Family life · Refreshment · womanhood

The Blessing of a Sister Retreat

Sisters, sisters
There were never such devoted sisters…

I had the joy of going on a four-day Sister Retreat  last week!  This is the third time my two sisters and I have had the chance to get away together.  We started these “retreats” eleven years ago and have had three totally different kinds of events each time.

The first retreat was  a trip to New York City!  We made a long weekend of it and did all the highlights of the city!  The next time we retreated, we went to a special place – Fairhaven Ministries, near my home and stayed in a little chalet.  We walked the trails, we cooked, we prayed.

This year’s retreat was also fairly near my home.  My sisters traveled from Kentucky to Tennessee and we drove less than an hour to go to a lovely cottage on a lake.  The setting is beautiful because the mountains are at the water’s edge.  It’s also a place my husband and I have stayed many times and have had such sweet times of respite.  This was the perfect location for Sister Retreat #3!

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The weather was forecasted to rain every day, but there was only one day of continual precipitation.  On that day, we stayed in and rested, read, played games, napped and chatted the day away! God answered our prayers and gave us some lovely sunshine on all the other days!

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Someone asked me if we were bored.  Hardly! It felt really good to do pretty much nothing.  Even though we were all home for all the weeks prior to our retreat, we are homemakers, wives, and grandmothers, all roles that keep us busy. Plus, my twin sister and I are both pastor’s wives, so we’ve been busy with ministry even during the virus.  We slept in, we made homemade cards, we watched War Room and Anne of Green Gables.

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We brought food with us for breakfast and lunch.  For my part of the food, I brought beef enchiladas all ready to pop into the oven for our first meal.  I also made my family’s favorite Easy Banana Bread and Baked Oatmeal Cups for breakfast.  I also mixed up Chicken Salad for sandwiches. We did go out for our noon meal a couple of days, and were thankful that many of the restaurants in our area have opened up again.  I found a diner-type place that had delicious seafood!  It is the Mayflower in Elizabethton.  If you’re in the area, you need to check it out!

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We talked.  A lot. We laughed. We cried.We prayed.

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Why do we have these retreats?

  1. We want to stay connected with one another.  We have always been a close family, and are so thankful for the bond we share.  It’s easy as you age to get so caught up in your children and then grandchildren that you lose sight of the need to maintain a relationship with your siblings.  We want to stay close and we realize that times with just the three of us is essential in making that happen.
  2. We need the “girl time.”  We do have times together as a whole family a couple times a year, but when it’s just the three of us, we can have real conversations that are uninterrupted.
  3. We need one another. Women need women!  Who can understand you like your sister?  Dear friends come close, but a sister knows where you’ve come from and what you struggle with.  We want to share our burdens, pray together and be there for each other. Spending a few days together allows us to know how to support one another better as the years pass.
  4. We need the fun! We’ve had some side-splitting laughs when we’ve gotten together.  God’s Word says that laughter is good medicine, and we have experienced the healing benefits of it!

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The Lord knew the timing of our retreat would be perfect after all the weeks of quarantine and social distancing!  Each of us needed this time together so much.  We came home closer to one another, refreshed spiritually, physically and emotionally.  Sisters, sisters, there were never more devoted sisters!

If you have siblings, keep the connection with them, or refresh it if distance has come in any form or fashion.  Family is a precious gift, and I think most of us have learned to appreciate it even more in these last several months.  Don’t lose sight of its blessing.

Here’s a post from our second retreat, including the recipes we each made.  We always eat well!!

denise a

16 thoughts on “The Blessing of a Sister Retreat

  1. My sisters and I started doing this several years ago. It is even more important since our youngest sister was killed a year ago. You are so right that we get busy with life and really need to take time. Our next trip is a train trip to New Orleans in October. Your trip looks perfect!

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    1. Oh, Sharon, I”m so sorry to hear you lost your sister. I can’t imagine the pain of that loss. I’m sure these outings are truly special as you connect and remember your sister. I trust your trip to New Orleans will be special!

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      1. Yes, but sadly, there have been a lot of years that we weren’t able to get our schedules to work together, so we’ve only had three trips. ☹️

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  2. Are you and your twin identical? If not, you are pretty close. I do think Whitney looks a lot like her twin aunt…..and of course you.

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