God’s Girl Retreat 2019
So at the time of me writing this post, I have just come off of a 24-hour Getaway with the ladies in my church small group. We decided at the beginning of the year that we needed time away from distractions to just focus on our relationship with God. So we picked a date and booked an Air BnB and decided to come with open hearts and open minds in order to be present with each other and with the Holy Spirit!
While planning our time, there were a few things that I wanted to make sure occurred while we were there. I wanted us all to leave with our cups filled and with a deeper vision for our lives according to God’s purpose for us. I wanted us to bond and grow closer in our sisterhood, encourage one another, and to cleanse from anything that hindered us with this.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1 NIV
To say the very least, our time needed to be intentional.
We settled on a secluded (but safe) area and rented a cabin…a beautiful modern Victorian cabin near a little fishing pond with a fire pit and short walking trails. The focus was to be in God’s creation so we really could be still and remember God is God (Psalm 46:10).
I have a friend and fellow sister in our church, Pree Mariga, that plans themed prayer & worship nights in her home. I happened to attend one earlier in the year and was so impacted with just the free and nonjudgmental environment that she created. Just in passing conversation, I asked if I could get some pointers of how she prepared herself and the group of ladies for that time. I explained to her what we were planning. She then offered to plan out the details and logistics for our group in order for me to be able to enjoy and take part of it as well. I’ll be honest my ‘control freak side’ came out and really my pride swelled up as well. Initially, my first thought was ‘No, I got this!’ but there was a pull in me that I needed to relinquish control. I prayed about it and then got advice from my husband. I settled on it would be very beneficial for me to allow somebody else to plan it and MAN that was the best decision. Pree and I discussed the vision and the needs of the group. She heard me and brought the vision to fruition!
Our theme was “God’s Girls” because before we were wives, mothers, whatever title society places on us, we belonged to God FIRST…WE ARE GOD’S GIRLS! I truly believe as women, our nature is to nurture and take care of those around us. That’s a great thing but we can also find ourselves taking care of everyone except ourselves. Our retreat would serve as a reminder of who God created us to be.
Our theme scripture was 1 Peter 2:9 :
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
This is who we are we are…ROYALTY! We have been adopted into a royal priesthood and I don’t know about you guys but this is something that I have to remind myself of. Because of this…I’m kind of a big deal and so are YOU! Being that we are royalty, it was only fitting that our color was purple. The color purple symbolizes royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition.
I also posed a question to all the ladies in the group: Currently in your spiritual walk, who is God calling you to be or what is he wanting you to grow into…just one word. The words that the ladies ended up settling on were: Trailblazer, Prayer Warrior, Tenacity, Perseverance, Creative, and my word was Maverick. To give you an idea of what maverick means, some words synonymous to maverick are free spirit, original, trendsetter, eccentric, and nonconformist. I myself have always been a free thinker, a ‘color outside of the lines type of person’ if you will. But I have not always been comfortable in that role. It’s lonely at times and sometimes, you feel like you are rebellious and bucking the system. Being a Berean is my very nature but I have realized that people can take it offensive if you ask a lot of questions. Almost as if you are questioning them instead of trying to gain clarity. I feel God calling me to be that free thinker. We don’t have to be alike and in fact God has created us all differently. Take 1 Corinthians 12:
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 NIV
Since there was an even number of us, we were all paired into groups of two and this was your roommate. I was very intentional with pairing people together who: A) needed to get to know each other better and/or B) Who could help spur one another on. This allowed for us to actually learn each other’s stories so we could function more as a family and sisterhood.
Once everyone arrived, we had time to settle in, tour the cabin, and just take in the scenery. Shirts were made with the one word that God is calling each lady to be. We had the shirt presentation ( ie “Society calls you Kim but, God calls you MAVERICK!”) and our roommate and room were given out. We changed into our shirts and I explain to everyone the ongoing activities. One of those activities was called Fuzzy Wuzzies. We used the Craft pom-pom balls and anytime someone gave you the fuzzy wuzzies, maybe they encouraged you or they made you feel good about something, you would then give them some fuzzy wuzzies in their bag. We also had blank note cards for you to write encouraging notes to anyone. Again, these activities happened throughout our time together at your leisure. Journals and prayer cards were available. Our sister, Pree, also surprised us with letters from our husbands. They told us what they admired and loved about us. That was done at our leisure as well. After that, we decided to go on a prayer walk and tour the grounds of our cabin. We walked around and took in the beautiful scenery and all six of us had time to pray. Next was an icebreaker game, Beachball questions. On a beachball were random questions written all over the ball. In a circle, we tossed the ball to each other. Whatever question your right thumb landed on, that was the question that you answered. It was such a good opportunity for us to get to know each other. Some of the questions were spiritual. Some were random. Questions like ‘The beach or the mountains?’ or ‘ketchup or barbecue’ or Who’s your favorite person in the Bible?’ This really allowed us to here who our sisters were. We then loaded up and went to a great restaurant on the lake that served Cajun seafood and just had time to laugh and talk. After that we went back to the cabin, got comfortable in our pajamas & blankets. We lit candles and we started the praise and worship portion of our night. Prior to our arrival, I asked the ladies to send in their favorite worship songs and between all six of us, we came up with a list of 33 songs from all different genres. We sat down and freely worshiped God! You know, I’m a person that likes to move around. I love to dance and sway. There were some sisters who just had quiet meditation on the couch with a blanket. There were some who sang out and some who just laid out on the floor. But it was a very non-judgemental and safe environment. We took time to pray as a group and this was such a powerful moment. There were admiration, praise, and confessions. It just was so cleansing because at that time there were lots of tears. After our praise and worship time, we just allow the music to play quietly in the background and had free time. We were relaxing, having conversations and eating snacks. The lights were low, the candles were lit, music was playing and it was just wonderful girl time!
The next morning when we woke up, it was lightly raining outside which was so fitting metaphorically for cleansing our souls. Y’all it was so perfect! We all gathered up our blankets and sat on the veranda porch outside. I know this sounds made up but it really was this wonderful moment and it could not have been scripted better. God knows exactly what he’s doing for his people. We sat outside and talked, prayed, and reflected. We moved back inside and finished up with taking communion together. After getting dressed and cleaning up, we headed out and had brunch together which concluded our retreat.
I share all of this to encourage my ladies out there! As we get older and responsibilities start to pile on us, we can forget to take care of ourselves and our fellow sisters. I personally left feeling encouraged, closer to God, and knowing my spiritual sisters so much better! I can honestly say that I love them so much more deeply now. Let’s take time to not only fill our cups more often but the cups of others around us as well. And for those that need help with planning something like this, I would not have been able to do this without my dear friend, Pree Mariga. Check her out for your intimate gatherings. I will link her information below:
~~Corpreale “Pree” Mariga: firstname.lastname@example.org~~
Anywho, guys that’s all I got I’ll catch you later! Enjoy some of the pics taken from the weekend!