At the beginning of the new year, one of my fellow gal pals, Denise and I decided to have a day with the Our Fellowship Christian Church ladies! This would be a NO BOYS ALLOWED GALentine's Day Retreat full of love, laughter and most of all, fellowship!
For the next couple of weeks we would be bouncing ideas off one another, finding tasty treats, conversation cards, and decorations from Target, raffles prizes from Half Price Books and Verse Cards from The Daily Grace Company.
For weeks we had one BIG surprise during the morning hours then the plan continued with games, lunch and a message from Nancy Long. We piled all the ladies into three vehicles and led them onto a little goose chase. The ladies began guessing all kind of possibilities but none of them guessed, pedicures at West Oak Nails!
Pastor Howard showered us with the marvelous gift of feet washing! We spent two hours getting all gussied up for the remaining day full of adventures but in the mean time, we sipped on fresh orange juice, Starbucks coffee and nibbled on goodies from the delicious breakfast tray!
We rolled back to the church after some serious spa therapy and we were ready to dive into the games, raffles and photo ops!
Raffle items included the books, For the Love by Jen Hatmaker and The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The girls started off with Conversation cards, encouraging them to chat with other members they have not had the pleasure of getting to know. This was a wonderful opportunity for fellowship between different ages and cultures. Then the competition began, we pulled out the Valentine Word Search and Word Scramble and it was ON!
We each had a verse card under our plate which were from The Daily Grace Company. We all took turns reading our verse card out loud and praying together as well. It was about lunch time and Denise's Egg Salad and Paola's Chicken Salad Sandwiches were a HIT! After polishing off the goods, we had one last game.
After patiently awaiting the final activity, it was finally time. Adapted from Kelli France's Photo Shoot, I asked the ladies to write out "I AM...." and fill in what gift God has given them. It could be a personality trait, something they feel good about, or whatever made them feel important.
It was a beautiful reminder of what gifts and callings He has given to each and every one of us. I had a feeling we would all have different phrases and I wanted the ladies to realize how special and unique we all were...even if we looked or sounded different from the woman next to us.
Low and behold, every woman had something unique written on their hearts. Tears were shed and the beauty of God's grace filled the room.
So much loved was shared in those few hours and I was delighted with the outcome. I do not know exactly what I expected but as usual, God superseded every expectation I had envisioned.
Last but not least, we finished up with a beautiful message and prayer from Nancy Long. This message encouraged each and every one of us in different ways and left us all a little bit more filled with love.
I want to thank each and every woman for coming our to our first GALentine's Day Retreat. You all contributed in ways I did not even know where possible. You all filled my heart with laughter and joy, inspiring me to learn something new and different about each and every one of you. I could not be more blessed than to be surrounded by you all. Thank you all for your willingness to step out of the boat!
A special thank you to Pastor Howard for allowing us all to go on this adventure with one another. You continue to build up our church in so many different ways but GALentine's Day broke the mold within our ladies group. From the bottom of our hearts, we love you!
All credit for this post goes to Author, Carolyn Soto Jackson.
Thank you Carolyn for letting us borrow your post from your blog "Song of Happiness."
The original post may be found here.