setting. Trees overhead and all around. Crunchy leaves underfoot and a chill in the air. A very long table set up with benches down both sides and strung with cafe lights overhead.
Imagine the delight of finding a coffee bar set up in the woods complete with someone making custom drinks for each retreat attendee. They served drinks in these enamelware mugs that we got to bring home! My chai tea was delish and tasted even better by being cool outside!
I never even put a jacket on or blanket over me I was having so much fun to feel cold! But it was fun to end the evening with both a jacket and quilt by the bonfire under the stars!!!
Friday, October 28, 2016
Creative workshop options were a hit with me and I loved how there was balance between taking in and then being active in participating.
I eagerly signed up for the wooden spoon carving and embroidery sessions, wish I could've taken calligraphy too!
This hour spent carving a wooden spoon out in the woods under the beautiful blue sky and crunchy leaves was absolutely dreamy. There is no other way to put it. Our workshop leader reminded us several times it was time for dinner and not one of us got up from the table. We agreed that it was somewhat therapeutic to work on and while I haven't finished mine yet, I will say it was harder than I thought it would be.
Again, I think there must be a spiritual lesson hiding in the carving of the spoon and the time, whittling and carving that takes place.
It is imperfect just like me, so maybe I should not do too much more to it! The next day, I enjoyed the embroidery class and learning again how to make a french knot. It seems I can never remember how and this time it seemed so easy I felt silly I could not remember! It is always fun to watch how each person makes theirs a little different!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Our time began with twinkle lights and a warm welcome! A canoe adorned the deck and held canvas bags filled with fun swag goodies. There was the excited hum of chatter and the fringes of nerves in meeting new people, not being known, a long day of travel and so much more.
Chris and Bethany Solyntjes led us in great worship music. Two favorite songs are:
The first night, I was introduced to Gretchen Saffles of Life Lived Beautifully. The thoughts she shared about our identity in Christ hit on so many things that my friend Jill and I had spent almost ten hours talking about in the car on the way there. I loved hearing her heart.
A donut bar after morning sessions is always a good idea!! We were housed in cabins that had bunks in them and it was fun to grow in knowing our cabin mates as the time went by.
A favorite speaker was Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word. I will think twice about posting a verse on Instagram after being reminded at how often we take God's Word out of context and just post a little snippet that has nothing to do with us.
"The Bible does not exist to make me feel better. Don't look for how the Bible serves me but how I serve the God of the Bible."
"We become what we behold, I am His image bearer so I must behold Him so I can bear His image well."