You know that feeling when you come home from an amazing trip and you start going through withdrawals? That’s what’s been happening here last week since returning from the Connect Retreat at Winshape in Rome Georgia. King-size bed withdrawals. Sleeping In withdrawals. Chick-fil-a mint withdrawals. Being surrounded by new close friend withdrawals. *Sigh* It’s bittersweet when a good thing comes to an end, but even sweeter for us is the lasting impact of everything that happend at the retreat, the lasting friendships that were made, and the renewed relationship with each other and with God. We wanted to share a little more about the retreat this morning and, perhaps a little selfishly, relive through some of the experiences a little more :).
[Group Photo at Connect Retreat by Allen Adams Photography]
Kyle and I had been anxiously awaiting the Connect retreat since we found out we would be attending in March. As it was the first year for this retreat to take place, and honestly the first of it’s kind we weren’t exactly sure what to expect [I don't think you could narrow down the niche more than a marriage retreat for Christian spouses who are photographers and work together! awesome!]. We did, however, know two things: we needed to make a change in how our business was run together, and in our priorities as a couple and as a family.
I can’t even describe to you how our expectations of this retreat were just blown. Everything we could’ve even imagined WAY surpassed what we thought. And from getting to know the other 42 couples at the retreat, there was a general hum unanimous in this opinion. The retreat was hosted at the stunning retreat center – Winshape, in Rome Georgia - and although we knew it was going to be beautiful from the photos, words cannot describe the once french-inspired dairy farm from the 1930′s that has been transformed into this amazing backdrop where marriages are constantly being transformed and renewed. If the beauty of the location were not enough, the southern hospitality and genuine kindness of all the staff was moving and inspiring to say the least.
Throughout our week at the retreat, Kyle and I were able to meet and befriend so so many amazing couples. It’s an incredible thing being in a place with 40+ other couples who are also married, share your same key values, are also photographers, and also work together. Somehow, when you have all those things in common with another couple right off the bat, it’s so much easier to let walls down and connect quickly in real ways. It was such an unexpected blessing I had no idea I needed. After hearing different speakers talking about things that impact you straight to the heart – it’s nice to be filled with a room full of couples feeling the same and being connected with an incredible small group to debrief, speak openly with and support.
[Our incredible Small Group and New Friends. Photo by Finest Moments Photography]
And the speakers! Zach and Jody, Mike and Rachel, Micheal and Katelyn, Jeff and Julia, and Nathan and Jane all have such a special place in our hearts after last week. As photographers, the photography couples were definitely well respected by us and others in the industry by the amazing things they have done in their businesses. What we didn’t expect was the amazing testimonies of their marriages and life experiences that would be so so much deeper impacting in our lives. We will be so forever grateful for these couples for speaking openly, earnestly, and honestly despite the possible fear of others seeing the real them. We were able to see the way God used them last week in our own marriage, but also in the marriages of so so many others. Also, the marriage counsel team; Nathan and Jane taught us so much that has helped Kyle and I understand each other even more and just continues to strengthen our relationship together. Yay! : )
There is so much goodness to say – and a lot we are still processing a week later!! If you’d like hearing more about it check it out here. Or let’s go grab some coffee – we’d love to chat and truly can’t get enough coffee goodness so really that’s a win-win- win : )
happy friday y’all! xox