Posts tagged ‘retreat benefits’

5 Blessings from Retreat 2011

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).

. at . 12 comments

5 Benefits from Attending Retreats (FFF – 2011)

Do believe that attending work retreats has value? Is it more effort to get ready to leave than it is worth? Blessings can abound from attending work retreats. I discovered 5 benefits this past week as I had to attend two retreats for work. With which of these can you identify? What would you add?

  1. Connection. Time away from the regular day-to-day responsibilities of work and home gave me time to connect with myself, God and others. (a) Because of the lack of many responsibilities, it was a relaxing time for my body and soul. I was able to spend time reflecting on my work goals. (b) I enjoyed the opportunity to worship God several times a day through corporate and individual worship. I learned three new songs that I hope we sing at Women’s Retreat June 2011. The songs are Our GodRain Down, and One Thing Remains. (c) I enjoyed the time getting to know new friends and getting to know “old” friends better.
  2. Play. It was fun to relax, play, and not concentrate on work. All but two staff members from my workplace were at the first retreat. For one lunch/free time we drove to a nearby shop to buy fresh crab, French bread, and butter. I learned how to crack crab (messy). We picked up dessert at a local taffy shop. I never knew so many flavours existed. I shared my bags of licorice and raspberry lemonade taffy. We ended our time together walking along a black sand beach. I didn’t even know that we had black sand beaches in CA.
  3. Leadership. The leadership at the retreats was so approachable. They listened to and answered our questions in group and individual settings. They encouraged us through the sharing of their own experiences, through the content of the “lectures” and through prayer. They laughed and had fun with us too. I.e. We were sent off with the instructions to not talk to anyone for 30 minutes in order to just be still. As I passed this one leader he made rapid motions with his hands. I realized that he was “talking” to me but in a way that didn’t disobey the instructions.
  4. Networking. I was able to talk to many people, most of whom I didn’t know. People attended this retreat from the West Coast (of USA) and Hawaii and ranged in age from 24-80 something. I  talked to people who had experiences I haven’t had yet and I learned how I can avoid them. And I heard workable solutions I can hack to fit my work challenges
  5. Resources. I talked to many folks about children’s ministry and what resources they’ve found to be useful. Here are a few of their ideas. (a) Many parents lack skills and knowledge on parenting well. This book, Growing Up Again – Second Edition: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children, gives parents age and developmentally appropriate advise. Plus the information will help parents heal some of their own developmental wounds. Go here for an overview of the stages. (b) Memorization when coupled with music is enhanced. For some good Scripture memory songs, check out the Seed family products. Go here to read a review on about Seed Family worship products including their “unique packaging.  Each package comes with two CDs inside.  One CD is for you to keep, and the other is to give away to someone who would benefit from Seeds’ music.” (c) Church curriculum for children that will help them “know and cherish the infinite value of God” by giving them the Word. One study that was highly recommended is the 40 week study titled, How Majestic is Your Name. This study presents the Hebrew names of God in the Old Testament and the names of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Each lesson encourages children to see and rejoice in the goodness and greatness of God as they explore the meaning of His glorious names.”

Leaving for a week means extra preparation ahead of time and extra work after returning home. But it is definitely worth the effort. This week’s post is in response to Friday’s Fave Five (FFF) sponsored by Living to Tell the Story. To link up your own gratitude post, go here.

. at . 10 comments

60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish Date.

Latest Tweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 793 other subscribers

Stuff I’ve Written and When


%d bloggers like this: