Monday, October 5, 2009

Parish Retreat

This past weekend, my parents, Jake and I went to Camp McDowell in Alabama for Calvary's Parish Retreat. I'd been to Camp McDowell for Vocare before but this time we stayed in family cabins, which was a very cool concept. I absolutely love Dubose Conference Center and CGM dearly but Camp McDowell offers a lot that we can't when it comes to a parish retreat - on site hiking, family cabins, a beautiful chapel:

The retreat was overall a success. I absolutely love these type of retreats for many reasons. Mainly it is because it reminds me of camp and I love camp. Yet a dominant reason I love the parish retreat is because it is a time for our church family to truly co-exist as a family and become one unit over the course of a weekend. We were all in it together - on the hike, at the meals, when our water went out. Families took care of other families. Older parishoners bonded with younger parishoners. Everyone was looking for a time to reflect, relax, and enjoy themselves and this did indeed occur.

For Jake and me, it was a much needed break. We haven't taken much of a vacation since our honeymoon in March. While I was at camp, Jake came up and visited. We spent some time in Chatanooga. I took a river trip in August but other than that, we haven't really gone anywhere. With school for Jake and teaching for me, we don't get a lot of breaks at home. Even when we're just hanging out at home, there is this guilt that we should be doing something for our respective jobs. To get away to a place where there wasn't a TV, wasn't internet luring us apart from each other, meant that we could really rest and relax. I loved just sitting on the porch of our cabin talking. One reason I didn't want to have a TV in our bedroom is so we wouldn't be consumed by the television. That has helped but our main issue is using the internet. I'm so bad about getting on the computer and not talking to Jake.

Reflecting on the retreat, I'd like to live a little less "attached" in the coming months. When we move, we're not getting cable. I'll really miss my DVR but know that it is a healthy break-up. I want to restrict the laptops from the bedroom and make sure that we cook together (now that our kitchen is big enough for two people). I know for Jake studying is a priority but maybe we can get some activities in like walking the dogs in our new neighborhood.

*images taken from Camp McDowell's website since I did not remember my camera*

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