Creatives, Retreat, Coffee, and Rest - the 2016 creative retreat!
Isaac and I were driving back from Olathe, KS after photographing Ruthie and Jesse's wedding and I'm pretty sure our entire conversation was centered around amazing stories from their wedding and the creative retreat I was hosting that week. When the Lord told me to pour out in 2016, I started to imagine how refreshing it would be to get a group of creative women together for a retreat. And finally, finally it was happening.
I had imagined business talks, creative projects, and all of that amazing stuff. But the more that I prayed about what this retreat was supposed to be about, the Lord kept pressing "rest" on my heart. Who would want to come to a retreat about resting? I wondered the thought out loud and realized that I would. I would definitely go to a retreat full of resting.
I reached out to a handful of women, rented a little house in Springfield, and counted down the days! Meet the sweet friends who helped me drink way too much coffee...
I picked up Megan from the airport on Sunday and we talked about how brilliant Daniel is. How's that for friendship? Please, always feel free to come over and brag on my son! Isaac and I left to pick up Indian food from our favorite place (over 45 minutes away) and Megan finished editing a wedding. We spent Monday catching up and then we left to meet everyone at the house!
I knew each of these women before the retreat, but they didn't really know each other. So I was a little nervous that there would be that awkward get-to-know-you stage. That did not happen! It felt like we had known each other forever after just a couple hours together. Glory to God, friends! That just doesn't happen unless He's involved. The days went by so fast and we all left feeling like we had spent months - maybe years - together.
After Brianne left to love on her sweet little one, we all headed to the Aviary Cafe in downtown Springfield. I'm convinced that food is better when you're enjoying it with other people. I'm almost afraid to go back because I'm just not sure if it will be good anymore. Almost. ;)
Also, I'm not sure how Brianne and Megan (I guess she's in the photo below... but I meant one of her beautiful face) snuck away from this retreat without me taking a single photo of them! How does that even happen? I think we better credit it to the rich conversations that were happening over and over again!
Did you know that I'm slightly obsessed with personality tests? One of my favorite things is to market to the different personality types and customize the wedding experience to fit the personality of each client in tiny little ways. I'm not sure if they all wanted to take personality tests or if I strongly suggested it over and over again! Ha!
On one of the last mornings, we pulled a small table and a couple chairs to the front porch for some head shots. I first met Brandy when I was a senior in high school and we have shared so much life together. I admire the way she speaks truth to other women. She's warm and inviting. And as one of her friends once said, she "speaks in ink."
I have watched her little ones grow, grow, grow and have photographed their family for years! That second picture? That's exactly how loving she is.
Charity's joy runs deep. It's real, friends. She brings that radiant love to any space she's in (gosh, you can even see it in her floral design). I first met her when we worked on Jordan and Katlyn's wedding all those years ago. Okay, it was only 3.5 years ago. But that's a long time in the wedding world!
I love collaborating with her on shoots, but I love our conversations even more. Her joy is rooted and she reminds me (without ever using words) that worshipping the Lord is for every day and every circumstance.
Let me be the first to tell you that there's always a place for you here. There will always be a chair for you to sit in and if we run out of chairs, you can have mine. I like sitting on the floor anyways!
This keeps coming to my mind: it's not too late for you to rest. If you need to slow down and do something that refuels you (that's different than something that fires you up), go and do it.
Do something that helps you rest, friend.