Tuesday, February 06, 2007

learning to be a crown

I know that sounds like a funny heading... but it sums up a little of the ladies' retreat I went on over the weekend with the girls from my Community Group at TCC. We headed off on Friday up to Spruce Pine, NC. It was really pretty - cold and a little snowy on the drive up - but pretty.

The couple we stayed with have a house nestled in the mountain that rivals any cottage or ski lodge I've ever stayed in! There is even a cool loft that you get to by ladder - with a walkway/bridge that goes above the living room to another ladder - and it goes to an observatory, of sorts. Wow! It was all just so beautiful. They were so gracious to share their home with the 10 of us who were able to go from our group. We really missed Wendy, Iris and Yuna! We realized how much we loved getting away with one another, so hopefully we'll plan more than one a year! The picture to the right is Becca M. - she went up the ladder to see the fun loft (and to talk on her cell phone in the rocking chair up there) :o)

Friday night served as a time to hang out a little and chat about our week prior. Of course it was nice to just be still a little, too, since Kristin and I had just retured from LA on Wednesday of the same week. Julie had some yummy cookies there which served as a nice treat! She was also using this down time while we were all preparing for bed to study and read - getting ready to lead us in Bible Study sessions on becoming Proverbs 31 women. I am thankful for the time that we spent in the word learning about the fear of the Lord, but I am thankful just the same for the way that God allowed me to learn so much from the women I went along with. Each of them has been giften in so many ways - and I am always happy to see how God is using them in their husband's/finance's/roommate's lives! This picture is Kristin, Joanna and Becca looking thru our treat bags. Inside was our favorite candies and a set of yarn and knitting needles, as Becca would be teaching us on Saturday how to knit! :-)

Saturday morning was so beautiful and we were able to have some time to ourselves to read and eat breakfast then be ready to start the sessions.

Julie did a great job leading us. We sang together and prayed. What a great task is ahead of me... to learn to be a wife and mother. I know that the challenge will come in time, and there is much to learn before it gets here. I am especially thankful to learn about fearing a Holy God who will equip me for these good works in my family to come. After our session, we started working together to make a quilt for Grace. She and Josh have a baby boy, Josiah, coming in early March. What a fun project to do together. We spent a little time that morning just beginning to iron and cut the fabrics so that we could start sewing the strips into patterns. Everyone had their hand in it, so it was so special! Even mommy Grace took part... what a fun story to share with your child later! We were only able to work about an hour before we needed to leave.

Julie had asked a few of the women in the area if we could spend some time with them - just getting to hear how God has used them in the lives of their families and church thru the years. Two of the women were widows (one for 1o years and one for only 6 months), so their stories were especially sweet as they shared about what it's like to miss someone after spending 30, 40, 50 years together. What a sweet time of prayer we had with these women as we sat and listened.

They also provided a super yummy lunch for us, which was so kind - as we wanted to serve them! I really loved hearing about ways they still feel they can serve when the temptation would probably be to fully "retire."

The rest of the afternoon, we worked on the quilt more and some folks rested and took walks in the beautiful woods around the home. There were lots of Christmas tree farms and even snow on the ground in places.

Mary Alice worked on making some fabulous chicken quesadillas for dinner and we finished quickly so we could get to celebrate with Kristin for her birthday!!! Those of you who know me, know that I love birthdays (mine and others!). Julie made Kristin one of her favorite cakes. I am so thankful for Kristin's life... and every day I see new ways that God is teaching her. She is very considerate of others and she loves to serve. Happy Birthday, K-dog. :-) I love you so much!

After dinner, we finished the quilt except for a few last things, so that was really fun. At that point, I think our total time spent on it was 5-6 hours. Around 8 or so, we all moved to the living room for Becca to start teaching us about knitting.

She was such a gracious and patient teacher and moved from one person to another showing them exactly what to do. It took me a minute or so to understand about the twists and turns, but I'm starting to see a pattern form. Since we've been home, I've done a few more rows, so now it's getting harder to hold in place. I have much to learn, but hopefully I can at least make it long enough to be a scarf for someone. I already have a friend in mind, which helps so much! :o) I'll be sure to post pictures about that as time goes on...

After a few minutes of working on the knitting, I decided to get up and go finish the last of the quilt. Dana was helpful and she, Holly, Hannah and Julie and I got it rolled out. What a fun trick. Here's the finished product...

I took it home, actually, to get the edge closed up by hand and check the seams. There are still some small details to take care of, which Casey will have to help me with... but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. Grace is having a boy, so we tried to think about that along with tying in the antique toy colors they plan to use in the nursery.

Sunday we had our last session and prayed that God would help us in our journey to be women of the Word who fear God and desire to be women that our husbands are known for... their crown.

We drove back together and stopped in Hickory for lunch at Cracker Barrel, like good southern women. YUM! Thankfully, Holly noticed some trouble in the back of her car. Coming down the curvy mountain, her entire large bottle of coffee creamer spilled! EEK!

We cleaned out the back of her car and tried to get everything as cleaned up as we could... thankfully, Allison's dad came along to say hi to her and helped finish the job. Whew! We had such a mess in the parking lot!

Big shout out to the girls who went. I really enjoyed spending time with each of you and look forward to the future times that God will give us to get to know one another and how to better serve each other. Love you!


donna b said...

what a sweet and precious time to spend with godly women, i am so glad you all had a safe and fun trip! see you SOON my long lost friend!

wonderskyblue said...

You have such a wonderful community Nicole... I can see how much fun you all havd and how much you support one another. Now I understand your "blog"--you are sharing something good with the world: YOU!!!

Stacie said...

The quilt is fantastic! It's nice to have another friend in the craft world. :)