I want to give a "shout out" to all of my new friends that came to Covenant for our first ever Franciscan Retreat this weekend. We had people from all over the country come to our little church in the woods and create a little community for a little while. I was amazed at how God orchestrated the details of the weekend. The people who attended were the perfect people to be there. I was amazed at how quickly we all meshed together as if we had known each other before and were getting together after a few years apart.
I am serving as the "Retreat Coordinator" for these events. This is a job that I volunteered for and have really been enjoying. I get the privilege of helping everyone find their way here by plane, train, or automobile. (I think we even have someone riding down on their motorcycle for the next one.) It was refreshing to finally put a face with a name and "email voice" after over a month of communicating with some of these people.
I appreciated the openness of the weekend. Everyone was so willing to share and open up about where they were in their spiritual journeys and thoughts on God. I was encouraged and challenged to think about my heart and where God has been leading me this past year. The resounding thought or word I had from the weekend was "simplify." I am looking forward to exploring all the ways that I can do this: with my money, my possessions, my time with my family and God, with my expectations of others and myself. I desire to live a simpler life.
One of the best treats was seeing Elisa and Shannon. It was nice having two people there who I had known before but hadn't been around in a while. Elisa's joy in getting away for awhile was contagious. She just needed some time away. I can really relate to that.
Lastly, I want to share how thankful I am to my friends and neighbors who made this weekend possible for me by watching my children so that I could focus on some of the details of the weekend and participate as well.