This weekend, I got to attend my first-ever Christian women’s retreat. It was an overnight, 2-day conference in Grapevine, TX called WOW Weekend (Women of Worthiness). This year’s theme was “Be-YOU-tiful: Being God’s Beautiful Woman, Starting from Within.”
First off, as I looked around the very large conference room, it struck me how encouraging it is to meet so many kind women all in one place, all of like precious faith. That’s a beautiful thing!
On Friday night, we had an opening prayer, a welcome dinner, some singing of hymns, and our first speaker. She talked about what good works look like, how we can inspire other to do good works, and who and how we can serve others. Then they gave away some beautiful door prizes! We were also introduced to the donated items that were included in the silent auction, so we walked around and looked at what was available before we retired to our room for the night.
I met up with two lovely ladies from our church in Crowley, TX to share a room. It was such an enjoyable evening talking with them and getting to know them both better. Before we even realized so much time had passed, it was midnight before anyone looked at their watch! We all scrambled to get our showers and head off to bed! We had to be up at 7 AM to get ready to pack up, check out of our room, and be ready for the morning presentation by 8 AM. I managed to get ready for bed and turn in around 1 AM.
This is where things went haywire for me! Sleep eluded me in the room. My Fitbit tells the story best. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
At 3 AM, I gave up trying. I got dressed and fixed my hair for the new day and tiptoed around to pack up all of my stuff and slip out of the room. I decided to see if I could fare any better in my van. Again, I’ll let my Fitbit tell that part of the story…and just add that the temperature had dramatically dropped to 34 degrees! Woops! Unexpected complication…
Obviously, I didn’t fare much better there. I ran the engine for a while and warmed it up inside and managed to nod in and out for a brief time. Most of this was not actually sleep. In fact, I actually woke up from about a half hour catnap at 7 AM. Perfect timing! I hung around in the van until about 7:45. Then I went back inside to use the restroom and ran to our room to make a quick cup of hot tea. Clearly, I was going to need the caffeine to get myself going this morning! LOL. And I got to relay my crazy night to my roommates so we could laugh about it. What a night!
I walked into the morning presentation just as we were about to begin. We had a morning prayer, some hymn singing, and another speaker, who talked about ways a single person can guide a young Christian and inspire them in lifelong ways, the importance of regular communication with God to strengthen that relationship, how to pray for your enemies and how that provides relief from your own burdens, what forgiveness of others should look like, and how to nurture and guard your own heart and mind in Christ. Then we gathered for a buffet brunch. Yum! I was so hungry this morning, and knowing this was going to keep me going until tonight’s dinner, I made sure I was stuffed. I ran into a couple of other ladies from our church and enjoyed chatting with them and catching up. We also met some lovely people at our table both days.
Afterwards, we had more singing, and another speaker. She gave my favorite presentation of the weekend, and it really touched me. She talked about our roles as Christian wives, mothers, friends, neighbors, and the many opportunities we have to impact those around us. She also discussed what the fruits of the Spirit look like in us as we truly love others as Christ did.
We had a short bathroom break, more singing, and another speaker. She talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly events that we can look back on in our timeline of life and how they can affect us. And she talked about how they should affect us…how we can turn all the negatives into positive learning experiences that shape us into better, stronger Christians. Because after all, God can work all things for the good of those that love Him. So true!
They announced the winners of the silent auction, made some funny jokes that made us all laugh, gave away some more door prizes, and ended with more singing and a closing prayer. It was a very fulfilling day, and I was so glad I went!
On our way out, we stopped by the photo op backdrop to get a group picture.
I headed home at about 1:45. I was shocked how fast the return trip went on a Saturday afternoon as compared with all of the traffic snaffoos of the Friday evening commute going up there. It seemed like I was home in a flash. The brightness outside was killing my eyes, though…I was SO tired! I was hungry for lunch, but I was more tired than hungry, so I literally went straight to my bed and declared that it was nap time for me! My dogs happily greeted me in my return and curled up around me in my bed. I was out like a light pretty much as soon as my head hit the pillow! Fitbit tells it best.
Sweet slumber! Hubby got me up at 5:15 so I could get ready to leave for our quarterly neighborhood dinner and meeting with our school board member and city councilman. Always informative! My whole family got to go this time, so it was a good opportunity to reconnect after my short trip.
Now my day is drawing to a close, and my bed is again calling to me. I had such a lovely weekend trip, and I appreciate that the ladies at church encouraged me to go! I look forward to doing it again next year. And hey, I’ll have a funny story to tell!