November brought ladies’ retreat.
My guest speaker had been lined up for a month or more and the staff was all lined up too, but I was having a hard time getting excited about going to retreat. I’ve been so overwhelmed with all the changes in our life and feeling so completely incapable of dealing with it all…guess I needed this retreat more that I’ve needed one in a long time. I testified the last night that it’s been a while since I’ve come to a retreat feeling burdened like I was this year. But God is always faithful. He met me at retreat and really encouraged me.
Let’s backup a little…Friday morning I filled my van with the ladies from my local church…Haley, Kristin, Julie and Becky Garcia. We had a nice, uneventful drive to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Well, mostly. No one screamed or plastered themselves to the floorboard in the front seat, but the road up to the campground was pretty scary…even when I was in the driver’s seat. Let’s just say we were all glad to get out of the van.
The theme of the retreat was “Paid in Full” and from the get-go it seemed like we were all moved to tears as we were reminded of the price Jesus paid for each of us. Stephanie Letcher did our worship services and the songs were perfect! She did a fantastic job!! Hard to believe this was only her second ladies’ retreat. She’s clearly a natural ladies’ retreater.
As I was praying about the devotion times I felt impressed to ask three ladies to share their testimonies of salvation. Sister Galaviz, Sister Marcia and Sister Janis all had such different testimonies, but each one was an incredible blessing. I heard several people comment on how much they’d been blessed by hearing the different stories.
Sister Allene Cox was our guest speaker and, as always, she did a great job. I missed about half of her message on Friday night because I was trying to figure out prayer groups. That’s something I can’t really do before hand because we usually end up with a few surprise ladies. Saturday night she preached from the book of Ruth. Sunday morning she challenged us to make a list of three things that we needed to give to God.
We had one class on Saturday, taught by Sister Tammy Washburn. She took a different spin on the theme and encouraged us to trust God for our healing. I really appreciated all the testimonies she shared.
I think my favorite part of retreat was our prayer group the first night. It always feels like a pretty random thing when I organize the prayer groups, but I heard from a few different people that they felt like their prayer groups were exactly what they needed. I know that was true for me. The ladies in my group were such a help and encouragement to me. They let me share my heart and then they talked to me and prayed with me. I came away feeling like I could handle life again because I know that God enables me to.
Saturday after lunch we tried something new…we had worship time followed by fun time. The worship time was so good. There was such a sweet spirit as we sang. It felt odd to stand up and say, “Now it’s fun time.” I turned to Haley and she just took over. This was a first for us…fun time at ladies’ retreat. We always have fun, but it’s never been an organized activity before. The first time I’d ever heard of such a thing was at the Alabama retreat I went to a few years ago. God only gave me one teacher this year so I figured it was time to try something new. Haley did a great job with it. First we had a “snow ball” fight with giant marshmallows. The second game involved wrapping paper, scissors, tape and ribbon. We had to wrap each member of our team, leaving only our faces showing. It was a lot of fun! Seems like we did something similar to charades. From the looks of things, everyone enjoyed that addition to the schedule.
It was great to have Mom Smith at this retreat too. She was pretty disappointed that I hadn’t brought Lydia with me, but I assured here that we were all better off for that. We stayed up until after 2 on Saturday night talking. It was really nice to spend that time with her.
Think that covers all of it…I am so thankful for another wonderful ladies’ retreat!