Sunday, April 19, 2015

Simply Spring #6: Refresh Retreat and Trades of Hope

Welcome back to my Simply Spring series!

What a blessing to attend the first ever Lake Baldwin Church ladies retreat on Friday and Saturday!

First some photos, then some of the encouragement I gleaned from my time there, and then a little about Trades of Hope...

Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora,
built in 1905

Checking in for the retreat -
36 ladies registered!
The tulip vases had lime slices in the bottom,
as in the photo at the top of this post.

Dinner at a cafe across the street
with several of the ladies

The Terrace Cottage, where my room was -
cottage, really? That place was huge!

Debbie Ianetti was our retreat facilitator -
she is a longtime foreign missionary
with Cru, now based in Orlando

Our worship leaders: Katie Pollard,
Glynn Vincent, and Katie Whaite
(see music video below)

Singing along

Little bits of beauty
in this vintage inn

Down by the lake



The theme of the retreat was "Refresh" and the ladies who planned everything did such an amazing job helping us relax and be renewed. The women came from all different walks of life - some moms like me, as well as singles of all ages, empty nesters, women working in and out of the home, lifelong Christians and those newer to the faith. I loved sharing a room with my friend Lee Del and having more time to get to know her.

Our Friday evening activity: Elizabeth Pennock, a professional Christian counselor from our congregation, led us in making collages with magazine pictures to tell something of our life stories and desires. (Interested in something like this? Daring Soul Care has similar workshops in Orlando!)

Here is mine:

In the two Saturday sessions, Heather Scott, Amy Heidmann, Molly Tilley, Katie Whaite, and Debbie Ianetti shared stories of God's faithfulness in their lives (throughout broken relationships, health crises, anxiety, depression, etc.) and our need to come to him for rest, help, strength, and guidance. We had time for table discussion as well as private reflection.

Much of the encouragement was based on Matthew 11:28-30.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Debbie also spoke on how her favorite thing about God is that he delights in us. (See Psalm 18:19, Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 149:4-5, and Psalm 35:27.)

I think everyone's favorite song from the weekend is "Still, My Soul Be Still" by Keith and Kristyn Getty. Pardon the poor lighting in this video since I was shooting toward the windows.

"Still, My Soul Be Still"
by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Still, my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

God, You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace, renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in you alone

Still, my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows
God, You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace, renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in you alone

Still, my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming

God, You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace, renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in you alone

Still, my soul be still...

Trades of Hope...

On Saturday morning (before the first session) and afternoon (after the last session), I took the opportunity to explore downtown Mount Dora, a quaint little tourist destination. I had never been there before even though it is only an hour away. The Blueberry Festival dominated one of the streets just across from the inn, so I enjoyed visiting the artist and vendor booths. 

I was particularly taken by the Trades of Hope booth and how they empower women in Third World countries to support themselves with small craft businesses that produce jewelry and home decor. I plan to have a home party soon, so let me know if you're interested in coming!

I may even become a distributor with the help of Melissa Sirek. Seriously, this is probably the only kind of marketing opportunity I would ever consider. It has to be something which equips impoverished women around the globe, always on my heart. It reminds me so much of Ten Thousand Villages, and y'all know how much I love their mission! I'm looking forward to getting to know more about Trades of Hope in coming weeks. At this booth, I bought a bead bracelet made in Haiti, partly from recycled cereal boxes. Pretty, yes? And it reminds me again to pray for my sisters around the world who are facing so much bigger challenges than I am. 

Later on Saturday, I visited many of the artsy & vintage stores (love love love!) nearby and bought myself a tie dye t-shirt at Noni at the Olive Branch to replace my "happy hippy" shirt that's been wearing out. (Why yes, I did live in San Francisco in the 1970's!) I love the vibrant colors. That's the kind of life I want to live.

I'm glad I went to the Refresh retreat and had a bit of "wander and wonder" time to myself, too.

What has inspired you lately?

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

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