Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ladies' Retreat 2012 (better late than never!)

It's high time that I posted about the ladies' retreat I was blessed to attend at The Wilds of New England back in early September.  In fact, if I don't post about it today I am very likely to forget just how much of a blessing it was.

I went as part of a group of seven: five friends from church, plus my daughter.  We had a cabin to ourselves, which was a fun time of fellowship.  As an added blessing, we were so close to the bathhouse that we didn't even need flashlights to go there at night.  (We did need flashlights to get back into the bunks without disturbing anyone too much, however!)

Our cabin is the one on the left.  Just visible beyond it is the bathhouse.
How do I even begin to sum up such a wonderful experience?  I have friends who think they wouldn't enjoy a ladies' retreat.  How can I describe this so they'll understand what it's like?  Probably one of the outstanding components is, first of all, just the opportunity to get away.  I love my husband, I love my home, I love the ministries God  has called me to.  I seldom wish that I could get away from home.  But this opportunity is good for me.  It gets me away from my responsibilities and allows me to  focus on learning and growing spiritually.  It gives wonderful times of being encouraged in my faith.  It's a blessing to be able to share this with other like-minded women.

There are amazing times of laughter, singing, and sharing.  There are uplifting times of hearing music that praises our Savior.  There are edifying times of being taught from God's Word -- not to mention God and I Time, where each individual gets alone with God and focuses on what He is teaching her.
This campfire is in the area I chose for my God and I time.
Our speaker this year was Beneth Jones, and what a blessing we received from her.  She spoke from Proverbs 30:24-28 on some of God's "little things" in creation that can teach us great lessons -- specifically the ants, the conies, the locust, and the spider.  This passage was so appropriate for a camping retreat in New England.  I had not brought a notebook with me at all, assuming she would have handouts.  But no!  She thinks people get too distracted by handouts, always whispering to their neighbor to get points they missed, etc. and that they may miss too much that way.  So at the first session, I was scrambling to find something to write on.  I ended up using the back of a couple of bookmarks!  For the next sessions, I brought along my prayer journal and used some blank pages I had in the back.

If you are wondering what the different creatures can teach us, read Proverbs 30:24-28 and see what lessons you can find.  I can't take time to write all that she shared (and she pulled out an amazing amount from each illustration) but, briefly, from the ants we learn foresight.  From the conies, which are a "feeble folk", we learn that we also are "feeble folk" in our own strength, and so must live protectively.  From the locusts, we learn the importance of community, and from the spider we learn diligence.  Such important lessons!

One thing that is always a blessing at The Wilds of New England is the beautiful surroundings.  I didn't get a lot of pictures this year, but did get some of the flowers and of the fall decorating.
A tangle of late-summer flowers
Aren't these beautiful?  How can anyone not believe in a great Creator when they see such intricacy?

Display on a doorstep

A fall display in a corner
The food is delicious too, and it's always fun to spend time in the Sweet Shoppe and the coffee shop.  This fall in the Sweet Shoppe they were offering a pumpkin nor'eastah (sort of like a Blizzard® or McFlurry®) made with pumpkin pie filling whizzed together with vanilla ice cream.  So yummy!
The Sweet Shoppe
It's especially nice to head to the coffee shop early in the morning and come in to find a crackling fire and a good cup of coffee. 
The fireplace in Cool Beans
 All part of the retreat experience!  An Italian cream soda (this one is coconut) later in the day is nice too.

The wall art in some of the buildings is lovely too.  Even the art is edifying.  I love these.
Sorry about the glare, but isn't this beautiful?
The mission statement of The Wilds
All in all it was a great time of refreshment.  I was so thankful for the opportunity to go to this fabulous retreat again this year!


  1. I very much enjoyed reading about your ladies conference. I have never been to one as this season of my life I am needed at home but I sure enjoyed hearing about your time there. A refreshing time in the Word and such pretty fall decorations too. Thanks for sharing. That pumpkin blizzard was almost too much for me. I LOVE those things.

  2. Nikki,

    I am so happy that you enjoyed the post and that you were able to get a feel for the retreat even though you could not be there in person. (I am glad I took time to write this post since it was a blessing to you. I almost talked myself out of posting it since it was so long ago, but sure am glad I went ahead with it!)

    Yes, the pumpkin nor'eastah -- truly amazing! I must say, though, that I got a small one and it was more than I could eat by myself. I had about half of it and gave the rest away. When my hubby and I went for the couples' retreat, we got one to share. I thought he would enjoy it as much as I did, and he did!

    Hope to post about the couples' retreat soon.

  3. Oh what a lovely place!! I have only seen pictures of The Wilds in NC but the New England Wilds has a particular beauty of its own. Thanks for sharing with us!!

  4. Isn't it beautiful? I am glad you think so too, Arlene. The campsite is still a work in progress, but everything they have done is done so well. It is a wonderful testimony. The Wilds of New England is one of the places I get almost homesick for from year to year. We are so blessed to have this wonderful place here in New England.


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