Retreats. They are necessary. They should be unplanned and freeing …and restful. They should keep you up late and make you sleep in late. They should include joyful laughter, vulnerability with one another, and hours of talking…or sitting. Just got home from Murphys, CA. I went on a retreat with my team; the beautiful team of us four RDs and our Dean of Students, that I am so very blessed to work with.
Ezra didn’t tell us where we were going, and that was okay by our group. We got to hang out, drive in the car, catch up on life…be goofy. We’re a Res Life staff. What else would you expect?
We loaded in the car, and made a pit stop to get coffee first. Necessary, of course.
When he finally revealed where we were headed, I was more than a little excited (secretly). We drove through and made another stop at one of my favorite tiny old towns, Sutter Creek. I’ve gone multiply times on day trips with my mom. It holds a place in my heart. It’s quaint, quiet, and full of history.
We walked around and went in a few antique stores, then hit the road.
Making another stop, we ate at a mom and pop shop. We really felt like we were in a small town…and no longer in CA. It was great 🙂
Awww, then came Murphys. Vacation home. So lovely.
Dropped off our bags. Then, went to a Cavern. Oh, and Big Sequoia Tree Park. Absolutely beautiful.
(I can’t take credit for any of these pretty pictures, but God’s beauty is definitely captured.)
And, to top off a wonderful day, we went to Firewood Restaurant. Incredible fish tacos for dinner; get in my belly!
We spent the night playing games and doing “life” together. My team got to see me tired and goofy; I was up way past my bedtime. I dominated a few board games and cried from laughter doing it. Of course, I was also killed in a game I’m not good at, called “Bang.”
And, I slept like a baby.
The great thing about our group? We got up and all spent time in the Word. It was peaceful and quiet. I walked down to a local coffee roaster called, Gold Country Coffee Roasters.
Not great coffee, if I’m being honest. But, sweet sweet lady. She told me all about her shop. I met and chatted with Gail.
And, here’s the shop….about 30 seconds from the home we stayed at.
The best part of the morning was talking about what God is teaching us. Since the guys had stayed up and talked the night before, Denise and I shared our hearts. They listened to me share my heart, my struggles, my unknowns, and post-grad life. Then, they smiled, and related, and gave me a sense of peace. They encouraged me and took me in. I am blessed.
It’s okay that post grad life is a bit unsettling, awkward…and, really unique; it’s a special time actually. I’m graduated (what a huge blessing). I’m 22. I’m who God made me…and growing to be what He has created me to be. And, it’s a beautiful and freeing feeling. I serve a God that created me with a purpose. He didn’t say it would always be easy, or that I would always know what I going to do next. But, I do know, life with Christ is beyond anything I could plan. It’s more freeing than my set scheduled life I’d plan out on my own.
And, in this time of learning, growing, awkwardness…He has surrounded me with an incredible support group. It does look different than college. It’s different than being in one community all the time. But, now, I get to be a part of a bigger community…of growing..of seeing that God is up to something beautiful in and through me. He blessed me with an incredible job that I love: being a Resident Director. He gave me the opportunity to be a professional runner…a writer… a servant of that Lord that is learning what it means to passionately pursue the life that God has right in front of me in this present moment.