I briefly mentioned last Thursday that I was going to be going to a Women’s retreat/conference for the weekend. I look forward to this every year. And my wonderful husband insists that I go every year. It is a most fantastic time. This was my 4th year attending, and by coincidence, we had the same key note speaker as the first year that I went, Shelly Volkhardt. She is an author, a missionary, and just an all around joyful, fun, intelligent woman to be around.
This year, was special for me though. For years, I’ve been asking my sister to join me. She was hesitant, as she didn’t want to be pushed into anything she didn’t want, or feel uncomfortable because her situation was so different than others. I reassured her over and over that that wasn’t what the conference was about. You see, my sister is divorced, and she does not have children. Most of these conferences are filled with married women who have children. I could understand my sister’s concern. Thankfully, Pine Valley Bible Conference Center did NOT let me down. Yes, there was talk about husbands and children. You can’t get around that when about 90% of the women at a gather have those things. BUT, there was no pressure to my sister that she had to get married. Shelly, the keynote speaker, even made wonderful comments to the single ladies out there.
You see, I love my sister dearly. She means everything to me. I support her in everything she does, because it makes her happy, and really, she is awesome at everything she does. She has such a wonderful strength that not many know about. I joke that despite being 4.5 inches taller than her, she’ll still beat me up. Ok, now that we are adults she won’t, unless I do something really stupid. 😉 She is my cheerleader, my friend, my sounding board, my voice of reason. Because of that, I just love spending time with her. So this weekend, with her coming, it gave us that chance. And I think she took some great things home with her about life. I would love for her to come again some time.
Another special item for me this year, is after last years conference, I asked a long-time friend of mine to come. She immediately said yes and YAY, she was there as well. I’ve known this woman since we were in our early years of high school and she keeps my energized. She is AMAZING. Let me tell you a little about how amazing she is. One of the options this weekend was a 3.6 mile hike (the brochure said almost 4 miles, we tracked it with her’s and my sister’s iPhones). Obviously, since we tracked it, we sent on this hike. It was beautiful and fun. And we both made it. So, what is amazing about this? My friend is going in for hip surgery in less than 2 weeks. Yes, you read that right. Amazing is the only word for that that I’m willing to post. lol
It was a joy to have her there. She almost didn’t make it, due to work and school. But she did. Then, I was late getting there, and she didn’t know anyone, but she hung in there and finally came across one of the most wonderful women I know, and that woman just welcomed her like a long lost friend and helped my friend be more comfortable until I got there. I love these women. They are just fantastic. So, I got to bond further with my long time friend. We were able to let things from the past stay in the past and resolve those things in our hearts. She is, another woman, whom I love dearly. And I’m so excited she wants to come back with me next year. YAY!!!!!!
This year, was just special all around. We talked about our Reticular Activator (I hope I spelled that right). The first night, the emcee, Jackie, challenged us that when we saw orange, to praise God and be thankful. The second day, she added when we heard a bird. Shelly talked to us about Holy Habits (my sister actually won the Holy Habits book from the raffle and Shelly signed it). And Jackie reminded us of “get to’s” and “have to’s.” This last one is the one I want to work on the hardest. I’d already been practicing holy habits from the last time I heard Shelly talk. My reticular activator was already starting, as I had already come to the conclusion that I needed to be more thankful. So I will work hard on that portion as well. However, remembering that I don’t HAVE to do the dishes, I GET to do the dishes, really puts a whole new positive spin on things. What a wonderful way to look at what we do and accomplish through the day. I also loved Shelly’s demonstration about how everything that comes at me, must go through God’s filter. I’ll have to find the items to use and take pictures of it step by step and post to explain. It was quite an impacting demonstration for me.
I have more, but I’ll have to talk about them tomorrow. Right now, I’m tired, and I do have to get up early in the morning. God bless you all.