Thursday, May 09, 2013

Seaside Escape, Part 3

Just before arriving at Sandy Cove, Linda mentioned that her husband was a bit sad about the timing of the retreat. Their 17th anniversary would be Saturday .She said he's the more romantic one and she knew he'd call on Saturday, missing her. I thought that was sweet; Paul and I haven't been ones to feel any need to call each other when we're on a retreat.

Friday night's icebreaker (after our time of singing and being welcomed) was clever. On the back table were about 70 water bottles. We each took one at random (there were no names on them) and carefully peeled off the label to find a question printed on the underside. The idea was to go around and ask your question of  people you didn't know (which meant I had 68 choices)  and vice versa. My question was, "Volleyball on the beach, or a stroll along the beach. Which suits you best?"  I corrected the grammar when I read it aloud, of course.  It should have said, "Which suits you better?" because only two things are being compared.

At any rate, given that I fell off my porch the weekend before, I had proved I couldn't walk without twisting an ankle, let alone play volleyball. In fact, it was a game of volleyball --back in the spring of 1995--that I sustained an avulsion fracture in that same left ankle. (It's never been the same since.)

Under that label was also a number, and that number indicated which "Escape Group" you were in. (My 11 year-old son said it sounds more like prison buddies.) But going with the theme, your escape group had 5-6 women you'd meet with for about an hour after every main session. Mine happened to include Linda, which was by God's design that I got to know her better without making a  pest of myself by purposefully shadowing her all weekend.

Our escape group included a grandmother of 12, a college student, a homeschooling mother of four, Linda (also a grandmother) and me.  In a few short  talks, we got to know each other quickly, as women do.  I feelsorry for men; they just don't seem to get it. They can know each other for 12 years and never know how long the other guy's wife was in labor. Nor care. We women found out that half of us had lost children before, soon after, or years after their birth. We learned a lot by talking, and even more by listening. I have to say I did a lot of listening on purpose; in one session I walked away content that not a question had been asked of me, but I had learned a few things about the other five women. That was God working in me to shut me up in a gracious way, because when I get nervous, I can talk a lot and all about myself. And isn't that annoying to be around someone like that? I actively listened and actively shut my mouth, more often than not this weekend. And it felt good.

(to be continued)


Lea Culp said...

What a neat way to get to know your Escape group. I'll have to remember that idea.

Your comment about purposely not talking much reminded me of what my Dad always says, we have two ears and one mouth and that means we should listen a whole lot more than we talk. Sure is hard to do sometimes

Looking forward to Part 4......

Beth Zimmerman said...

Sounds like a wonderful retreat. I could use one of those myself!

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