This past weekend I attended a women's retreat with ladies from my church. We stayed at Deer Run Camps and Retreats, which is a lovely location out in the woods. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of normal everyday life. Although I did have my phone with me, it was nice to not use it for social media, taking pictures, watching shows, Youtube or anything of that nature. I would not call myself an outdoors-type of person per se, but I enjoyed the short hike some of us ladies took, and our scheduled quiet time w/God where I had the opportunity to just sit outside on a beautiful day, journal, and relax. I really wish I did that more in my life but the excuse that comes to mind is that Im just too busy to sit still and do nothing. (definitely an excuse/ topic for another day :0)
The retreat's theme was, Are You Ready for a New Road? I won't go into a ton of detail about the weekend but I loved the super cute goodie bags that had some sweet reminders for us, and the idea to think about the different road signs and traffic lights we may see as we drive and what that can mean for us in our lives. Think about it- some of us really do need to make a detour, a u-turn, maybe even slow down or come to a complete stop in some areas of our lives. Sometimes we may need to yield, do not enter, or don't park in some areas as well. Maybe we really need to Goooo because God has given us the green light but for some reason we are stuck on red. Whatever that is for you it was a great way to think of these signs of caution and direction to help us on the road and how God gives us signs in our everyday lives as well, that we can only understand through a relationship w/ him.
The best part of the weekend was spending quality(drama free) time w/ ladies who Love the Lord. We laughed, many of us cried a TON, shared our stories, and I was especially excited just to have a short time of ZERO responsibility!! We roasted s'mores by campfire and I slept on the top bunk of a bed in one of the cabins-something I haven't done since I was a small child. I got to sit and have lots of conversations with some ladies I knew and many I didn't know and I thought as I was driving back home how important it is for women to build quality relationships w/ other like-minded women.
I can remember a period of time in my life where having relationships with other ladies was stressful, drama filled, and depleting. Im sure at some point we have all been around or witnessed those type of ladies and/or friendships. You know the "friends" who drain you emotionally, maybe someone who just won't grow up, or a person who is always in the middle of some type of drama. Shoot- maybe at different stages in my own life that might have described me, but I am so grateful for the place I am in my life now where I can actually say that I have quality friendships. Im not focused on the quantity part as much anymore.
I want to DO Life with my friends. I realize that the place I am in my life right now I don't have as much time to just hang out all the time, but my true friends are the ones where we can just pick up where we last ended no matter what. I think I might have read or heard this somewhere but I liked the thought behind it..."my next best (or close) friend MAY be someone I haven't even met yet." Thats pretty exciting to me. I try to remember what my husband taught me when I was struggling in the friendship department, which was simply "that I needed to be the type of friend I want to have in my own life." Wesley has been a great example to me of what it looks like to be a good friend to others. Sometimes you have to give/do more than the other person but that doesn't mean it will always be that way and I have found that to be true in my own life.
Friendships especially with other women is a working progress for me, as I know I am still working on myself when it comes to being a good friend and not being overly sensitive ;). One thing I consistently ask God for, is to bring people who are very different from me into my life. I don't want to stay in my own bubble of race, economic status, interests, etc. I think I can better relate to what is going on in the world when I get outside of "my own world."
The cute and thoughtful goodie bag
Your Mom Joyce
10/3/2016 05:07:43 am
Nicole this is so meaningful and I love your church and what they offer. This is my prayer for quality friendship with women with my guards down with women who do not look or is totally different from me. Thanks for sharing your camping trip in cabins. Love the quiet time with Jesus too. Love you.
3/12/2017 08:00:30 pm
Thank you for being a great friend! I really value the friendship that we have and I definitely look forward to watching our friendship continue to grow. I know that you are truly a blessing from God because our friendship has taken me out of my comfort zone on many occasions. (And that's a great thing so don't think it isn't 😊). I can admit that I have become so guarded and comfortable with just being by myself, but when I see you and talk to you, I can honestly let all of that go. You know I'm a very private person, but I know I have shared some things with you that I wouldn't share with anyone else.....so I truly thank you for your love, support, encouragement and your wonderful spirit! I've also gained an extended family from your wonderful family! True friendship is so hard to find (or even define) these days, but I'm truly blessed that I found that in you! I hope that you know I am here for you and nothing can ever change that!
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