Monday, March 19, 2012

Long Overdue Post -- Community Women's Retreat

To blog has been on my "list" for weeks.
Somehow it just kept getting moved.
I have so many things I wanted to blog out.
Still have pics to show from our awesome trip to Austin.
Here's just one.

I hope to come back and post some more pics of Texas goodness.

Since the last time I've blogged the Community Women's Retreat has come and gone.
It was an amazing weekend.
It touched me on so many layers.
It was beautiful.
This is my favorite photo of the weekend.

This photo brings tears to my eyes.
It sums up the weekend - women's hearts touched by a message that calls us to action.
Can you see the tear?

We had an amazing weekend -- We had 160 women attend (and one lone man that was seriously needed to make it all sound good - Thanks Craig!) .  There were chair massages, great food, beautiful lodging, trails to walk, prizes to win, time to hang out, and activities to join in on but the highlight of the event, according to evaluations and the people that came to share with members of our team was Jen Hatmaker, our speaker. She brought us all to tears with her jokes and stories and then spoke with such biblical depth bringing something new and fresh to everyone.

Her challenge was to live as a disciple of Jesus, to love our neighbors, and to love those hurting and in great need in the world. It was challenging, emotional and a call to action. Calling all of us to "get in the game".  

A huge highlight for me was getting time to spend with Jen on our way from the airport.
The girls at the retreat are lucky I didn't just keep on driving past the lodge ! ha.
Her and her husbands journey in church planting has touched our lives deeply.
I picked up a book by her over 2 years ago and said to Jason, "I wish I could sit and chat with this girl."
She's authentic and is living out what she's teaching.
What a treat to get to know her a little bit personally.

For all my Oklahoma friends she is coming to Enid the last weekend of March.
Get tickets - you won't regret it ! ! !

Our worship team bonded so well and was amazing.  They met for the first time Friday morning and by Friday evening you would have thought they had been together forever. It was a collision of two worlds for me. The two girls that joined my amazing sister in law were friends from Utah. It was surreal to have them there. 

We had invited everyone to bring a new pair of children's shoes to that would be sent over seas to children that live shoeless lives. We filled  "wells" that we had with shoes. It was a beautiful picture. Without having counted them yet I'm  estimating over 200 children's shoes. Yeah!! 

We had a 31 Bits table. This is all jewelry that was made in Uganda and the proceeds when directly back to these women helping them in an education and beyond. The women enjoyed shopping with a purpose. 

 By noon on Saturday our book table was empty . . . every book Jen brought was sold by noon.  Crazy! 

I am so excited to see how the messages we heard will take root in our communities.
I dream of a community where we all look around and view ourselves on mission, right here at our ball games, our pool, our school events and more.  The challenge to love our neighbor affects us all.  I also get excited to see how God taps each of us differently to engage in the world of pain beyond our neighborhood. 
The options are endless when it comes to joining in the fight against suffering in the world.

This planning team of women is an amazing picture of how God brings things together. Many of us didn't know each other until planning the first event last year. We added a few faces this year. The gifts and talents are all over the place and all I can say is it's a joy to serve and lead along side of these ladies!! (Next time we are taking this picture BEFORE the event starts . . . I look exhausted.)

I can not believe I don't have a picture of me with Yvonne --- this girl was a jewel this year! She co-lead with me and saved me time and time again in the planning process. Here's a picture of us "discussing" some detail in the mist of the retreat.

She rocks! I love you Von!

(Me and my sister in law and friend!)

These two made it all look at sound good on stage !!  

Everyones gotta love this girl!! I sure do!!
(We sure are stripy stripy here.)

A sweet time of communion ended our time.
Lots of laughing all weekend!
Nothing is better than that!

There's Yvonne and I on the front row side by side!!
It was awesome to serve by your side Yvonne!

What a beautiful weekend!
(The majority of the pictures on this post were taken by Jess Siebert! Thanks Jess! )


Angie said...

What a beautiful post
Looks like an amazing weekend with a wonderful purpose!

Lynette said...

Next year count me in -- beginning to end!!!!! Love ya Sister!!!

Kimberlee said...

Oh this post makes me wish I could've been there. Looks like a great time, with a great group of girls and a GREAT God. I'm so happy it all went well for you all!

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