Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beauty for Ashes: A retreat recap

Well Friends, I am back.  A little blogging break, unintentional but necessary due to continued rest and recovery, sick kids, spring breaks, birthdays, and a little retreat planning thrown in as well.  But after an amazing retreat experience I am back.

The first Blessed Is She retreat has come and gone and it absolutely rocked my world.  Over 150 women from across the nation gathered together to rest in His word, His presence, and His sisters.  We had amazing speakers and some pretty good food too.  Here were my highlights...

1- Music by Ike Ndolo and Rachel LeBeau... We got them all weekend!  And for the closing time and adoration they were joined by some musicians who used to tour with Matt Mahr... The price of the retreat ticket was worth just the music alone!

2.  Sisterhood & Sisterwives.. So we are all sisters in Christ right?  We are actually Sisters in that we are daughters of the King... but we are all called to an intimate relationship with Christ as well.  He is our beloved.  And in some way that sort of makes us a special kids of Sisterwives.  We are all lovers of the same Christ. I got to meet some friends that I had connected with only online.  I got to meet new sisters in Christ and got to grow closer with old friends as well.

3- Being surrounded by True Beauty.  The fabulous lady in charge of food and decoration (not me) had a vision of beauty for this retreat. It was a hippy-ish, outdoor-ish, fresh and natural beauty.  We hung hundreds of vines from the ceilings, had twinkle lights all over, and handmade flower crowns for the attendees.  And these ladies wore the crowns all day - like for 14 hours!  Looking out at the beautiful faces crowned with flowers and shining with love of Christ was glorious.

4- Mass with a bunch of Chicks instead of with my little chicks.  I went to a women's college and I know the impact that being around women all day has.  I had never really thought of that in terms of mass however.  The priest (who was just amazing by the way) was able to really tailor His homily to US - to Women - and it was the best homily I have ever heard.  He spoke of Jesus as our protector in such a beautiful way.  And I wasn't distracted by my little chicks like usual so that helped too!

5- Adoration... Being in the presence of the Lord is of course The Highlight of the weekend, but we actually had a whole day to prepare our hearts for him.  Unlike my usual popping in to visit Him in the hustle of the day, this adoration followed a day of reflection, of praise and worship, and mass.  Our hearts were softened all day and minds were turned to Him.  We were ready for Him.  Confession was available during the day and so for many women they were able to do confession, mass and adoration all within a few hours.  We were longing to spend time with Him.  And then the priest totally rocked my world when he brought the monstrance around!! We were able to touch the hem of the cloth that surrounded the monstrance and gaze upon Him 1:1...it was amazing.

If you weren't able to attend the retreat this year look for it again next year.  It will be small and intimate again. The speakers were great this year and I am sure will be great again next year.  Heather Renshaw gave the keynote and you can hear it here.  If you aren't connected with Blessed is She online yet go here to get the daily devotion and the weekly note from Jenna, the Beautiful Soul behind this ministry.

Thanks for stopping by!

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