Monday, March 30, 2009

The Prayer Retreat

I can't wait to tell you about my Awesome weekend!

My daughter, Hannah, and I planned to head to SC for the weekend to attend a prayer retreat at the Evangelical Institute where Ashlyn is a student. However, on Friday, just when we were scheduled to leave, the warning sirens went off, alerting us to a tornado warning for our area. We ended up waiting around for over an hour for the worst of the storm to pass, while I agonized over whether or not to attempt the six hour drive with the band of severe storms that were moving through the southeast. Finally, my meteorologist-wannabe-son examined the radar and encouraged me to go for it! And, I'm so glad we did!

The Lord really blessed us, as the band of storms seemed to have moved to the east by the time we got on the road, so I think we missed the worst of the weather. We did drive through rain, but it was never so heavy that I had trouble driving. However, the traffic was heavy, which prevented us from arriving in time for the opening banquet. At least, we made it in time to attend the evening service!

I thought about many of my bloggy friends on the drive up. First of all, one of the children had set the voice on my GPS to a woman with an Australian accent, and I kept thinking of my blogging budy, Jules, who is from New Zealand and wondering if she had the same delightful accent? Then, I eased the stress of driving through Atlanta at 4:30 pm on a Friday by listening to the soothing sounds of Kelly's Scripture Songs CD. As I drove through north Georgia, I thought about some of my blogging friends who live in that area, and so, it helped me pass the time by thinking of many of you lovely ladies!

We reached our destination about 7:30 pm. The Evangelical Institute is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, yet just minutes from the bustling city of Greenville, SC. Its rustic campus is both picturesque and peaceful, and the beauty and tranquility cause you to consider your Creator and to give Him glory. Here is a picture of the entrance to the school.

And here is a view of the dorms.

This is the auditorium where most of the sessions took place.

And here are some views of the beautiful campus.

My pictures, of course, don't begin to do it justice! So, you'll just have to imagine the beauty of this retreat center.

The prayer conference was wonderful! It was a much needed time of spiritual refreshment, and I have much to share, but I think I will share some of what I learned in another post.

Saturday afternoon, we had some personal time, during which I was able to sneak away and meet my dear friend, Melissa at a nearby Atlanta Bread Company. We enjoyed a precious time of fellowship together and spent some time in prayer for our families and our nation! It was a real treasure to spend this time with my dear friend!

I also enjoyed seeing my daughter, Ashlyn. She was very Busy during the conference, but we were able to engage in some late night chats!

The conference ended Sunday at noon, when we enjoyed a final lunch, packed up and got on the road. Sunday afternoon is definitely the best time to drive through Atlanta (except for when you hit a paving project!), and Hannah snapped a few pictures of the skyline as we sped through. (In Atlanta, you either go 70 or 7 mph!!)

I was pretty tired by the time we got home at 8:30 pm, but we still had a birthday to celebrate! Sunday was Hannah's 12th birthday. Tiffany had made Hannah an ice cream cake, plus, she had mobilized the "troops" and they had the house Spotless when I got home! Not only that, but the laundry was caught up and the socks matched!!! An amazing feat!! I was so blessed!

That sums up my incredible weekend. I will post again later and share some of the great nuggets I learned about prayer.


Jules said...

Well my accent is no longer 'pure'. My Australian family/friends all tell me I now sound like a Kiwi (New Zealander) while my Kiwi friends tell me that I still sound like an Aussie. I have to say I love American accents. I could listen to them all day. Mine seems so harsh in comparison. Glad you had a wonderful weekend.

Noel said...

I used to live in Greenville, SC and didn't know that there was anything like that there! It looks like you had a great time.

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