Back in April (I know, I know! This is the most delayed blog series EVER in my life) I co-hosted, GATHER RETREAT, a creative Christian women’s retreat with two women who became dear friends, Amanda Barker, and Andea Patronella. I’m so grateful for Amanda approaching me back in January (which seems like decades ago) to pitch the idea of the retreat to me. The 3 of us spent many a nights planning, talking, praying, shopping for goodies for the retreat, crafting, and more planning, etc… The Lord surely blessed us and it all came together beautifully, just as we pictured. We spent a weekend at a gorgeous log cabin in Palestine, TX (East Texas). It was just far enough away from Dallas, but not so far that it was a long trip. The weekend was about creative women coming together to rejuvenate and be encouraged by one another and use our gifts.
Here is the VISION Statement we include on the website:
Gather: coming together for a common purpose
There is a common thread that binds the photographer, designer, chef, writer, stylist, painter, seamstress, musician, artist, dreamer, and worshipper together: Creativity. When the Creator knit you together, he intricately wove strands of creativity into your being. He gave you unique gifts and talents that make you the creative soul that you are.
For the busy wife, mom, student, and career woman that desire to honor the Lord with her creativity—we’ve created a weekend just for you.
It was incredible. There were 15 of us total, which was the max the house would hold. Some of us are photographers (hobby or by trade), mom, writers, make up artists, hair stylists, artists (sketch, charcoal, painting, graphic designers), seamstresses, knitters, party planners, bakers, chefs, etc…
Since there are an insane amount of photos I shot over the duration of the weekend, I am going to break this up into a several part series of blog entries. Get excited.
The first day (Friday) most people arrived late in the afternoon. We snacked on some of my favorite things (cheeses, crackers, fruit, veggies, hummus, etc…) and made some bath scrub to take home with us. We also had cute little “Gather” gift bags for each lady when she arrived. The bag included a really adorable coffee mug from West Elm, a note book, colorful pens, dried tea with a tea diffuser, cute travel tissues, and some other small goodies. For dinner we made personal pita pizzas. They were a big hit. After tons of laughing so hard we cried (no joke)…. we gathered ’round to listen to Amanda share with us. Her talk was “Praiseworthy: A woman who fears the Lord“. Afterwards, we did a few “give-aways”, which the ladies were super excited about. It was truly great to see how 15 different women could come together and before the night was over it seemed like we’d been friends for a decade. I maybe would expect to experience that at a younger age (college or high school), but we’re in our late 20′s and early 30′s and come from different backgrounds and are blessed with different gifts. It was really neat. I’m grateful for the friendships that were built during that weekend.