The First Presbyterian Garland women had our annual retreat last weekend. There really aren't many funny stories to tell except when Margaret ran her canoe, including her passenger, into a tree. Or when Jamye claimed one of our Christian sisters was a “butt” and someone broke out singing, “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love.” There were plenty of laughs and love to go around.
I think this was the busiest retreat ever with more activities than you could take part in. We had nature walks, morning prayer by the lake, evening Taize by the fireside, S’mores and a campfire singalong. We had talks on prayer and/or mission trips. You could learn yoga and Zumba. You could get a massage or a facial or both. In between we had a great speaker and great food.
The retreat was also marked by what was not there. Among the sisters who should have been with us were two friends who couldn’t make it for very sobering reasons. Renee’s husband was in the hospital and his cancer was only sounding worse. We could only imagine how hard this is when you've got teenaged kids. And Sister Debbie was still out of commission since she was quite literally, and in the most horrible way possible, run over by a truck. I can’t remember a retreat without either of these ladies and even though we know they will be with us next year, it was not the same without them. On the bright side, I also heard from Sandy that her son, who we all watched grow up, is now able to wear prosthetic legs after he lost them both in Iraq.
Sometimes life is not all fun and games. How do humans operate with the hardness of life playing as background music all the time? I think you just pray your guts out, love each other and enjoy whatever good life sends you. Christianity is the only religion in the world to experience the exhilaration of an empty tomb, who focus on what joy is possible when you have faith..
Now for the good part: We had the best music ever. And I’ve got video to prove it. And this is only the stuff I recorded. There were another couple of bands and singers I didn’t get on camera. Plus, we never even got to hear Sue Ellen play the dulcimer. That's a good reason to start planning next year's retreat now.
We had classical music:
The Greatly Modified Angel Band with Kat's sister filling in for Debbie and Shirley
And as a Grand Finale, Bobbie Snider. We ended with Kirk Franklin and his church singing Our God is an Awesome God. I didn't get any video because I was too busy dancing. Gracias Senor.