Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Out of the Ordinary" Retreat

Incredible.  Amazing.  Relaxing.  Rich.  Cleansing.  Restorative.  

I could go on.  

This "Out of the Ordinary" retreat was fabulous.  From Thursday to Sunday, David and I were in Highlands, NC at The Mountain.  This retreat center is beautiful at 4,200+ feet on the very top of the mountain.  We were there with a very diverse group of people.  The retreat was for people living with HIV/AIDS.  Some of them brought their caregivers, and there were also some volunteers that came along to help out with the retreat.  It was a time for making new friends/support, group therapy, meditation, worship, beholding nature, etc.  I went in to that retreat so stressed and overwhelmed from the craziness of April, and I came out refreshed and renewed.  

The first night after worship Jan was praying with this participant in front of the remembrance table.  Everyone was able to light a candle for someone that they knew that had died with AIDS.  This participant's daughter passed away because of the virus. 

My hubs looking like a mountain man with his guitar in the cabin.

Day two, on "Meditation Rock", me and the hubs.

Hey Lauren, look.  I made sure to put the picture that doesnt show our you-know-whats.

This is pretty much the whole group during life story sharing time.  The stuff that most of these people have been through is just unbelievable.  While there was much pain in this circle, there was also much hope and strength.

There was a tower that you could climb up and you could catch a view of three states!  I got some daytime pictures, but the night time ones are way more exciting.  I could have stayed up there for hours taking pictures...

Can you see where the road is on that other mountain?

I was so proud of my hubs this weekend.  He led a Thai Chi (did I spell that right David?) session two mornings to help those that attended to breath more effectively and focus.  He had lots of people choose his session and the response was awesome.  I participated the second morning and I loved it!

Here is a yummy view of the mountains from a porch off of the Lodge.  

Belva and Carlton were the two pastors/worship moderators for the weekend.  They are both ministers at St. John's Metropolitan Community Church .  They were awesome!

This is a board that we all weaved in the horrible names that we have been called/labeled in our lives.  When we left, we had allowed our names to be changed...

These two women are such a gift to me... Lauren and Jan... especially this weekend.  I could not be more thankful for them.  We had the best time!  

I cannot wait to go on this retreat again!  There will be more opportunities to go.  Please let me know if you are interested in participating or donating to it.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds amazing.
just like you.

doooo let me know when this next retreat is. early, if possible. I'd love to get the whole div school/gable community on it.

-deanna f.