"What do you think about going to this marriage retreat?" he asked, forwarding an email with the specifics. "It's the first weekend of May. I know that will be a busy time, though."
Our daughter will be graduating from high school at the end of May, so for months our calendars have been filling up with graduation events and celebrations. No time for a marriage retreat, I thought, even though I knew this one, sponsored by Family First and WinShape, would be special. I told him I didn't think we could work it in.
A couple of weeks later, he casually mentioned it again. "Probably not, huh?" he asked.
I didn't answer immediately. It was obvious he wanted to go, and I did too, but how could we get away in the middle of everything?
I flipped a couple of pages ahead in my calendar and was surprised to see that the first weekend in May was completely clear. Hmmm. I checked with our daughter, who confirmed that nothing was planned and encouraged us to go.
Then I thought about how she will soon be going off to college and we will soon be empty nesters. Hmmm....maybe we could work it in after all.
And that maybe turned into one of the best yeses I've ever given.
Family First is a non-profit organization on a mission to provide parenting, marriage and relational truth that helps people love their family well and gives them greater hope for the future. They do this in a variety of ways through All Pro Dad, iMom, and The Family Minute Radio broadcast. My husband has done some work with founders Mark and Susan Merrill, and they graciously invited us to come to their retreat at WinShape.
WinShape Marriage offers programs to help married couples find space to relax, focus on your marriage, and reconnect in a way that allows you to grow--all so that when you leave, you're fulfilled and more deeply connected to your spouse and with God.
The retreat center, just beyond the Berry College Campus in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, offers the perfect backdrop for a marriage retreat. Once part of an old dairy farm, the beautiful, whitewashed brick buildings with red tile roofs have been carefully renovated into a gorgeous facility in a natural, serene setting.
Everywhere you look, you see beauty.
In my next post, I’ll share more photos of the stunning beauty in the surrounding area and the top three things I learned, with ideas about how I’m going to put them into practice in our marriage. (No pressure, huh?)
Above all let me encourage you, please, even if you think you don't have a chisel large enough to carve out time for a marriage retreat, do it. Your marriage is worth it.
Have you ever been on a retreat of any kind in a beautiful setting? Where was it? Have you ever been to a marriage retreat that you would recommend to others? Let me know in the comments below.
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