Last weekend, Terry and I went to a Marriage Retreat, and we had an absolutely fantastic time! I shared some pictures on Monday, and today I want to tell you a bit about the ways that Terry and I were blessed there.
The retreat was at Silver Birch Ranch in White Lake, Wisconsin ~ about a two hour drive north for us. Silver Birch is a Christian camp that serves children, adults, and families; it’s an absolutely amazing resource and we’re so lucky to have access to it. Terry had been there before, for two men’s retreats as well as to chaperone a junior high retreat, and I had only been there once for the day with him.
We have both been incredibly busy lately and have barely had time to see each other, so to say that we were excited for the retreat is a huge understatement! We were both really looking forward to just relaxing and connecting with each other, and that’s what we got. I also focused a lot on being all there, and I’m very happy to report that I was super successful! The only times I had to really remind myself to keep my mind in the moment were during “down time” such as when I couldn’t sleep or in the morning while I was getting ready.
To be honest, the teachings were not that great, and if that were the main factor of the retreat, I don’t think that I would be saying such glowing things. Luckily, however, two huge factors came together to make this weekend absolutely incredible for us: our small group, and the Silver Birch staff.
Coming into the weekend so very weary, I wasn’t that excited to be thrown into a group of strangers to mingle and share with. However, we ended up in a group of people whom we clicked with so completely; it was an incredible experience that I don’t think I’ve had since I was a kid! From the very first session, our entire group just meshed, and we ended up spending pretty much every minute of the entire weekend with them, from late-night at the canteen to daytime activities – trap shooting and horseback riding! – to an evening bonfire. I truly believe that our experience would have been much less without each of them. I already miss them so much and can’t wait to see them again!
The other thing that pleasantly surprised me was the manner in which we were simply served by the Silver Birch staff. Their willingness to provide for each of us if we could think of anything at all that we needed was so touching; it truly showed to me the true meaning of serving our brothers and sisters. For this one weekend, they were simply there to minister to each of us in our marriages. The best example of this was Saturday night, when they held a candlelight dinner for the couples. We were each set up a little separated from every other couple, and students from the on-site Bible college served as our servers for the evening instead of the typical self-serve meals. There was even a rose at each place! It was seriously unbelievable, and wonderful.
So, this was a bit wordy, but that’s it! Our wonderful experience at the Marriage Retreat.