This past weekend I had the delight of teaching a retreat for the ridiculously adorable women of North Shelby Baptist. Their fearless leader, Sonja, contacted me a few months back and among other things told me the event would be held at The Summit and wondered if by some chance I may have heard of it. It just so happens The Summit is 20 minutes from my house so BOOM. After praying for 4.7 seconds I said yes and hoped for the next several months they wouldn’t change their minds. About me, not the retreat.
And how do I properly recap the weekend considering this is the only photo I took the entire time? I like to call this one, “Girl drives up to pretty gate and pushes lots of buttons hoping for some magic because UNSOPHISTICATED.
With an entrance like this you know there is nothing but awesomeness on the other side. The Summit is an estate previously owned by Teddy Gentry of the country music group Alabama. LifeShape (a ministry arm of Chic-Fil-A) purchased the property and has turned it into a leadership retreat center. Every detail is luxurious and yet completely cozy, the chef-prepared food is decadent, and the surroundings serene. The perfect setting for giggling with your favorite girlfriends and hearing that still small voice when all grows quiet.
Speaking of girlfriends, I am so happy to have so many new ones. Each group I have the privilege of serving has something special that sticks out about them. These girls excelled on many points.
First, Sonja. It was apparent from day one she was seeking the Lord on behalf of her women and would settle for nothing less than a perfect weekend for them. The details were spot on and that doesn’t happen accidentally. Well done, friend. No wonder they love you so.
Secondly, door prizes. Oh MY word. I have never. Every woman present went home with a gift and I don’t mean a bottle of lotion or a notepad. Megan and Team completely outdid themselves in gathering the goods. I am not exaggerating one bit when I say the crowd ooh’d and aah’d every single treasure. I scored a lovely hand-painted canvas that is now proudly displayed in my family room. Best door prize ever.
And music. DeeJay Kelcei is my new favorite forever. At the end of one of the worship videos an impromptu obituary photo flashed across the screen. The room grew quiet and I got really uncomfortable for poor Kelcei. Was this her dad? A beloved uncle? Would she grow sad at the reminder of her loss? Imagine the relief to learn the tribute was for Rich Mullins that was tacked on to the end of that particular YouTube video. Rest in Peace, Rich. We are grateful for your lyrical stylings and are so glad to now know what you look like. And that you are not, in fact, Kelcei’s dad.
Girls, thank you so much for opening your hearts wide and welcoming me inside. You are forever in mine!