Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A taste of Heaven

It is past time that I write an account of my weekend at the ladies' retreat held at The Wilds of New England, back in September.  With the couples' retreat coming up this weekend, I thought I'd better write about the ladies' retreat before the two get mixed up in my mind.  (Realistically, there should be quite a number of differences between the two, however.)

I was really blessed to be able to attend this retreat with six good friends from church, plus my daughter Carrie.   (If you would like to read Carrie's account of the weekend, you'll find it here: Ladies Retreat 2011.   Here's a look at the inside of the cabin where we stayed.

I love how the campsite was so beautifully decorated for fall.  So welcoming and warming.  Here's one outside vignette:

And another:

One of my favorite places!
Here's the fireplace in the coffee shop.

Here's a look at some of the buildings:

And a closer look at the flagpole decorations:

One moment simply blessed my heart and felt like a true taste of heaven.  Many of us got up quite early and there was a good bit of time before breakfast.  I left the cabin to walk to the coffee shop where I intended to meet up with Carrie and some of the others.  As I walked down the path from the cabin and stepped into the open area nearing the main buildings, there was a pretty sunrise lighting the sky.   Not colorful, but just bright light.  And at the same time I was aware of music.  Lovely instrumental praise music was being played over the sound system and wafted over the campsite.  I just stopped for a moment to take it all in.  I thought to myself that this must be a tiny taste of what heaven will be like -- just surrounded by beauty and praising our God together.

The teaching for the weekend was by Mardi Collier and her theme was "My 100% God."  We were also blessed by a wonderful handout she shared concerning how to get to know God better through His Word and by means of a simple notebook where we record what we learn about Him.  This is a simplified version of material presented in her book, What Do I Know About My God? which may be found here in my a-store.

Many of us bought the book -- although, as I said, a simple notebook will suffice.   I can say that if one will truly follow this method of learning about God, true spiritual growth and a changed life will result.  The basic idea is that you read your Bible, you start a page in your notebook for each fact you learn about God.  Mrs. Collier suggests starting in Psalms.  I'll just give a simple example.  In Psalm 23:1, for example, we read "The Lord is my Shepherd."  So in your notebook you start a page titled "My God is my Shepherd", and you copy down Psalm 23:1.  Later on, in your reading, you will come across other verses that say the same thing about God, for example, John 10:10, where Jesus says He is the good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep.  So you copy those verses into your notebook on that particular page, and so on.  It all adds up to a very practical and effective way of getting to know God well.  

The music was wonderful and edifying as well, and there was plenty of laughter throughout the weekend. 

The spiritual food was unequalled, and the food in the dining room was pretty good too.  One of the nicest things was that none of us ladies had a hand in cooking it!  In addition, our appetite for pretty things was satisfied as the dining room was so beautifully decorated.  Here's one of the tables;

And here's how the windowsills were decorated:

In the afternoon on Saturday, we had some free time.  I went on a hike and saw lots of nice scenery:

In addition to this picturesque old shed:

Coming back from the hike, we passed the rustic cross which reminds us of our salvation and all that Christ has done for us.  From this hill there is a good overview of the campsite.
My friend Sandy and I had promised ourselves an Italian cream soda in the coffee shop, so when I got back from the hike we did just that.  Hers was strawberry:

And mine was coconut.  Whipped cream?  Of course!

It was truly a wonderful weekend!  A taste of heaven!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful retreat! Your pics of the campsite are so pretty. Anytime we are privileged to go to a retreat it is such a blessing, isn't it?

  2. Indeed it is! We are so blessed to have a place like The Wilds here in New England now. I am looking forward to showing my husband around this weekend. He had been there several years ago with a team of men helping out with demolition inside one of the buildings, but he has not been on site since to see all that has been done. We are looking forward so much to the couples' retreat with Jim and Pat Berg.

  3. It makes me want to get in my car and head north!! What a lovely place it is. Glad you had a great time. It is nice to experience a touch of heaven every now and then.

  4. Arlene, fall is a great time to visit New England! If you were to get in your car and head north, I don't think you would be disappointed in the scenery. (The temperatures might be a different matter...)

    Seriously, I've been told that TWNE is planning 2 couples' retreats for next fall. Maybe you could check into it and plan a visit to New England for then. Just a thought...

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I enjoyed seeing and hearing about the retreat! What a blessing it must have been! I like the notebook idea. I think I will try that method of journaling with God. Great idea!

  6. Thanks, Mrs. Smith, for stopping by. I am sure your heart will be blessed if you start this simple notebook method of learning about God. I do highly recommend her book as well.

    Yes, the retreat was wonderful. I didn't see how it could be any better than the previous year's retreat, but it was. Now my hubby and I are looking forward to the couples' retreat, starting tomorrow evening. It has been years since we've been able to do anything like this together, so we are anticipating a great weekend!

  7. Mrs.T,
    Your weekend at the retreat sounded so nice.I loved all the pictures too.:)Everything was so pretty and described so well.Hope you and your husband have a good weekend away together.:)

    1. Thanks, Nikki! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it. My hubby and I had a wonderful time at the couples' retreat as well, and now it is a part of our fall every year. We don't like to miss it!


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