Yesterday I returned from a weekend away at Bozarth Mansion in Spokane. I was lucky enough to be part of a Women's Retreat with the ladies of Grace United Reformed Church. My friend Julie invited me for the second year in a row. Such an amazing group of women. I looked back at comments I made on my first venture there last October:
"I would descend the grand staircase every morning, hot drink in hand, ready for a relaxing day of teaching & worship & the chit-chatter of friendly new faces. I lived a few days of freedom... I got lots of tasty nuggets for my soul. And worshiping in a setting like that with all of our soft pretty voices was a special sound...It was hard to leave the mansion. And the atmosphere of not needing to be needed all the time, of duty & responsibility. Escaping reality for a brief moment is a good thing. A necessary thing. Sometimes you don't realize you need something until you receive it. This weekend was just that for me."
All those words remain true even this year.
Worshiping with other believers, in their way, in their circle, is something I want to practice all the time. At one point this weekend I almost said, "It feels like I'm with family." But then I stopped. Because I WAS with family. And that made my heart so happy. Show me, sisters, how you choose to display your sacred praise to our God. And I will join you.
Some other highlights from my weekend:
bathing in a mansion
spying a family of five deer feeding in the lawn
white bean chicken chili in the crockpot + homemade pumpkin pudding
seeing familiar faces
road trip silliness, which included researching mythical creatures (did you know there is a mythical being that is shaped like an umbrella, & another that will lure you into its cave & tickle you to death?) + translating words into Japanese (I now know how to say "chocolate mushroom" & "squirrel")
shopping at Cost Plus World Market
spontaneous leaf selfies
giggles with friends
welcome home hugs from the littles
This trip was SO last minute. Like, I found out I was going only 4 hours before Julie picked me up. I almost declined the invitation. (The sniffles & sneezies have been attacking me.) But then I thought, "I love spontaneity. I always want to be a part of it, to force myself out of my little introverted comfort zone."
And I'm so glad I did.