Approximately 70 Westover Church high school students and 10 staff volunteers just returned from our first ever Winter Retreat. We stayed in cabins. Small cabins jammed with bunkbeds, with mattresses supported by loose planks. Within two minutes, one of the beds collapsed after being sat on. At that moment, I knew I was in trouble. The bathroom was a quarter of mile away from the cabin. Ok, I am exaggerating, but it might as well have been a mile! Either way, I had to leave the cabin in the dark of night to use the bathroom. I forgot a flashlight, so at one point, I was walking alone in the dark and ran into a bush. With thorns. I cussed. Needless to say, I retreat so much better in a hotel or lodge. I just do. God is OK with that, because he made me that way, and I have made it known since age two. I am easily distracted by bugs and dirt for any extended period of time.
Regardless of my aversion to the woods, I love high school girls more than I love my own personal comforts and preferences. I just do. I love being a girl, and I am blessed that God has allowed me to serve them. Girls...giggling, talking about boys, squealing at bugs, critiquing the “rotten banana” colored paint job in our cabin, innocent, feminine, little perfectionistic girls.
On Satuday, we served at the local Habitat for Humanity warehouse. My group planted seeds in egg cartons and cleaned windows. I enjoyed this! It was nice to serve with the kids.
The theme of the retreat was being deeply rooted in God's word. We focused heavily on the common, often overused term, "quiet time." The youth pastor used the example of the popular playground past time of Hopscotch. We often jump from one big block/problem to another in our relationship with God, seeking Him when we need Him most. But what about the in between and the everydayness of life...the time filled with Facebook and Twitter and texting? He encouraged us to think about how we use our time and about the importance of quietness and stillness. Being quiet and still with God. Because he is just that, God. The everything under His feet God. We practiced quiet this past weekend. Quiet time with God cannot be crammed into a one size fits all box. He made us uniquely and loves to spend time with us in that uniqueness. If you like dancing, dance with Him. If you like to read, read about Him. If you enjoy writing, journal to Him.
And before you go on and call me prissy or something, know that I do have a soft spot for nature. I could have looked at the stars all night and huddled around the campfire for hours. I love God's artwork. So there.