I signed up for this retreat because growing up I heard friends attending retreats and I was always curious about what it was exactly. I was excited to finally be able to experience this, and with a wonderful group of women.
When all good things happen, the enemy tries to attack! The day before I was supposed to leave there was tension in my house. My husband with his anxiety about me leaving all weekend while there are issues he has to resolve in the restaurant etc. I was feeling so annoyed and fed up that I said to myself “I’m just not gonna go” right after that thought it dawned on me very clearly that it was the enemy causing this. He knew there was a good thing about to happen in my life and he was trying to take control. At that moment I made sure I stayed in prayer and felt better by reminding myself I was not going to allow him to ruin this opportunity for me.
Friday morning came and I was getting ready to leave. I felt anxiety about leaving my kids. I thought about how much easier it would be if I just stayed home….easier for my children, my husband, our family in general. But what about for me ? I was really looking forward for this experience. It’s so hard to balance that as a mother and wife. When we have such a huge responsibility of having that role of making sure the family has it all together to make it through our days. Just like my husband is the owner & “operator” of the business, I am the operator of our family. He runs the restaurant and I as a mom and wife run our family and household.
If there are any single moms out there, I applaud you because you are the operator, manager and the accountant of your family by having that full time job on top of it! What a huge position and role to have.
I kept saying maybe I shouldn’t go. It’s just much easier etc. But then I came to sense that I am doing this for myself and that it’s something that I NEED to do. I plan on going on this retreat to learn and get an experience of Lords presence in hopes He would talk to me or show me what it is I am meant to get out of this retreat. I am also doing this for Him. To seek Him. After all, God is supposed to come before your kids and husband. So how happy would this make him- that I am attending this retreat because I want to be closer to Him.
And so off I went!
We arrived and out of the 2 buildings where we could stay. I was staying in the one named Shepherd’s Inn. Since my son’s name is Shepherd I loved the idea of staying in Shepherd’s Inn! The retreat is at The Cove at the Billy Graham training Center in Black Mountain. I heard amazing things in particular about this retreat. So I knew since the opportunity was at my fingertips, I couldn’t miss it!
I walked in my room. It was so nice and home-y feeling. It had a patio and I was facing the trees and trails. There was such a peaceful feeling about it. In my head I thought it’s almost too peaceful! I’m not used to being around so much quietness. (especially when you are around toddlers all day) Even at night after they are in bed, I turn to the tv because its my mommy time to unwind!
But here there are no TV’s! Which was actually nice – Except it was so hard for me to sit in such quietness. I was trying hard on several attempts to talk with the holy spirit in such peaceful moments in my room but it’s hard shut down! My mind just starts wondering about my life, kids, what they are doing, what they may have eaten… or not while under the care of my husband (lol). Thoughts of anxiously waiting on what God may reveal to me or what it is I’m supposed to get from this whole weekend.
It really was almost like it’s too peaceful (lol) which doesn’t make sense! But in the end it was nice 🙂
The first thing that was powerful and stood out to me right away on that first session Friday evening was the sound of all the women’s voices worshipping and singing to God our Father. It’s not often you hear only women singing. Whether its in church or in a choir, a crowd of singing voices, or even in plays… it’s both men and women. Needless to say, it was quite the impact!
That evening I had a hard time sleeping. We were up for breakfast and our 2nd session the next morning! Can I just say how wonderful the food is!! I was super impressed! All the selections were great! I am posting a pic of one of the dinner menus so you can see the yummy options! Breakfast and lunches were also great! Sunday’s breakfast had bagels, cream cheese and lox!!! I couldn’t believe it. Of course also the typical eggs, bacon, sausage and some delicious sugar waffles!!! The clean eating was not applied this weekend! Also, there was ice cream available all day and night. It was like a cruise ship, where I never felt hunger (lol).
Saturday we had about 6 hours in the day of free time. I took a hike to their cute, precious chapel. On the way to the chapel and through the trails, there was no phone service. I have to say it was super nice to not have my phone available to distract me. Also on the way to the chapel and all through those trails there were bible scriptures on the way and praying pillars at each litte small waterfall. It was truly so beautiful, I definitely felt that presence of the holy spirit all around those trails.
I have to say that besides me feeling convicted on a few things, which I won’t get into detail about unless you personally would like to ask me (hehe). My walk on the trails by myself feeling such peace was one of the best things. The other was meeting so many wonderful women from all of the other campuses of my church (Forest Hill). It was really such a sweet feeling knowing that all these women, like myself are here seeking the Lord and want more of God in their lives. I almost can’t explain it. But to me it was neat to have a “girl’s trip” where the focus was on Him and ourselves. It’s very different from any other “girl’s trip” I’ve taken in the past, if you know what I mean – and so that is what was neat about it to me!
On that note, I would like to conclude that Sunday night while telling my husband about it I realized how much more I love my church. Through a special friend of mine, I was even able to see and meet all the people on the planning team and how they prepared for this. I feel blessed to get that opportunity.
The reason I loved Forest Hill – Waxhaw was because of its smaller size and the smaller community within that campus. I wanted a smaller church where the members may recognize my kids or know them by name. This is the kind of church I prayed to find for my family. I already knew I had found it. But after this experience it’s confirmation that this is where I am meant to be.
And so, until the next women’s retreat! Let me know who would like to go. You don’t have to be a member of Forest Hill to come with me 😉
Thank you so much for reading this and your support <3
This was given to all of us as a representation of God’s shield and protection. It is made of the rejected fabrics used in India. It is crafted and made by women in hopes to “give them tools to become financially self-sufficient while healing their brokenness with supporting resources and love”. This is done through an organization called Empower for Hope here in Charlotte, NC.
Below is the menu for one of the evenings! So yummy…
Me in my Shield or God wrapping his arms around me with protection. It is through His blessings this was made