New place, new travel, new layout, but we gave it to God and we let Him take care of the details – and did He ever! We couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout of just about every aspect of the retreat. Will every single need be met and satisfied? No, and that’s regardless of where we go. Between Swatara and Willow Pond, there will be lots of things that make each place perfect for us, but we can’t forget that there is no such thing as perfect. What is important is the gratitude for God’s provision. He provided this place, He provided the wonderful food and the hands and hearts to prepare it and plan for it, and he provided travel mercies and safety for all of us for the weekend. No matter what, we can praise Him for all that!
Our ladies were welcomed Friday evening with quite an impressive Charcuterie spread – what a delicious way to kick-off a weekend, wouldn’t you say? Check out the pictures below, and be sure to scroll to the end for the soup recipes!
We had so much going on… more food (Chefs KatieB and KatieK did a phenomenal job in that kitchen!), a knitting circle, weeding and heat-pressing our t-shirt decals, another meal, gathering for our bible study, some loud belly-busting rounds of “Catch-Phrase”, and even some line dancing!
The weather was very favorable which allowed us to get outside and enjoy the grounds. Some even visited a local state park for a hike, and later that evening the nice weather allowed for a campfire (fortunately for us, the resident bear we heard about wasn’t interested in joining us after hearing all the laughing and giggling).
We’ll leave you with a few items that were talked about during the retreat:
• Michele Hamlin mentioned someone she listens to each day, Dutch Sheets. You can find his daily inspirations at https://www.givehim15.com/. There’s an app as well, so even though you were encouraged to break away from your phone, this is a good reason to use it. Each day, Dutch gives a 15-minute sermon and prayer in both text and video on the app and the website. Check it out!
• Katie Bailey’s uses this recipe to create her Loaded Potato Soup: https://sugarspunrun.com/creamy-potato-soup-recipe/
• Marie Perry modified this recipe to create her Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup: https://damndelicious.net/2014/04/25/lemon-chicken-orzo-soup/
• Katie Keck likes this recipe to create her Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/creamy-sweet-potato-sausage-soup-recipe/
• WE LOVED how everyone’s personally-decorated mugs turned out – they were fabulous! REMINDER! …it’s best if you can handwash your mug instead of running through the dishwasher. The markers are permanent, but since glass/ceramic isn’t a porous material, sometimes inks tend not to hold fast to it unless there is some baking process. It may help if you place your mug in the oven for about 35 minutes at around 300 degrees. Additionally, the layouts of the decals on the shirts coming to life was fun to watch, and we hope you enjoyed your Inspired Sisters car coaster!
Looking back, we know that God prompted us to move out of our comfort zone and try someplace new. We did, and we were blessed and pleased with His choice. We can’t say at this time where the 2024 Retreat will be, but we know now that there are more possibilities than ever!
So where do we go from here? Our bible study was courtesy of the free membership offered by Zion’s Church to RightNow media. If you are a member of Zion’s Church, you have free access to this study, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry“, and so many more resources. Visit RightNow Media at https://app.rightnowmedia.org/en/library/default. And every Sunday, you can visit our Women’s Sunday School in Room 109 of Zion’s church at 9:40am. There’s conversation, study, sharing, and even breakfasts throughout the year. It’s a great way to connect with each other and find out about new events and activities for women and our church in general.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Women’s event!