Many years ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to a ministry named 'Above Rubies.' Honestly it took me awhile to fully embrace all its principals. A woman named Nancy Campbell started Above Rubies over 30 years ago to encourage women in their calling as godly wives and mothers. I've read the magazine faithfully, every time it was printed and sent out, and I've even given away many extra copies. I've purchased some of Nancy's books as well as CDs and given them as shower gifts, wedding gifts and gifts for new mothers.
This was my 3rd retreat and I was so blessed to finally bring all our girls along. This retreat was a good price and it was not too far to drive (just under 7 hours). We were all so blessed by Nancy (and her daughters- 3 of them were there) and I met some wonderful women whom I hope to be friends with for a very long time. A few women there had children from Liberia- so that was another common bond. We talked together, prayed together and laughed (A LOT) together. It was a nice time of sharing and encouraging.
If you've never heard of this ministry, I encourage you to check it out. Two of Nancy's daughters have very talented singers and have many music CDs out. Another daughter is a powerful speaker/preacher! Nancy has many books, preaching CDs and DVDs available as well as her husband, Collin. Her magazines are free (or by donation)- she does not charge anything for her ministry. The magazine gets printed as the money comes in. The Campbell family are originally from New Zealand, by way of Austrailia, by way of Tennessee. I've gotten to know the women (and some of the children) over the years and they are so wonderfully sweet! If you can get to a women's retreat or family retreat- GO! You will surely be blessed! Check out Nancy here. http://www.aboverubies.org/
Praying for someone...
Something you don't see all the time, moms with their kids... the children were welcome there and mothering was expected (not 'put up with'). It was a nice change of pace to see lots of moms with LOTS of kids...we didn't stand out because of our size! :)
I brought beads and glittery 'pipe cleaners' along for the girls to make bracelets. What an easy way to make friends! 'Anybody wanna make a bracelet?'
My 9 year old won these cool bendy things as a door prize. All the girls were having a blast making things out of them. This little girl's name is Engedi (she's from Liberia), she is one of Nancy's grandaughters. Precious, precious girl!
Lots of mamas with their girls...
This wasn't from our retreat weekend, but I couldn't resist it. I LOVE bathtub pics just about as much as I love sleeping-baby pics!
My bathing-baby-bathtub helper...