how you run a retreat...

Friday at 5:00 I got a text from my neighbor asking if I wanted to go with her on her church's women's retreat. I texted back for more details, and she said, leaving at 5:45, home tomorrow by 11 am.

I sat there, knowing I should go, but not feeling game for such a last minute social event with 30 women I've never met. I have to fire up for that sort of thing and being that it was the end of the week I was able to come up with every excuse in the world why I didn't need to go.
But I knew I should go. Rory and I have joined her small group, a blessing to us in every way as we are finding friendships in five other couples in Gretna our age. And a few of those girls would be there. So, I decided to go. I got home from work at 5:25, showered, packed and was in her car within 20 minutes.

I can't tell you how glad I am that I went. I laughed so hard. I ate so much. I felt connected, grateful and excited for the beginnings of some brand new friendships.

Here are a few key components that made this retreat such a success:

1. 6 pm to 10 am. This is how long the retreat lasted. Sixteen hours. Take note of this. If this had been any longer, I probably would have declined. But to be home before lunch on Saturday left me no excuse not to go. And this seemed true for most people there. They talked about how husband's were more game for taking the kids for that amount of time and everyone still felt like they had their weekend. Being that we stayed up until the wee, wee hours, by the time 10 am came, we were all feeling that sugar-overload-fatigue-I-need-a-nap-sicky-feeling so it was just time to go home anyway. Perfect timing.

2. Olive Garden Salad Dressing. We met at the church, drove to a camp 30 minutes away and when we walked in we were greeted with three homemade soups, good bread and a huge salad complete with olive garden salad dressing. The retreat planners had brought all of the food to save money and it was fabulous. I was so shocked not to be served spaghetti! Soup and Salad felt so type-casted and labeled...like they know my kind. My female kind. It was welcoming and I was grateful for a healthy meal complete with the best salad dressing in the world.

3. Games. We played games as a team of six, rotating around the room playing other groups of six for two hours. We played each game long enough (probably 30 minutes) so that we got to know the other team well. By the end of the two hours (taboo, family fued and guestures), I had met everyone. Genious. By nine o'clock I didn't feel like the new girl anymore. Plus, I found a new favorite game: The Game of Things. Kristin Jago, this game has your name written all over it.
We had 16-65 year olds there, a great devotional before we left, time for prayer, but mostly just time to play. And it felt so good.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

sounds like fun, I will have to check the game out! Way to go taking the jump and going to the retreat.