After a most challenging start to 2015, I feel like I got to catch my breath and just RELAX a bit last weekend at the Refresh Homeschool Moms' retreat in Birmingham, AL.
I did have to lead two sessions during the retreat, but that didn't feel like work - it actually was a tremendous blessing to share with moms and also LEARN from moms in return.
The above picture is me (sitting on the porch at the Ross Bridge Resort) - after I had just finished journaling, reading, and napping. Ahhhh. BLISS.
The Retreat - Relaxing
As you can see, the Ross Bridge Resort is a luxurious haven just outside of Birmingham.
This was the first year of the retreat, and the two moms who organized it have such a HEART for other moms.
They built in plenty of time for all of the attendees to relax, refresh, learn, and just rejuvenate. Normally at these types of conferences you are "lectured" to death - going from session to session.
Refresh included a few sessions, lots of good meals (and chocolate!), a PJ and movie might, and plenty of fellowship and idea swapping with other moms.
I spent some much needed time ALONE, journaling, walking, and reading. It was just what my soul was craving.
The Retreat - Learn
The highlight of the weekend was hearing Sonya Shafer (from Simply Charlotte Mason) speak THREE times. Each time she related our homeschooling journey to a story from the Bible. We laughed, cried, and prayed.
If you ever get the chance to hear Sonya, GO! Visiting her website is wonderful, too - but she is a fantastic speaker.
The sessions I presented were all about music in your homeschool (I walked the moms through a SQUILT lesson - much fun!) and Interest Led Learning.
My friend Pam, from Ed Snapshots, was also there giving a talk about planning your homeschool year.
On the three hour drive home I listened to music and just prepared myself for re-entry.
This week has been a bit out of the ordinary. Anna was quite sick (she's better now!) and my husband was traveling. The weather was cold and rainy and everyone's mood was a bit off. We've been preparing for Faces of History next week, along with Latin Day and a piano competition this weekend.
And (can I tell you something super exciting?) -- this blog will be taking on a fresh new look VERY soon and I've been working on that behind the scenes.
Everything seems to have converged in next week!
I kept reminding myself of the blessing I have in homeschooling, and also the blessing it is to praise God even in the valleys of life.
We've been in a deep valley and I'm clinging to God's promises for us. My faith has grown deeper in the past 6 months than I think it ever did in the previous 42 years.
God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
I'm thankful that homeschool allows us to be flexible - we can take breaks when a child is sick. We can visit family members when they are sick. We can stop and work on heart issues at ANY TIME in our day, and we can be our children's educational guides each and every day.
That's my message for you today - be thankful for the blessings in homeschool, have FAITH everything will work together for good, and try (if at all possible) to take some time just for yourself to renew and refresh.
It's worth it!
How was YOUR homeschool week?
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