I mentioned in an earlier post that Brian and I would be going away to a bed & breakfast this weekend for a church retreat. I started coming down with a cold or something on Thursday night with a terrible sore throat and miserable aching body all night and woke up feeling like I should stay in my own bed all day. I thought quite possibly of sending Brian on his way, letting his parents keep Analise as planned and being sick by myself at home. My Friday morning swim class eased some of the aching and gave me enough energy to get us all ready to go. Boy, am I glad I did!
This retreat was for the church leadership group that Brian is the head of called the Administrative Ministry Team. All we knew was that our pastor and his wife had gone to this bed & breakfast last month and returned raving about what an awesome experience it was. They were excited to take a group back… lucky us:) In a meeting withour pastor, Chris, on Tuesday, Brian told me that Chris had been going over plans for the weekend and mentioned something about room assignments and roommates. I FREAKED out, telling him there was no way I was going away for a relaxing weekend only to have roommates other than my husband. Besides, isn’t that one of the reasons you get married – so you don’t have to worry about other roommates??? Brian tried to assure me that it was a bed & breakfast, and we could probably assume that we’d be in a room together, though we might be with another couple. I could live with that thought, though as Friday rolled around and I was feeling bad, that was one big reason I thought I’d rather not go.
We arrived at The Summit in Fort Payne, Alabama a bit later than everyone else just as dinner was starting. It’s a beautiful home situated on top of a ridge over looking the town of Fort Payne and Lookout Mountain. It was so elegant and in such a beautiful location!
The home was originally built by the bassist for the band Alabama. Eventually, it was bought by the founder of Chick-Fil-A (a christian, who lives in Birmingham, actually!) and it’s now run as a place of respite and retreat for those in christian leadership. The staff and directors strive to make it as relaxing as possible, serving you in anyway you need. What a sweet ministry they have created!
The rest of our group of 20 had already been shown to their rooms, but we sat down immediately to dinner. Chris mentioned showing us our room while we were eating, and I told him how worried I had been about the “roommate” situation. He had a good laugh, explaining that we did have a room to ourselves, and he had been talking about which couples would get which rooms, since they all had different amenities. Well. Little did I know that I think we had one of most – if not the most – luxurious suites in the house. Chris and his wife, Kathy, were so excited to see our reaction as they took us to our room after dinner. It was stunning!
We had the Williamsburg Suite, with a fire place, a door onto the deck, and a huge bathroom with a step in whirlpool tub. WOW!
The tub was a sweet treat for me, and I enjoyed it both last night and this morning. It’s probaby 3.5 feet deep, and my tired body thorougly enjoyed soaking in the jetted water. I slept really well, too, thankfully, though on my ONE morning without Analise to awaken me early, Brian got up at 5:15 to go biking, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I lounged in bed, enjoyed some worship music and a quiet devotional time in the comfy chair and soaked before going to breakfast. (Yes, you will note that I look quite largely pregnant in the picture below. That’s how pregnancy looks on me… even at 28 weeks! I’ll post more about that another time.)
MMMMmmm… the food was great. Breakfast was homemade waffles, topped with whatever you wanted – chocolate chips, pecans, strawberries, blueberries, syrup, whipped cream. Dinner last night was great, too, followed by italian cream cake (something I’ve only had in the South – it’s wonderful!). Last night, we enjoyed some praise and worship as a group, and then just hung out together in the beautiful house. Brian was busy with a meeting this morning, and since I’m still not feeling well, I took a nap, read and just enjoyed not being needed by anyone:) It was lovely!
We had lunch with the group at Cracker Barrel before we went our separate ways, and then Brian took me on a driving tour of his bike adventure up Lookout Mountain to DeSoto State Park.
Honestly, 24 hours away was such a blessing to me. I hadn’t realized how very draining it is to be “on call” 24 hours a day/7 days a week as a mom. Chris had hoped the weekend would be more of a rest and relaxation for us to just enjoy some quiet time with God, rather than to complete a busy agenda of meetings, and it certainly served its purpose for me.
Analise had a wonderful weekend with her Grandma Beverly and Grandpa Tom. They played outside lots yesterday… and she was so worn out she slept well for them during the night, thankfully. She was happy to see us when she came home, but quite upset to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa when the left for home after dinner. She cried harder saying goodbye to them than she had at all while we were gone! (I’d like to think it was because she was tired…) Anyway, it was a blessing to us to be able to get away and enjoy some down time and be together just for a bit. I had lots more I wanted to write about earlier in the day, but I’m thorougly exhausted and feeling pretty lousy tonight, so I’ll wrap it up with the fact that I’m thankful for God’s provision of this luxurious weekend to Brian and I. I love that He knows exactly what we need and provides in unexpected ways. I know Brian’s anxious to post some pictures of his bike adventure tomorrow, so look for that!