5 Blessings from Retreat 2011

. at . 12 comments

In the past 10 years I’ve had difficulties . . . 

  • in a marriage that ended in a divorce;
  • in financial stress because of finishing my education and because of unexpected bills;
  • in health regarding a badly hurt back and broken shoulder;
  • and in fearing that my dreams would never materialize.

If it wasn’t for being able to draw upon God’s strength, I don’t know where I would be today. But since God is faithful to His promises and His character, I have overcome (or am overcoming) these difficulties.

Because of these strength-buster events, this year’s women’s retreat topic was of special interest to me:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12).

3 women shared their story (at retreat) about how God strengthened them. Their talks were frank and vulnerable. Debbie shared how she found strength to overcome bad decisions which impacted her financially. Pam shared how she found wellness and strength  in her many continuous health issues. Lastly Jenny shared how she trusts God’s truths enough to believe she was created to dream and to see those dreams fulfilled. I saw in each of their stories that God was faithful to them too. I came away greatly encouraged.

Below are 5 more blessings I saw this past weekend.

1. Everyone came home well. There were no accidents, near accidents or illnesses while travelling to and from or while at the conference center. This is always a HUGE blessing. Right, Marsha?!

2. I roomed with my sista. I don’t think we’ve been room mates since I was in high school and we shared a bunk bed. I am glad to tell you there was no fighting or pouting. Instead I felt comforted to room with her since my gallbladder wasn’t too happy and my shoulder gave me some pain. I enjoyed our conversations at weird times during the night. (I did miss Lorna though.)

3. The talks made an impact on behaviour and thinking. I.e. About 9 times I heard a woman state, “I was going to buy xyz, but then I remembered Debbie’s talk and I changed my mind.” At my table-time during Jenny’s talk, I realized that others have the same fears and questions I have regarding dreams. I was encouraged by this and motivated to get to the next step in growth.

4. Women connected with one another. It was so cool to see women playing games, chatting in groups, laughing and teasing, praying and crying, walking in pairs, and intently listening to one another. We connected on a friendship level as well as on a spiritual level.

5. Communion was powerful. Elise explicitly stated what Our Lord went through (bodily) at His crucifixion. Jessica pointed us to the song In Christ Alone where it says we are “bought with the precious blood of Christ.” Singing this song during  communion was especially meaningful. Lorelei signed the words and that moved me to tears several times because it was so beautiful.

It was the prayer of the Women’s Ministry team that the women experience God’s faithfulness and strength this weekend. We also prayed they’d experience connection with the material, the speakers, and each other. I am grateful that God did all this and more.

Share your blessings in the comments or write a post and link up with Susanne’s meme, Friday’s Fave Five. If you went to retreat, PLEASE share a blessing or two (or five).

Entry filed under: Friday's Fave Five (FFF), Main, Women's Retreat. Tags: , .

Friday’s Fave Five for June 10 Noticing Some Details of Life

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa notes...  |  . at .

    So glad you had a great time at the retreat. It sounds like the Spirit was at work there. I haven’t been to a women’s retreat in quite awhile but I have always loved them when I’ve gone.


    • 2. susan2009  |  . at .

      Hi Lisa, I look forward to our annual women’s retreat. It is a lot of work to be on the leadership team, but it is soooo rewarding when I see how the Spirit intervenes and makes changes in me and the others. Plus I always enjoy getting to spend time with the women away from the daily challenges of home and work.


  • 3. Susanne  |  . at .

    I loved going to women’s retreats for all the things you mentioned. There is something about getting away and having open hearts amongst women where God can really move and touch lives. So glad it was that kind of time for you!


    • 4. susan2009  |  . at .

      I was a little nervous about this retreat because I wasn’t sure how my energy would hold out. But God was gracious and so were the women and it turned out fine. You are right, Susanne, the open hearts (mine included) are key and something I/we pray about often before the retreat.


  • 5. Laura  |  . at .

    Sounds like the retreat was a huge success. I love it when you look around and see the actual fruit (in action) of what’s being taught. That’s awesome. So glad it was so great for you!


    • 6. susan2009  |  . at .

      I agree, Laura. Today at church two more women talked to me about lessons learned from retreat. On July 3rd, 2 of our speakers will be sharing their testimony in church. I am so excited to see how God will use this bigger group of hearers.


  • 7. Willow  |  . at .

    The retreat truly sounds like a wonderful time!


    • 8. susan2009  |  . at .

      Thanks, Willow. Each retreat is so individual and it is awesome to see how God personalizes it to the needs of each woman.


  • 9. Brenda  |  . at .

    Womens retreats are such wonderful times, I always enjoy being with ladies and feel like the time away from men is extra special. I’m sure rooming with your sister was comforting while you did not feel so great.


    • 10. susan2009  |  . at .

      Hello Brenda. I love the way women can relax b/c of no responsibilities. It is a different atmosphere when men (or children) aren’t around. We get the opportunity to concentrate on ourselves. Probably not a good thing to do all the time, but it is beneficial and fun once in a while.


  • Retreats can be so wonderful and restorative! I’m glad yours went well. What a fantastic theme! It really is true. Life can be hard, but God is good -always.


  • 12. susan2009  |  . at .

    This year’s theme was just what we needed, Catherine. According to the evaluations, women had a restorative, fun, bonding time. The worship was soothing and filled our minds/hearts with words of truth. Great antidotes to life’s sufferings.



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