This past weekend I was in Leesburg at the Methodist Women's Retreat. This was the 21st year that my friend, Alice, and I have gone together and something we look forward to all year long. The campground is one of the most peaceful, spiritual places I know. Now don't misunderstand, this gal is not camping! There are motel type units and a large dining hall for the meals that are always included in the weekend. Alice and I have a routine. Check-in starts at 3:00 on Friday so we leave early in the day and stop in Mt. Dora for lunch, always at the Goblin Market. Then we check out some of the quaint shops before heading on to the retreat. There are two key speakers and breakout sessions on Saturday with a variety of different offerings including speakers, yoga, exercise, crafts, and more. You can pick 3 of them … or none of them. One of the things I like about this retreat is that they tell you up front the weekend is to be what you need it to be and if you need time to sleep, then sleep. If you need to just be alone, then be alone. If you want to spend time in the swings by the lake then do that. There is never any requirements to do anything. So we went to all of the key speakers sessions as they were very good. The main speaker was a female pastor who not only had a great message, but she was so funny. And we went to a couple of the breakout sessions and then spent time reading and relaxing. There are always three different retreats, each with different speakers and music. For several years we have been selecting the weekend we attend based on the music because we love the band. It is Maureen Still and band from Seattle.
In the photos above check out the blue scarf. Maureen is afraid of the alligators and so every year someone gives her some kind of alligator gift. That scarf is an alligator. A lot of their music is fast paced, lively, and makes you want to clap along but there are also some very special, inspirational songs. Maureen writes most of the music. Here is a song she wrote for her daughter called Mother's Prayer:
There is always a prayer board where anyone can write down a request on a sticky note and post it. If you leave one you are asked to take one and pray for that person throughout the year. I usually find one that tugs at my heart. This year I am praying for a woman and the elderly man she discovered living in a mobile home eating applesauce sandwiches and who had no running water. He served in 3 wars and has no family at all. The woman is working on trying to get him some VA assistance.
I couldn't resist snapping this photo of Alice who dozed off while sitting outside in the sun reading a book.
There were some other women from my church there this weekend too and I'm sorry that we didn't get a photo of us all together. Maybe next year.
I got home Sunday afternoon and back to my world of stamping. I had two stamp-a-stack classes yesterday, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon. I am still working on cleaning up from all of that and I have this weeks class cards to prep so I better get back to work.