Monday, September 17, 2012

Quality Girl Time

There are moments like this last weekend, that I wish I could magic into something tangible that I could bottle up in a jar to save for the days and moments when life seems mundane and dreary, and nowhere near as enjoyable.

I would have bottled up the car-ride to and from Rigby, Idaho with dear friends, Taunie and Saren to a Power of Moms Retreat.
I loved the time we spent together talking about the serious things of life, and the not so serious. I loved the memory we created in a Walmart bathroom putting together a flower bouquet with everything we had just purchased... from the flower bouquets, to the pitcher, to the ribbon and scissors. We laughed at what we probably looked like, but savored the memories more than any stares from others.
I would have bottled up the feeling as the three of us sat together on a bedroom floor eating Hot Tamales and discussing our agenda for the next day. I will always savor kneeling with these women in prayer as we thanked the Lord for safety in our travels and guidance the next day.

I would have bottled up the feelings of optimism the three of us felt as we sat around a restaurant table in Brigham City late Saturday night, eating mediocre food and discussing future Power of Moms workshops and retreats.

Most of all, I wish I could have bottled up the time spent with these wonderful women on Saturday for our Idaho Power of Moms Retreat.After spending several hours in front of a computer screen prepping for such an event (emails, registrations, agendas, presentations, etc.) it is always such a reward to then spend the day mingling and learning together with wonderful women and mothers.

I mean fabulous, phenomenal, capable, deliberate mothers who all want to make a difference in their little families. These mothers here mother 164 children!! (That includes me behind the camera.)
This retreat was an extra special one for me, getting to be able to present alongside Saren Loosli. Saren and I go back 25 years or so, to a few months spent together at church in England as teenagers. I admired Saren (somewhat from a distance), even copying her hair style once at school, only to be reprimanded for the ribbons in my hair. I thought Saren was beautiful, and little did I know that 25 years later I would work so closely alongside her. What a blessing that "coincidental re-connection" almost 3 years ago has made in my life.
(I'm not quite sure what Saren is doing in that lower right photo, but it's good for a laugh!)

I wish I could bottle up the feelings of love, encouragement and gratitude that the mothers in that room felt for one another.
I wish I could bottle up my associations with these mothers I feel so much love for,  to save for the days I need a reminder that I'm not alone on my journey through motherhood.
 (Me and my dear friend Emilee who I met through the Power of Moms a few retreats ago. Love her!)
Saren, Jennifer and me--I met Jennifer at our Centerville retreat--she was instrumental in getting our delicious lunch sponsored from Gator Jacks of Rexburg, Idaho.
Me, Shannon, Saren and Stefanie--it was Shannon that got this retreat rolling by asking us to come to Idaho. We could not have done this retreat without Shannon and Stefanie's hard work. And look at those darling babies in their arms! Shannon and Stefanie did all the behind the scenes kitchen work with those babes in arms--we didn't even hear a peep from those sweet little things.

Of all the things I wish I could bottle up into a jar to remember, I wish I could remember the personal "a-ha moment" I had when this lady shared an experience with one of her children while we were in a small group discussion. It was a huge, personal light bulb moment that I felt was quite possibly the reason I was meant to go to Idaho. I wish I could bottle up the feeling around that kitchen table as this dear mother spoke from her heart, while touching my own. (More on that experience later--it deserves a blog post to itself.)
Much of the curriculum we discuss at these Power of Moms Retreats is the same each time, yet the presentation, ideas and dynamics are always different. Attending each retreat, is like experiencing it all for the first time again. I love that!

I cherish the associations I have with so many wonderful women through the Power of Moms. I leave every retreat feeling encouraged and renewed.  I wish I could have bottled up the renewed hope, encouragement and peace I felt this weekend about my own mothering to save for times like...

Today, when I just saw the state of my girls' bedroom that they obviously ignored before they went to school, and my 3 year old that has a severe case of crankiness.

Thank goodness for memories.

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