Another beautiful year at Yasumiya up on the shores of Lake Towadako!
It's hard to know what to say about a retreat. Working behind the scenes you see it from a different perspective than others...this was a great retreat. We had 57 women and 4 babies attend... ::grin:: The babies were incredibly well behaved! ::wink:: Fun memories include onsen visits with new friends, late-night talks with Ruth and Akikosan, hiking the gorge with friends, Bre and Krista hosting the high school girls in their room for a night (gaining Arielle sleep over experience, as we don't do sleepovers) and taking them out to Karoke at 10:30 - 11:30 p.m. - in Yakatas. Good times.....
And above all - the move of God in our midst...in tiny details, in big details, in worship and still times of solitude, in teaching sessions....it was what we prayed for - and more!
Our theme was Kingdom Treasures: Spiritual Disciplines. Four of our women, Tara (Prayer and Fasting), Christie (Hospitality and Service), Terri (Worship and Confession) and myself (Secrecy, Silence, Solitude and Surrender) spoke on various Spiritual Disciplines. The retreat was planned so that there would be small group interaction as well as a session just to go off alone and spend time with God. This session - Sanctus Diem (Holy Moments) - had a booklet I created with input from Tara and Renee B from afar, full of prompts to practice what had been preached. LOL
I especially loved having my daughters along - three of them. Yes, when asked we welcomed young women to come to our retreat. They had their own small group and really enjoyed the time together and the depth of the messages. We also had at least four babies and they were a JOY.
Susan drove the 2 hour trip with her gas cap on top of her car. LOL
Decorations - Lacey and Cassie did a great job!
|Each speaker got one of these pictures! Wonderful!|
|There were little surprises at our place for each session|
The photos were gifts for the small group leaders
|Greeted by friendly smiles from Lisa and Stephanie|
Krista was a huge help with slides.....a HUGE help.
Quiet moments alone with God - I think this should be built into every retreat schedule!
|Great to have Bre along - and check out the cool bag!|
Babies were a big hit at meal times
|Susan, Amanda, Kara and Tara|
|Jess and Katelyn|
|Ruth and Melissa|
Melissa, Kodi, Ruth and I hiked the Gorge during our free time. Others took a lake cruise, rode bikes, set in coffee shops or onsens.
Ruth tries to beat the self-timer as we all cheer her on
Our five young women chose to bike as a small group
Saturday night Terri talked about worship and we prayed for those who are moving in the next few months, and those who are staying. We planned extended worship after the speaking and prayer. At one point our worship leader, Raye June, gave the Microphone to BreAnne and Stephanie and they continued to lead us....seamless, really. A picture to me of how the worship is not about those up front...I felt Raye June truly LED us to worship....regardless of who was up front....Personally, it was an incredible gift for me to hear my daughter worshiping again....I miss that. Krista and I admitted to both hiding when Raye June set loose with her wandering mic. ::snort::
Several went up and led....concluding with our young women...and it was powerful to see. Legacy....our focus this year has been Intimacy, Simplicity and Legacy. Retreat, in many ways, illustrated legacy to me. Women stepping out in new roles because of the mentoring they'd received this year. Young women asking to be part of the move of God in our midst....and blessing us with their participation. New moms able to attend with their babies....And yep, I teared up as these five beautiful young women led us into worship...seamlessly...no fan fare...just found themselves up at the front with the mic and we followed them....
|Raye June (L) and Tara (R)|
Tara has been my VP Spiritual Life and I will desperately miss her
|Susan (L) was our retreat coordinator this year, Tara was her assistant and they built a wonderful team! I do think the three of us are a good team!|
Personally, I grew much from preparing my sessions on secrecy, silence (ahem), solitude and surrender. I love that someone caught me using my glasses as a pointer with my mouth wide open. ::snort::
Cherry Blossoms were still blooming - the camera can't catch it but up the hill the white spots were more cherry trees. Rain was fore casted for the weekend but the weather was, once again, GORGEOUS. God shines His favor on us.
If I receive more retreat photos, I'll edit this later....note I did not take all of these photos. Everyone loaded their photos to my laptop.
Living all of life before the face of God...