Who doesn't love food? Especially when Cari and Laurie D. are cooking, and everyone's talking talking talking...thank you Laurie A. for finding this amazing house in Alferton, England.
Brit and Laura taking advantage of the perks. And there was a trampoline out back too!
Daniela and Lucka and me! I love these ladies. Dania's leaving the SL ranks May 16th for wedded bliss, so I'm glad we got this last hurrah. :)
Class of 2010. Right. But that's some sweet wallpaper, huh?
Just for the record--I hate single's stuff. I don't even like Kraft singles (not to be all eurosnob but is that dairy? for real) Maybe it is snobbery...I don't like admitting I have special needs, or that I'm weird. I'm weird enough anyway: the minute I open my mouth people hear my accent/I'm 35 and look much younger/I'm allergic to apples (I know right)/I'm on this comedic plane that baffles the average person. No, that's not true, that's just what I tell myself when I'm the only one laughing at my own wit. *sigh*
Anyway, I wasn't
laughing when I heard that there would be a single women's retreat this year. My reaction was "Nobody better friggin' tell me how great it is to be single." Really--I know how great it is to be single. I live it. I'm daily thankful for the amount and flexibility of time I have, for freedom from care and responsibility, for being able to do what I want, when I want...I serve, I travel, I have people over, get to read books and, you know, don't get woken up at nights by someone crying. I know
I have a lot to be thankful for...I just don't want to be told
that I do.
This retreat wasn't about singleness, thankfully. Two women from the US came and taught us about coaching (click here
for more) and had individual coaching sessions with us. Guess what the core of some of my problems ended up being? Mmmm, singleness. Ohhh, the irony. Like I said, I appreciate the benefits of being just me, but it still chafes. Sometimes I worry about what people think about me, what's going to happen when I'm 60, and mostly I worry that the freedom from responsibility becomes irresponsibility. I worry about that a lot. I also crave family and a certain type of companionship that you just can't make happen. In this area, like no other, I am helpless.
But not hopeless. The awkwardness, the loneliness, the fears--in all that there's a call to something more: higher living, purer sacrifice and deeper love. I am a long way off, but the strains are wafting down...something like Psalm 16, something like Hosea 2, something like an invitation to great joy.
Yesterday was Good Friday. At small group we talked about Jesus, free will (God never forces us to be with him--neither in this life or the next
) and I realized again how Jesus decided to love us, decided to be tortured and die for us. If he can decide that, I can decide to let my life be poured out however and for whomever he sees fit.