I have had many experiences attending church retreats throughout my life. I can remember being a young kid and attending Campus Crusade retreats with college students from NAU and ASU during the time period that my parents were on staff with Crusade. I remember being a child and teenager attending "family camp" with Desert View Baptist Church where my dad was the pastor for a number of years. I remember in college attending many amazing fall and spring retreats with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the life-changing organization I became involved with during my freshman year at NAU. And bringing us to the present...
I have thoroughly enjoyed attending the annual Women's Retreat with my church (LifePoint) for the past few years, this one being no exception. This was the first year that we were able to hold our retreat over a full weekend (when you begin with a small church plant, it's usually essential that retreats end on Saturday so everybody is back to serve in church on Sunday!). Our church has grown large enough now, that the women are able to venture away from Friday-Sunday for some good times of building deeper friendships with one another, relaxing, and seeking God.
This year, we went to a beautiful retreat center in Prescott (Chapel Rock) and enjoyed the crisp cool weather, and the smell of the pines. The theme of our retreat was "Seasons," and we learned about the different "life seasons" that we all experience and how God works in us and through us during those seasons. I was the worship leader for the weekend, and of course... I woke up Saturday morning with laryngitis! I had been battling a cold, and I guess it got the best of me. Thankfully, laryngitis doesn't affect one's ability to play the keyboard, and thanks to some wonderful ladies who stepped up to the challenge of leading the singing portion, we had amazing times of worship. It was a great reminder for me that even during times that I think I'm in control, I'm not. And when I think the success of something depends on my ability to do something well, God reminds me that "his power is made perfect in my weakness." For those who know me well, you also know I'm a pretty independent person, so it was a great way for the Lord to 'force' me to rely on other people and be reminded that he has placed us in community and relationships with one another for a reason - we're supposed to lean on each other.
I didn't take to many pictures during the weekend, but here is one shot of Nicole and I sitting in the "Rock Chapel." I was so grateful that Nicole, my friend from work, could join me on this retreat! :) We had a great time, and we were both fighting illness so our room was like a pharmacy the entire weekend. It was well worth it though!