Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ladies Retreat 2011

So, I planned to post about this last week, but of course time got away from me as usual. :) Anyway, here is a mostly picture-heavy post about the retreat I went to at the Wilds of New England. As most of you know, this was my second year to go to this. I had a wonderful time last year and was so excited to go again this year! And thankfully, this time I didn't come back to an injured child. :)

I went with my mom and several other ladies from her church. I have known all of these ladies for years, so it was fun to spend time with them for the weekend! There were 8 of us in Cabin 6--which just so happened to be the closest cabin to the bathhouse. Score!Well . . . it was good in a lot of ways, not so much in others. Try sleeping in a freezing cold cabin (yes, there was a frost that night) with the sound of "crunch, crunch, crunch"--footsteps going by all night long on the gravel path as ladies made their way to and from the bathhouse. :) And of course we won't even mention the "other sounds" that emanated from inside the cabin . . . That's OK, though--we didn't go there to sleep anyway, right? ;) Honestly, I don't think anyone ever sleeps well on a hard bunk at camp, but it is all worth it.

When we arrived, we got registered and then had some time to just hang out for a while before supper. So of course we got everything settled in our cabin first, and took some pictures, just for fun. Here I am with my very fun Aunt Betty!
This year I had actually made sure that the batteries for my little old camera were freshly charged, so I was able to take a lot of pictures--in comparison to last year when I ended up with maybe 5 or 6 before the camera died.

We spent some time in the coffee shop, Cool Beans, where I enjoyed a large hot chocolate. This is my big "indulgence" every year, which is by way of becoming a tradition. :) (I'm not a coffee drinker, but hot chocolate with whipped cream? Yes, please!!)
Pretty soon it was time for supper. The bell rang and everyone assembled to go into the dining hall, which is this building. The chapel is connected to it, the other building jutting out at the far right of the picture.
Inside, the tables were decorated so beautifully for fall!!
As were the windowsills . . .
After supper, we had about 15 minutes before it was time for the first session. The speaker for the retreat was Mrs. Mardi Collier from the Wilds of NC. I had never heard her before, but wow--what a blessing she was!! Mrs. Collier is a lady who obviously has a vibrant, personal walk with God. She has written a wonderful little book called What Do I Know About My God?, which explains the system she developed for herself to get to know God through His Word. (I bought the book while I was there and am excited to go through it soon.) Her theme for the retreat was "100% words" in Scripture--she challenged us to look for words such as "all, always, forever, will, shall," etc. as we study our Bibles. This was something I hadn't really thought about before but now I am constantly noticing 100% words, thanks to this retreat! I came away with a renewed desire to dig into God's Word, and I am so thankful. It was just what I needed!!

Here is a picture of the chapel from the inside--during one of the times between sessions when there was nobody in there, obviously. :)
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the funtimes! We were hilariously entertained by Rand Hummel and Josh Prather before some of the sessions. Also, Rand's kids were visiting for the weekend, so his son & daughter got in on the funtime before the final session, too. Here is a picture from that (sorry it's so dark and far-away)--they were singing "She Don't Know It's Fido." One of the things I love most about the Wilds is that everyone is passionate about God, while at the same time they totally love to laugh and have a good time.

I should also mention that the singing was amazing--such a blessing to praise the Lord with other Christian ladies!!

The next day consisted of more time spent in Cool Beans, breakfast, a morning session, God & I time (devotions), another session, and then lunch. After lunch we had several hours of free time. Mom and I hung out for a while--she treated me to a "Green Monstah" in the Sweet Shoppe!! :)
(I think you might have to be from New England to understand about the Green Monstah. They also had a Nor'eastah on the menu.) Here is a picture of me with my ice cream. Notice the little monstah face on the cup?!
(By the way--this was basically a Blizzard, consisting of mint ice cream with Oreos mixed in. YUM.) And here are a couple more pictures from inside the Sweet Shoppe. Those hard-working girls were everywhere that weekend--waitressing, working the coffee shop and scooping ice cream, even cleaning the bathrooms. And they're all volunteers!

We also went in the bookstore during free time. I bought a couple books, and then had fun taking pictures. I love how they have restored this old New England farmhouse into a beautiful store and office. There is even a lovely sitting area complete with fireplace there!
I loved this framed quote, which pretty much sums up what the Wilds is all about. And more than that, what WE should be all about, too! I want to get one of these for our house sometime; such a good reminder for our family.
Around 2:30 pm, some of us went for a hike around the "Perimeter Trail." I did this last year too, and it is a nice walk through the woods all around the campsite. It felt good to walk off some of that Green Monstah. :) We got to go in the "mystery mansion," same as last year (this is a neat old house set off by itself on the property--they haven't restored it and it's not really used for anything except occasionally for some mystery games at camp).
I was too busy walking to take many pictures on the hike, but I did think this sign was funny. :)
A view of the cross and the main part of camp, spread out below. Such a pretty place!
After hiking, I went on the last hayride of the day with a few friends.
Then it was time for the final session of the day, and last of all supper. (And yes, they fed us GOOD food all weekend long . . . it's not like camp food or college food!) Then we packed up the car and headed for home. I had to take one last picture of the fall decorations by the flagpole.
It was a truly wonderful weekend . . . have I maybe inspired more of you New Englanders to join me at next year's retreat? :) Hope you enjoyed this peek into my weekend away!


Mrs.T said...

Well done! I still hope to write a post about this, but if I don't, I will link to yours. What a wonderful time this was. I am so thankful that God has given us The Wilds here in New England and that He has provided retreat times like this to refresh us and to help us grow. I am so looking forward to the couples' retreat coming up soon!

Mary Ann said...

It sounds like you had such a wonderful, refreshing time! I'm so glad you got to go & I'm also glad you didn't have any ooopies at home while you were away.
Retreats are so good for our souls, aren't they? It's a wonderful thing to come apart & really focus on our relationship with the Lord & have some good fellowship. Definitely needed every once in a while!
Your pics are so pretty; I want to come visit :-).
And I know what you mean about no sleep if you are in a cabin. My sister & I usually go to a ladies' retreat closeby here at Camp Assurance. It's always a great time but the last time we stayed in a cabin the snoring kept us up ALL night! So now we get a hotel :-)

1HappyWife said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. I love the framed saying! It would be a good reminder to have hanging in the house. It was fun to read your post with a the pictures sprinkled in.

Erika said...

Oh, Carrie, thanks for sharing such wonderful details and pics of your weekend! I've been very curious about your time at the Wilds of NE--I've really been wanting to see what the camp was like--what with my experience at both Mountain View and the Wilds in NC. We went to a couples' retreat in NC two months before #1 was born--and yes, they do a great job on the food!! And so excited that Mardi Collier was the speaker--she spoke at a ladies' retreat that I went to soon after we first moved out here(also, at Camp Assurance, small world!!), and it was a very profitable weekend! Her book is actually STILL on my list, but I'm getting close to reading it soon. Do share any thoughts and lessons as you go along, if you're able!!

And random, but I've been thinking about you and Jo a lot recently--the "big" girls and I have started into Anne!!

Mrs. Smith said...

I felt like I was there with you as I read your post today! What memories you will always have, getting to share that special time with family and friends. I am glad that all went well on the home-front, too. I suspect there were four happy campers when you returned! :)

Nikki said...

Hi Carrie,
It was fun to read your account on your getaway.It was fun to see all the pictures.I think I might look into getting one of those Love God Hate Sin prints too.:)Let me know if you find one.I really liked that.Thanks for the detailed description of your weekend.