I’m excited to announce that our registration is half full. That is mind boggling, humbling and causes me to reflect back on our growth over the past four years; I praise the Lord for the work he has done in the lives of families.
We started in 2016 at The Hideaway, and we were only CME (Community*Motivation*Education). We contracted for half the building, our main meeting room being one we now use for break out sessions. 27 women from four states attended, and there were no men. Every session was a plenary; there were no break-outs. Jennifer talked me out of buying microwave popcorn. Almost everyone showed up for Karen’s nature walk, and Sarah L. started our beautiful name tag tradition. Silvia endlessly helped with the website and created our beautiful CMER logo from Heather’s water color of Garden of the Gods. I planned to print everything at home, but I woke up the morning of the retreat to the blue screen of death. A neighbor’s laptop and Tri Lakes Printing came to the rescue.
In 2017, in an effort to save money and reduce registration fees, we moved to the Ponderosa. We became CMER (Community*Motivation*Education*Reflection). 28 guests, among them one spouse, attended from four different states. We had our first spouses’ evening with a dads’ panel and dancing, and we had our first book sale. Christy took over hospitality, which was a great blessing, and Misty joined us as a speaker, figuring out how to do so with her young twins. While the Ponderosa was beautiful, it didn’t foster well our mission, and we made the decision to return to The Hideaway.
In 2018, we contracted all of The Hideaway. This was a big step, as it meant we needed to double our numbers. We praised God as we had 62 guests (including 12 spouses) from 12 different states. For the first time we invited a speaker from outside the team, and Nancy Kelly shared much wisdom, laughter (her workshop on imagination will never be the same), and tears. Sarah J. took over hospitality, continuing to fend off the microwave popcorn, and Rebecca took over all the handouts. Teens volunteered, helping with registration, finding rooms, and carrying luggage.
We are now preparing for 2019. Jason and Amy Fiedler graciously accepted our invitation to speak. Rebecca completely redesigned our website, Sarah J. is taking on hospitality again, and Katrina is joining us as our teen volunteer coordinator. What will we learn? What stories will we have to share? We come with so many hopes and expectations. We look forward to what the Lord has in store for us.