Over the weekend I had the opportunity to get away for 24 hours with about thirty other small group leaders from our church. Our wonderful women’s ministry pastors, Trish & Stacey, inspired us with possibility from Andy Stanley’s book, The Next Generation Leader.
I threw my camera in my bag at the last minute as I was anticipating some time outside. From the deck of our lodge, I looked down over the red, orange leaves of this tree. It seems that most trees are just turning brown instead of their normal fall beauty, so this was a treat to see.
Very few things get my blood pumping like freezing a few inches of this beauty on my camera.
We stayed at Shepherd of the Ozarks where we had a very large lodge. I bet it slept 75 people. Of course, many of those beds were bunk beds.
I started hyperventilating upon sight; my sweet friends Christy and Kristina let me have the first choice. I picked the middle. What would you have picked?
After making my selection, I began scoping out a non-bunk bed option. Christy and I found this loft which we accessed through the little hole up this straight ladder.
Here’s a look at our 2 single beds inside our little cubby. I think Christy and I would have slept more in our coffins bunks, but instead, we talked until 3 AM! My friends Allison and Ronni also had the privilege of sleeping in a section of the loft (loft as definied by ladder access only) but they were more reasonable about actually resting on the retreat! This lodge had so many little nooks and crannies. There was a double bed tucked away with an openning of, literally, 2 ft x 3 ft. Aronna slept in there and informed us in the morning she heard the scratching of some other living creature in the walls! Uh. No thanks. I like my nook better.
I also met several new friends. One new friend, JoBeth, is into photography and told me about back button focusing. I’ve done a little research and can’t wait to try it out.
Friday night we played Apples to Apples which is the perfect game for a large group of people. Apples to Apples is definitely not a “smart people only need apply” type game which I really appreciated! (Thanks to whoever brought it!) Even though I came no where close to winning, it was so fun. Apples to Apples is definitely going on my Wish List.
There is one character from our retreat that I really wish I had a picture of… the donkey-dog! You know I love animals; this donkey was the sweetest thing! He’s retired so doesn’t work anymore. Instead, he just wandered around camp like the camp dog. Except, as I mentioned, he is a donkey.
We ate our meals in a cafeteria which had the feel of a lodge.
Being with a group of wise, sweet, wonderful women with nothing to do but enjoy each other was so refeshing!
Refreshment turned to concern while we hunted, for close to an hour, for a set of lost keys. The keys were found where all of us women would expect to eventually find our “missing” keys! All retreats and vacations are not complete without a memory of this nature! Don’t you agree?
Happiness returned with the keys, and we all began to head home. The wheels on the van went…. round and round, round and round; the wheels on the van went round and round… but we went nowhere. We were actually losing ground. Ronni insisted that it was not the heavy load in the back impedeing process up the steep hill, but she finally agreed that maybe we should get out. As we watch the van drive up the hill we could not stop laughing! You will be glad to know we made it home without further incident inspite of the Out of Gas light being on for several miles! Yes, I noticed the light, I am a terrible back seat driver!