Since we are headed out in the morning for the annual church retreat, I am thinking tonight of 8 Things I Look Most Forward to At Retreat.
1. This is something I used to look forward to- we have historically had a two night retreat that began on Friday evening. I LOVED getting out there early before others arrive and getting settled in my room. I loved laying on my bed with the door or the window cracked and listening to my friends arrive. I loved every detail- the crunching of the gravel, the family jumping out excited to find out their room assignment, getting settled in their rooms. I sort of visualized gathering them all in. Due to financial constraints, we have to have a one night retreat, at least for a while. Getting there early on a Saturday morning doesn’t appeal so much to me!
2. My very precious friend Terri and her family come in from Mars Hill, NC most years. Ours is the kind of friendship where she hops out of the car, we hug, and we pick up where we left off. I always say that with a good friend like Terri, we can go a year without talking to each other but when she gets out of the car we just pick up in the middle of the sentence we left dangling when we parted. “ So then………”
3. Alone time- my kids scatter like the wind the moment we arrive. I may catch sight of them in the dining hall, but no real contact until they return to our room exhausted late at night.
4. My rituals. I always take some art supplies and make a little journal of some sorts for retreat and work on that in my room during free times. I like to have soft music playing in the room at night, even when I go to sleep.
5. Free time- We try to have a very loose schedule of things, and really do “retreat”. Especially when the kids were younger, I loved knowing that I had this nice big chunk of time to take a nap confident that they were having a blast and were out of harms way.
6. The talent show (and talent is not a prerequisite. ) There are generally a few really funny skits done by the adults, and then a showcase of talent by our kiddos –piano solos, jokes, etc.
7. Getting to know people better in such a relaxed place.
8. The fire in the fireplace that burns from the time we arrive until we leave.