March 27, 2017
Last Friday and Saturday, I had the joy of speaking at a woman’s retreat near Edenton, NC.
My bedroom overlooked a river which immediately put me in my happy place. Any morning I get to wake up and see water out my window is a good morning, indeed.
The hostess/organizer, her daughter and their helpers did an amazing job of getting together the fabulous array of food and setting festive tables for each of the meals we shared. I am always impressed by people who make complicated operations (like feeding twenty women three times in a row) look simple. I could feed twenty people ONE time without much problem, but then I would have to go take a very long nap and everyone would just have to go hungry for the next two meals.
The theme of the weekend was Connect the Dots and so there were polka dots everywhere. Even the malted milk balls M & M’s were chosen for their circular-ness.
This was the door prize table. Happy day!
I spoke three times over the course of the retreat.
Since it was an intimate setting, I invited everyone to chime in with stories, experiences, and questions and we had a grand old time.
You can tell just by looking at these two faces that they were always good for a laugh!
This was the emcee for the weekend; she made it look easy!
I had a chance to get to know this lovely homeschooling mom of three. She sent me the sweetest email of encouragement when I get home; it absolutely made my whole day.
Here she is with another sweet Retreat Friend.
This lovely lady owns the house next door and helped to house some of the wome who attended the retreat. She and I shared with each other some of our stories of tragic haircuts.
It was great seeing younger women at the retreat as well. This beautiful girl in pink is 24 years old and studying to be a nurse.
And THIS lady? This is a dear friend and the pastor’s wife at the church that hosted this event.
Cheryl and I meet for lunch at different times throughout the year and enjoy each others’ company so much. She and her husband have been missionaries to Moscow, Russia and Vilnius, Lithuania and have been pastoring at their current church for twenty years. She writes and performs dramatic monologues, is musical, is a great public speaker and best of all, she understands very well the experiences I go through in my life as a pastor’s wife. I count her as a dear treasure in my life.
As I was leaving on Saturday afternoon, the women presented me with an enormous gift basket with several sweet things that I really wish I didn’t know existed because they are beyond addictive. Yum!
This is one of those addictive items. Oh. My.
I’m so thankful for the privilege I had to hang out in a lovely spot with a group of lovely ladies as I told them my stories and they told me theirs.
Because when it comes right down to it, our life journeys are made up only of stories–story after story strung together from our first breaths to our last. And it’s the stories we tell and the stories we listen to that let us know how much we have in common with our fellow travelers on this journey.
It’s the stories that link our hearts; it’s the stories that connect the dots; it’s the stories that enlighten and encourage and help us to know we are never alone on our journey.
What about you? If you could share one miscellaneous story from your life with the rest of us, what would it be? We love hearing stories here at Smithellaneous.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie are all on the list of things I love.