Monday, September 15, 2008

Fourth Day

I have not been blogging because I have been gone. And when I say gone, I mean GONE. I spent Thursday night- Sunday night at Camp Sumatanga in Nowhere (fine- Gallant), Alabama. This is the United Methodist camp in North Alabama. Jason has been to church camp many times here growing up, but I had never been there. I was there participating in my Walk to Emmaus.

This is a spiritual retreat (for all Christians- you don't have to be Methodist) that I have been looking forward to for a while. Jason went in February and I had to reschedule my first planned trip in March. It tells you a little about how popular it is that I got rescheduled to SEPTEMBER! Part of the Walk to Emmaus is leaving behind the world to really focus on God. No phones, no watches, no TV, newspaper, BLOGS, you get it. Absolutely no link to reality. I don't know why I was SOOO resistant to this. (Maybe it's my control issue that I'm working on...), but once I got there and got settled, I didn't even notice it. I thought I would want to call home all the time, but I honestly didn't. And I didn't miss my e-mail... although I did reach for my iPhone about a dozen times on Friday- just a habit... I'm addicted.

The point of the weekend is to bring you closer to God and make you a leader in your home church. But I got so much more out of it. It is truly an amazing place and an overwhelming experience. Everything you do has a reason. Everything is planned, prayed over and practiced for up to a YEAR before you get there. I was super impressed with all the presentations, teams, food, food, food (there was a little bit of food- let's just say I haven't weighed myself) and people. But that wasn't what was so overwhelming. God was there. He truly was there. He showed up and showed off! Through songs, talks, amazing stories of His love and new women who I'm honored to call my friends. This is not just a retreat. If you know me in real life AT ALL, you know that I'm not hokey. I don't like cheesy things. I didn't even hold hands in public with boys until I met my hubby. So, I'm not exaggerating or sentimentalizing. This experience was unbelievable.

A lot of what you do at an Emmaus Walk is kept secret. Not because it is a cult or it is weird, but because everyone needs to experience it for themselves and there are several surprises that should not be ruined. Like I said before, Jason went in February and we stayed up until midnight talking about it all last night. I can't believe he kept so much a secret for 7 months!!! He just wanted me to have as wonderful of an experience as he did. And we could have talked longer if we weren't both exhausted!! But, if you are interested, just e-mail me and I'll be happy to explain or answer any questions that you have.

If you're interested in the Emmaus story, it's very cool and takes place at Jesus's resurrection. As you can imagine, I've heard a little about it this weekend. Here's the story.

There are many "Emmaus terms" that you learn about and learn what they mean. DeColores is a bumper sticker that you might have seen and that's an Emmaus thing.

The stickers we have look different than this, but before I knew about Emmaus, I saw these everywhere and had no clue what they where! Another big one is Fourth Day. I don't think I'm giving away any big secrets to reveal this one so you understand what the title of the post means. Since the Emmaus Walk is 3 days, you have to go back into the world on the 4th day. Every day after your walk can be considered your Fourth Day... get it? So, today is my actual 4th day and the rest of my days will be considered 4th days- what you do after this awesome experience. Today was pretty great as far as that goes, but I have a lot of work to do to get where I need and want to be with God. I'll keep you updated.

While I was gone, Owen had his first 2 soccer games! I know- sob, sob- but I didn't want to reschedule my walk again and I have a feeling that I will see about 4, 382 soccer games in my life. So, Jason (aka Superdad) got both kids to the games, had Owen dressed and ready- and they even had pictures on Saturday!! Talk about pressure! To top it off he took some great pictures.

Poor little brother is along for the ride- as always. I asked Jason how he managed his nap on Saturday morning since the game was during his normal nap time. He thought about it and said... "Hmmm. I guess he didn't have a morning nap." And since I'm working on my control thing- it didn't even bother me!

Owen in action- he's on the far left:

And this is Jason's favorite picture. Two of the kids on the yellow team fell on top of each other on accident. Owen saw it and thought it was a great opportunity for a dog pile! Hilarious! I wish I could have seen that!!So thanks to many people for making this wonderful weekend possible. I'd like to give a shout out to my sponsor (and dear friend) Gina and all the girls that took us down there and brought us home: Beth, Lisa, Amanda, Jenny and Heather. And my friend Trina who was there with me- we didn't sit together, but it was so nice to have at least one familiar face! And of course to sweet Jason who pushed me out the door to go- and Connie and Irv who helped him this weekend. (Have I gotten an Emmy and I didn't know it??) OK- sorry for the acceptance speech, but I am so truly thankful for the experience. It was awesome!


Sherill said...

De Colores!!!!!

annieck said...

That sounds really cool. I've never heard of it. I'm definitely interested! Please let me know more, my friend. :)

Donna said...

How wonderful for you Hill! I've always wondered what those de colores bumper stickers meant- I've seen them everywhere! I know your family will benefit from mommy getting "filled" spiritually- we all need retreats to regroup!

mary caroline said...

What an amazing experience! Feel free to add me to your blog list and I will do the same :) I loved the soccer pictures too! I told Holly I wanted to post a picture of her bump on my blog and she laughed...I will keep working on that one. Yes we should all get together soon!

LeAnne said...

LOVE the soccer pictures and I'm sure you are right that there are many years of soccer mom superstar ahead of you!! I am so happy you had such a fabulous weekend...isn't it great to have an awesome support system in place so you can do things for yourself with no worries!! Good for you!!

holly said...

De Colores! Can't believe I missed this post! I must've been MIA during that time preparing for our Cursillo weekend which was 9/25-28. Here is the site for our 'local' Cursillo...LOVE IT!

Jenn said...

My husband came home last night from his walk, and I leave for mine on Thursday. Hope your 4th day is wonderful in everyway!

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