This weekend I headed up north to our church denomination's Mid-West camp for a women's retreat - which is located right along Lake Michigan (one of my top 5 favorite places ever).
It was an interesting experience. Each fall one of the churches that attends the retreat "hosts" it. Last year my church hosted the retreat and the planning committee was lead by one of the younger women in our church. The result was a very vibrant weekend that was both challenging and spiritually renewing. I have no bias as far as which church actually does the planning, but many of the complaints in prior years have been that the retreat catered towards older women....and that was def my experience this year.
I did however, immensely enjoy the fellowship and location and spent a lot of time talking with others on the lakefront or going for walks (in between the numerous craft sessions....although I did learn how to make some pretty cool coasters out of bathroom tiles!). On top of everything there were 2 individuals I haven't seen in several weeks that attended the retreat - our last parting had been very difficult, but I can honestly say that having the chance to clear things with them and share tears and hugs was worth the entire trip. God works in such incredible ways.
Friday night after the opening session they had boxes and boxes of scrapbooking materials in the dining hall for women to gather together and decorate journals with.
11 p.m. + dessert + scrapbooking + a bunch of women who clearly don't have enough opportunities to release their creative outlets = slight mayhem :)
If you look really closely at my friend Jenna's left hand you might notice an EXTRA special piece of jewelry there - my childhood friend Jason proposed to Jen a week ago....way to go Jason! You picked a great girl. We had a LOT of fun making wedding plans during the 10 hours we spend in a car.
My creeper in the background is my friend Becca. She worked at camp this summer and was back volunteering for the weekend. Becca was in my small group for 2 years when I worked with the high school youth. She has had a couple of difficult years and it was incredible to see how this summer and surrounding herself with a close group of encouraging Christian friends has transformed her.
Jenna and I in chapel - I promise....there were other people there that I hung out with! Jen is however a braider extraordinaire. I wish she could just drop by every morning and fix my hair for me! It sure would save alot of time :)
And a slightly blurry/squinting in the sun pic of all the women from my church who attended!