Created for Care retreat weekend, simply put... AMAZING!!! I can't even begin to put into words what a blessing the weekend was for my soul! It started with an incredibly fun road trip with my fellow local adopting mama's Mitzi and Courtney (I seriously could not have asked for better gals to travel with- truly I treasure the talks and laughs we had!). We were nervous we weren't going to be able to get out of Dallas due to snow and icy roads- but we had answered prayers and were able to safely head out on Thursday morning for Nashville, stay the night there in a nice hotel (thank you Courtney's sweet mother-in-law!), and then we were Atlanta bound Friday morning!
We arrived around 3pm on Friday and let me just say- first off, the retreat location was beautiful! Just gorgeous and the perfect getaway! Wait to pick 'em Andrea! Check it out...
|This is the entrance to the Lodge- just beautiful!|
|Inside the cozy rustic lobby area- perfect for making calls home to the hubs when I had a spare second to catch him up on all God was doing!|
Andrea (and her helpers) put so much work into the little details of love surrounding the entire weekend! I just kept saying to myself "Seriously?!"... from checking in and having cute little gift bags with an adorable Created for Care mug, stuffed with cute lil gloves and a chocolate... to our cute name tags with the flag of the country we were adopting from... to (my favorite) unlimited snacks/candy and soda (Diet Coke makes me feel loved, no doubt!) all weekend long! Having been the behind the scenes girl in setting up retreats before- I know that SO MUCH WORK WAS PUT INTO THIS WEEKEND, and it showed!!!! Thank you Andrea for your heart and your love for adopting mama's!
I was blessed to room with four other gals, Courtney, Mitzi, Lara, and Kelly Jo- who are quite possibly some of the most amazing, genuine, big hearted gals who love the Lord that I've ever met!!! We stayed up to 2am both nights- delirious from being on the go non-stop, laughing so hard our stomach muscles hurt (it's no wonder I didn't pee my pants!), and sharing where God was stirring our hearts! Oh it's so good to have fellowship like that! I needed it! Thank you ladies for blessing my socks off!
|Roomies from the left: Courtney, Mitzi, Lara, Kelly Jo, and myself|
The retreat was jammed packed with awesome breakout sessions from amazing speakers who poured truth and wisdom into each of us! Each speaker spoke from experience with passion that was contagious and inspiring! I was able to soak in super valuable information on bonding/attachment that will be so applicable once we bring Isa home, taught by Nancy Thomas. I was blessed to have my eyes opened to the TRUTH about HIV/AIDS by hearing testimonies from Suzanne with 147 Million Orphans and how God has used her heart and story to encourage others to pursue adoption of HIV+ babies! My heart was broken with the hard facts and statistics about the AIDS crisis that were shared by Dr. Susan Hill, CDC senior researcher and adoptive mama of TEN!!! I would encourage EVERYONE to take a look at the truth about HIV/AIDS and see for yourself some of the misconceptions that you're probably guilty of thinking (as was I) at Positively Adopted! I was forever impacted by the heart breaking video "Bereaved" that Sixty Feet shared and I'm confident that God is stirring in my heart to get involved in BIG ways with this organization! So I had full intentions of figuring out a way to get my church involved over in Uganda with this organization- only to find out, THEY ALREADY ARE!!! The Uganda mission team was just there a couple weeks ago, in this exact child rehabilitation center and I had no idea- I just know God is up to something and know it's not by chance that the connection between my church and Sixty Feet has already been established! I can't wait to see what God has up His sleeve!
Wow, this post is getting long... let me sum it up by just saying that I walked away from this weekend with several things heavy on my heart and my prayer is that God would make it clear as to what were suppose to do with it all, as a family. We're seeking His desires and praying for the confidence to be obedient! I'll sum up the rest of the retreat with pictures of just some of the amazing mama's I met while there and say that I treasured my time with each of them!!!
|Only half of the AGCI crew!|
|My dear friend Alison from the "blog world" that I finally got to meet in real life!|
|Texas AGCI ladies|
|Two of my roomies Lara (yes she really is a farmers wife) and Courtney|
|My sweet, sweet friend Kelly Jo who is near and dear to my heart! Her thick|
southern accident alone makes me feel "at home"!