Saturday, October 8, 2016

Teen Girls Retreat 2016

Third Annual TEEN Godly Girlfriends Retreat
August 19-20, 2016
Ages 13-17
"Weapons of TRUTH"

Grandmas, Mamas, Sisters, and girlfriends some barely older than the teens, planned, gathered and readied for their baby birds to get there. 

Fellowship, Fun and Freedom were definitely welcome guests . They were invited, hoped and planned for and they showed up.  The Fellowship started early as the girls gathered with some leaders and got to know each other. They learned each others' names and character traits circled up in the beauty of Butman Camp, Merkel Texas. They were grouped in little nests and stayed with their designated Mama birds for the entire retreat. They were roommates and table mates and playmates. The mama's stayed with them faithfully .

 And it was Fun by way of swimming,  music, games, crafts and even a black light show complete with glow in the dark food, necklaces and nail polish. Smiles and laughter were everywhere.

The speakers were real and raw and painfully honest. More than once we heard something like, "Y'ALL. Don't do what I did. Make good choices. Make right choices. Choose Jesus."

These 13-17 year olds were fed truth and love and the Word and with it came Freedom. Freedom from the pain in their lives, freedom in their choices, freedom in the choices of others, and freedom to step into the call of God. Freedom to be the girls and women God created them to be.

Just outside the conference room was a nest of baby birds almost ready to leave their home. Had they ventured out too early they would have fallen. These baby birds were dependent on the Mama bird to bring them nourishment. They waited patiently, but goodness did they ever sing when they could see Mama on her way with a tasty morsel.

Our precious little baby birds inside were fed yummy food, encouragement, hugs, love, friendship, truth, and the WORD of God.

Our prayer is that each one went home with bellies full of food, hearts full of Jesus, and FREEDOM to leave the nest and fly successfully into the world ahead of them.

God created those sweet baby birds, but you girlfriend, 
are more valuable
 to God our Father than any bird 
in the nest, on the ground, or in the air. 
You are His precious creation. 
Fly, girlfriend.
(Luke 12:24)

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Today is day three after the end of the third annual Godly Girlfriend's first retreat of the year. The weekend's music floats and dances and sways in my head. The tunes weave from song to song: "You're a good, good father...Holy Spirit you are welcome here...I am not alone...Break every chain...Worthy is the lamb. Worthy. Worthy."

This tired old historian, blogger, photographer arrived at the campground with too many rock hard cares in her chest. After a few snaps of the camera, I decided to experience the weekend in a personal way instead of through a camera lens.

Here's the story of the weekend through the lens of mostly other retreaters, with their permission to share:

The Full Definition of retreat (from Merriam Webster)

  1. 1a (1) :  an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable (2) :  the process of receding from a position or state attained <the retreat of a glacier>b (1) :  the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position(2) :  a signal for retreatingc (1) :  a signal given by bugle at the beginning of a military flag-lowering ceremony (2) :  a military flag-lowering ceremony
  2. 2:  a place of privacy or safety :  refuge
  3. 3:  a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director

That is exactly what we did. We withdrew to a place of privacy and safety to a place free of the difficult, dangerous, and disagreeable.  The retreat focus was really, warfare. We learned to wear our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) with effectiveness and grace and beauty and victory. Deborah from the Book of Judges (Judges 4 and 5)  was our model. 

Once again we did what girlfriends do when we are together. We travelled together. We ate together. We shopped together. We created together. We laughed and cried and encouraged and prayed. We connected with old friends and made new ones. Our cups overflowed and we drank deeply from the well of His love.

Preparations are already in the works for the next retreats:

August 19-20, 2016 Teen Retreat at Butman Camp, in Merkel Texas

October 14-15, 2016 Ladies Retreat at Beulah Beach Camp in Vermillion, Ohio

Come and be refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated in a place of safety.