It's Wednesday night, and I feel like last weekend got over about 5 minutes ago. It was that good! For some reason, I don't like the phrase "women's retreat." It sounds so old-fashioned and cheesy. But that's what it was. I am convinced that it is pretty much summer-camp for grown up girls. We stayed up late talking and giggling and eating junk, made a bunch of new friends, and the last few days it's been all we can talk about in person and on FB. Thanks for all your prayers, kind thoughts and especially kind words.
My main portion of speaking went well on Saturday night. I also was on a panel on Friday night and spoke for a few minutes on Sunday morning. I made some novice public speaking mistakes, like not numbering my pages of notes. I got flustered a few times when I couldn't find where I was. One of those times, I was vamping for a couple sentences while locating my notes. I was on the topic of swords, so I said something about Legolas. First, a Lord of the Rings reference without explanation in a room full of women? Risky. Second, it was totally random, totally unplanned, and totally the WRONG CHARACTER from Lord of the Rings! I realized it about 5 seconds later, and SO wanted to correct myself, but I was already rolling back with my actual prepared message. All I kept thinking was that if Stephanie Marr was there, she would have been so disapopinted in me. ;) For better or worse, I just let it slide and the other geeks in the room were gracious enough not to correct me in front of the whole group.
BUT, I was able to get through the 22 minutes without completely falling apart emotionally, so SCORE! I did share the hard story of my girls' miscarriages during my pregnancy, and I did cry a little. Going on 6 years and I have never been able to tell (or think) of it without crying a little. But that's OK. It's part of our story, and it's shaped us as friends and mothers. And here we go, I'm starting to cry again, so...
I also shared the story about Carson locking me out of the house in August. I hammed it up and got the laughs I was hoping for. I knew that story would come in handy eventually. I'll blog about it soon since I've never really shared the details with you lovely readers.
But really, the best parts of my weekend had nothing to do with me being a speaker. Some other highlights included sharing the weekend with my mom, since her BFF's didn't get to come. She and my roomie Kellie got along with flying colors (it doesn't hurt that Kellie is one of the funniest people I've ever met), and Mom fits right in with all my church girls. Another fun hightlight was developing relationships with a group of women that are about 10 years older than me, and another group of women about 10 years younger! It was just a reminder that we are cheating ourselves of God's FAMILY when we surround ourselves only with people who are in the same season of life as we are. It made me want to spend more time with both groups. I especially was touched to meet in a small group with some younger mommies. Some doing OK with the whole parenting journey, some struggling a bit, and some were really struggling--including some single moms. WOW. The road they are walking is so, SO difficult. My heart just ached for their trials, their exhaustion, and their loneliness. But their determination and perseverance was completely inspirational. My prayer for them was that this weekend renewed them and gave them a couple days of rest for their bodies and souls.
I wouldn't say it was restful weekend for me, but it was wonderful and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Everyone needs to be a camp "high" at least once a year, right? :)