This past weekend, my sisters and I took time to build our relationship with God and each other. It was refreshing, instructive, encouraging, hilarious, and convicting: all in less than two days.
Before my sister, Sarah returned from the Philippines, we talked about attending a conference together. But as we looked at the conferences available during the months she would be in the States, we had a different idea: What if we planned our own conference? We could get an Airbnb rental, do our own cooking, and take advantage of the plethora of free resources available on TGC’s site. (I contributed the idea of having snacks, just like a real conference. I’m always a great idea harvester, ya know?) We narrowed down the options of what we could study and decided to watch 7 sessions on the book of Nehemiah, presented in 2014. (See all the sessions here.)
Should I call it The Sister Retreat? Or maybe a Do-It-Yourself Conference? (sidenote: no crafts were attempted during this getaway. except for the craft of food creation.)
Maybe I’ll ignore the naming part and just show pictures of what we did. First of all, meet my sisters, Becky & Sarah:
Of course, you can’t see us very well because of our large sunglasses. We try to keep our identity hidden when we’re out of doors. This picture was taken during our $10 paddleboat experience which turned out to be simultaneously beautiful and a bit sweaty.
But the majority of our time was spent right here at this little table:
We like to call this Breakfast with Kathy Keller. We didn’t share any pancakes with her, but she shared the Word with us while we ate some delicious pumpkin pancakes prepared by Becky.
During session #2, I sent the following picture to my husband and he commented that Tim Keller looked like he was smelling our bacon:
I can’t blame him. It smelled delish.
After one more session, we made some amazing sandwiches (using farm fresh eggs our hosts gave us), headed out for paddle-boating, then finished the night with 2 more sessions.
On Saturday morning, we ate breakfast while watching the last two sessions, then packed up for home. Of course, we stopped at some cute little shops on the way home (including a delicious Indian restaurant), but then we sped back home to kiss our husbands and babies.
I debated about sharing this event with you. But the reason I’m sharing it is to encourage you with this:
You can take time to build your relationship with God, His Word, and others.
Maybe it means you’ll get up earlier or stay up later to read God’s Word.
Maybe it means you’ll pause scrolling social media to pray for and text that friend who just shared a burden.
Maybe it means you’ll snag some free resources online (so many quality, Biblical options here… especially Teaching Our Children About Jesus and Intro to Biblical Theology) and take an afternoon to apply them to your heart.
Maybe you’ll attend a conference or create your own like we did.
But whatever you do, let me encourage you to take time to do something (no matter how small it seems!) to further your relationship with the only things that will last forever — God, His Word, and people.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”