Monday, March 7, 2011

An Unforgettable Weekend of Love

March 4th thru the 6th, was my church's Marriage Retreat.  We traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Mi. We stayed Friday thru Sunday Morning. For the low price of $400 per couple, we received: 2 nights lodging, 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts (buffets), Water Park Pass for the duration of our stay, 3 workshops and course materials. Yea, all of that for $400! Yet the amount that we paid, would never come close to what we learned and experienced with our spouses.

I will be honest, I had my reserves about the retreat. I was excited about going and optimistic about what we would learn in our workshops. However the itinerary  just seemed so tight. We really was doing something every moment that we were there. So immediately, my husband and I had already planned not to take advantage to every workshop. Yep, that didn't happen. Who was I kidding, I rarely ever go against the grain of obedience when it comes to someone asking me to be apart of something. I'm glad i didn't change the course of what I have done all my life.

We got to the location about 9pm, just in time to eat dinner. However, we had missed the icebreakers and events for the night. So we ate and mingled with everyone for little bit and my husband and I went back to our room. Beds are wonderful at Great Wolf Lodge may I add. The next morning was a struggle because we needed to be up and downstairs at 7:30am  to start the morning events. I'm not a morning person at all, so I was a little late. Breakfast was slamming: Fruit, french toast, potatoes, eggs, bacon, sausage and I am sure I'm missing something else.  We then all went to the general session, which my Pastor taught on Communication and Rekindling Intimacy. I have already written about my Pastor in this blog site, so you already know he slammed.  After his class we had a choice to attend making Blended Families work or How to Love Your Spouse while Working it Out. My husband and I choose the second class, as we really don't have an issue with blended families.

I wasn't prepared for the wealth of knowledge I was going to gain from this workshop. It was taught by a couple that didn't attend our church, they were average people like my husband and I. They were not Pastors or Bishops, Bible Scholars, just people who had been married for years. Never judge a book by their cover. Though no titles were before their name, the Holy Spirit used them in such a way to convey what there "Its" were in the Working it Out part of their marriage. They were transparent and real. They shared things that most wouldn't dare tell a friend. It wasn't to air their dirty laundry but to show that their is life after death in a marriage. It really blessed me an my husband. Their story wasn't to fair off from ours and it was just what we needed. Though we had moved on and forgiven and forgotten, it was added confirmation that we were on the right track. This couple shared what their ideas of the roles of a wife and husband are and what Love is. I was impacted tremendously by the class. It showed me my flaws as a wife. It showed how difficult and judgmental I really am.

After that Course we had a choice between Managing Finances in Unison and How to  Persevere in Marriage. We choose to take the Finance Workshop. Again, this work showed my husband some of the things that I was concerned with as the last workshop showed me what he was concerned with.  After leaving this course we retreated to our room because we had a 5 hour break. We cried and apologize. I confessed to him some things that I wouldn't confess to myself. He did the same. We recommitted ourselves to each other. He also mandated that we dedicate Mondays to be our day of Sacrifice. (I love it when he leads me). After our break was over we came back together for dinner and to renew our vows.
My husband and I had the awesome task of leading worship. It was an awesome experience. We renewed our vows and had our second "first" dance. The following morning, we had breakfast, and we broke off to women with women and men with men, to encourage. I don't know what the men did but the women did just that. We joined back together and had communion before we departed.

It was a much needed retreat for my husband and I. It was our first time actually being away with no kids and no family. (Well Pastor was with us, but not with us).  I think we said "I Love You" enough to cover the rest of this year. I'm sitting here smiling just thinking how impossible life would be separate from him. We have come through so much, and fought so hard to get to where we are now; nothing can penetrate us. Don't mistaken that for boasting, this is faith I am speaking on. God has shown us mercy and grace. He has shown us that if we let Him lead he will cover a multitude of our wrongdoing. If we let Him be in the midst of our marriage, we can truly stick and stay.  This weekend only affirmed what we already knew and sometime forget or take for granted. The truth is our destinies are interlocked with each other. We can't get to what God has for us separated. Its imperative that we never lose sight of that.

So today, I just wanted to take the time to encourage those who may be experiencing adversity in your marriage. This is going to sound crazy, but, embrace the adversity. There is something for you to learn about yourself and your mate. More importantly, God is trying to pull something out of you that is laying dormant that He needs active. This not the time to play victim, but the time to stay in the word and trust in God's promises for your marriage. Marriage was never designed for divorce. With that being said, make up your mind now if your are going to stay or leave. If you are going to stay- fight, if you are going to leave- leave. There is no in between. Be encourage God is own your side even if it doesn't look like it.

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