Good Reminders

by tinareale on February 6, 2013

A few friends of mine had joined a group last fall called Birds On A Wire. When the spring semester registration time rolled around they asked me to join. Since I’m always game for connecting with other mothers, growing my faith, and spending time with good friends I signed up. I also signed up for the Birds On A Wire weekend retreat before ever even attending a single group meeting. I knew my friends planned to attend and figured I can always use a weekend away with the girls.

I didn’t know going into the weekend exactly what it would hold or just how much I would enjoy myself, but it surpassed any possible expectations. I had the pleasure of spending days surrounded by strong, beautiful, caring women as well as feeling closer to my heavenly Father. Pretty powerful stuff I have to say.

I thought about doing a full play by play recap, but that’s not really my style. I personally prefer to focus on the highlights, the things that struck a chord with me, and the insights I gained through the experience. Come along with me as I reflect on such a wonderful weekend?

1. Not having to cook makes me feel pretty darn pampered.


The Winshape Retreat Center where the events were held did a fantastic job of spoiling us with delicious food morning, noon, and night. They served up a delicious meal for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner while on their grounds. They had the most guest service minded people caring for each woman along the way. An entire weekend with such treatment? Makes you feel appreciated and special…something that a lot of times you’re on the opposite end of as a mom.

2. I need to get outdoors more often.




The grounds of the retreat were beautiful, nestled in the Berry College campus in north Georgia. We were surrounded by fields, open skies, mountains, and lots of nature.

On Saturday afternoon during our free time, my friends and I went exploring. We visited the Old Mill on the Berry College campus and the House of Dreams. Many of the grounds and sights were built by students of Berry College in the early 1900s. The school and area continue to emphasize that sense of community and a simpler way of life. Surrounding ourselves with that all weekend had me craving more time doing favorite pastimes of hiking, being in nature, and taking a slower pace in life

3. Getting ridiculous is very freeing.

The first night of the retreat, the head of Birds On A Wire, Karen, and her group had planned a hilariously unexpected evening of fun for us all to get to know each other a bit more. We learned this crazy dance called the “Wop” (apparently it’s the new hit thing) to loosen us all up because we knew how ridiculous we looked. We also took the first night creating crazy outfits and stories for a fashion show using only the contents of a bag we received.


These activities served to break us out of our comfort zones, break down barriers, and really get us connected with each other before heading into some deeper stuff for the weekend.Learning that we can all let loose, act silly, and not judge each other for it freed us the rest of the weekend.

No woman is perfect. We’re all a little crazy in our own ways. Yet we can still be who we are, who God created us to be, and love each other for it. FREEING!

4. We need boundaries. 

Saturday morning included a few various sessions followed up with good group discussions. Part of that included a discussion on boundaries. We went over various areas where we, as moms, sometimes struggle to set boundaries. The session summed up that having zero limits to what we think we can handle inevitably will leave us pouring ourselves out so much that we end up empty. Hmmmm? Sound familiar? I guess God wanted to confirm that message He’s been sending one more time. Haha!

5. We each get filled back up in different ways. Find yours.

After learning about how we can pour ourselves out too much, it was time to determine the best way to fill ourselves back up again. What do we need in order to have the strength for all that we and others expect of us? God’s strength. I know that too well. Karen discussed that while we know we need God, sometimes we don’t know the way we personally connect best with God. Because we are all different!

We took a survey to help us determine our personal styles of connecting with God. The results didn’t really surprise me (I love worship and connecting in prayer/study – aka I’m a relational person with God).

picture from the evening of worship where I totally got into it and, yep, cried

Even though the results didn’t shock me, it felt good to affirm the ways I connect best so I can focus on those areas when I start to feel drained. Here is the survey we took if anyone is interested.

6. When you find friends who bring out the best in you, surround yourself with them and find ways to grow closer to them.



I’ve only really gotten to know the friends I shared time with on this trip in the past five months. Already I can tell God placed them in my life for a reason. I need good, close girlfriends. For a long time I only had one really close friend (who is still my best friend), but I recognize how much I hope to deepen these other relationships and thank God for putting them in my life. If you’re reading, ladies, know I love you!

Told you…pretty stellar weekend with lots of good reminders. I hope they were good ones for you too. And, if you’re in the north Atlanta area, I can’t rave enough about Birds On A Wire and think you should get involved. Who knows? Maybe we’ll bump into each other at next year’s retreat! I know I plan to be there.

How do you rejuvenate and “fill yourself up”? What’s the last way you got ridiculous with some friends?


1 Miz February 6, 2013 at 7:04 am

I need this and am so hoping to find in my new CA spiritual community, too.

2 Kareen February 6, 2013 at 7:16 am

Sounds like an excellent time and you’re right, what can be better than spending time with friends, feeling pampered and getting closer to our Heavenly Father. My first women’s Christian retreat was such a wonderful experience. I need to do that more often. Thanks for the reminders.

3 Tara | Treble in the Kitchen February 6, 2013 at 9:07 am

Not having to cook makes me feel pampered too! :) I am so glad that your are finding an amazing group of girlfriends…it truly means the world to have a good group to fall back on :)

4 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast February 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

Sounds so refreshing physcially, emotionally and spiritually. What a beautiful location! I’d be curious to do that survey- I’m not sure what my results would be. So glad you had this time to recharge!

5 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries February 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

It sounds perfect! I think we all need some time to breakaway from the craziness of life to just breathe, worship God, and be in fellowship with others. So glad you got that!

6 Melanie @ Nutritious Eats February 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

Sounds like a fabulous weekend. I am sure you know the feeling as a mom, we just don’t have a lot of alone time and I think it is so rejuvenating when you have time to just think and take care of yourself. If only I could figure out how to get more alone time! ;)

7 Sharla February 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

That retreat ceter looks amazing! Sounds like a great weekend. I can definitely relate to #6. I have a small group of girls who are also my sisters in Christ and they serve such an amazing role in my life – I am so grateful for them!

8 rachel @runningrachel February 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

Yay! That looks amazing! I am fairly new to my area and am doing my best to plug in to my new church.. get involved… and make new friendships with similar core faith values. I LOVE that you were able to get away, plug-in, refresh and unwind!!

9 Leonor February 6, 2013 at 10:35 am

I am totally jealous of your weekend!

10 deva by definition February 6, 2013 at 10:49 am

I rejuvenate and “fill up” by spending time by myself working out or by sitting on my sofa with a good book and a cup of cocoa, tea, or coffee. I have been doing the She Reads Truth devotionals and those have been filling my heart, too. I am a solitary person, so study with others pushes me just a bit and helps me find community. That is why I like my small group.

11 tinareale February 7, 2013 at 6:54 am

I love curling up on the couch with my study time and a cup of tea or coffee. It’s the best, isn’t it?

12 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions February 6, 2013 at 10:56 am

Sounds like it was a powerful weekend! I’m glad you were able to have a chance to rejuvenate and connect with the women around you. I think building and maintaining relationships with others (including God!) is such an integral part to our overall health and wellness, so I’m glad to see that you were able to dedicate some time to doing just that :)

13 Lauren February 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

Incredible reminders! It’s always so relieving to escape from our normal routine and live in the moment of life sometimes. Thanks for sharing these beautiful thoughts!

14 Lisa February 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

That cottage is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it.

15 jobo February 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Wow wow wow, WHAT a weekend!! I love how you wrote this, not play by play, but overall a-ha moment and takeaways. I LOVE that one about how we pour ourselves out too much (hi, such an offender here too!) and feel empty. Love love love these words and that you shared them with us, I really need this reminder too often that it’s ok to back off, set boundaries, reset ‘living’ in a sense.

16 bree February 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

love this. you are so inspiring Tina!

17 [email protected] February 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

not having to cook…..ahhhhhhhh :)

18 Linz @ Itz Linz February 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Looks like an awesome retreat!! The outdoors can be so peaceful and serene!!

19 [email protected] February 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Pretty awesome. I haven’t had a spiritual experience like that since I went through a confirmation retreat during high school, but I still vividly remember how powerful it was and how amazing I felt afterwards. I love your number 6. Growing up, you learn a lot about yourself but also a lot about the relationships that you appreciate most. Having good girlfriends with good hearts and intentions is vital for every woman. Thanks for sharing this!

20 [email protected] Palate February 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I need to spend more time outdoors…top form of rejuvenation! Spending time with my niece is always a great way to fill my heart right to the brim with love and joy; and getting silly with my mum and her 4 sisters!

21 tinareale February 7, 2013 at 6:56 am

I always love how involved you are with your niece. She’s a lucky little girl to have such love. :)

22 [email protected] Palate February 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

Thanks Tina! She’s such a little joy!

23 purelymichelle February 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I am trying to get outdoors more too! Lately being going on 10-15 min walks with my mom ;)

24 Jess February 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I LOVE the idea of ‘getting ridiculous’ more often — the idea of just letting go, being goofy, ridiculous, free is SO enticing to me. Which makes me think I definitely need to do a LOT more of this…that and getting outdoors more often, even in the craptastic yucky new england winter weather. :)

25 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Wow! What an awesome experience. I need something like this. Not just to get away (and not cook) but to reconnect with others.

26 Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit February 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Weekends with the girls are the best. Such an awesome experience you had! That little cottage with the wheel is, like…picture perfect.

27 Heather @ Better With Veggies February 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

That sounds so amazing!! I really want to find a group like that here, but for a woman with no kids it’s often a challenge. So much is built around being a mother that I do sometimes feel a little left out. I’m sure God has something planned that I just have to be patient and wait for. He always works on patience in me…I’m a slow learner. ;)

28 tinareale February 7, 2013 at 6:58 am

Just like I’m a slow learner with cramming too much into my life. Haha! ;)

Do they not have any women’s only groups that aren’t related to motherhood? I host a group of women every other week and, while a lot of us are moms, there are definitely a few who aren’t and they are just as welcome and the discussion isn’t focused on kids/motheriing. Hope you find something soon! Until then, always feel free to chat me. :)

29 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food February 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Sounds like you had an amazing, beautiful, and reflective weekend…which, I’m sure was much needed! The site looked so beautiful, too! :)

30 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf February 7, 2013 at 12:18 am

Sounds like you had an amazing experience and what a beautiful setting for the weekend! It’s incredible when you find a group of friends like that and can spend time together like that. Girlfriends like that are so important for the soul too.

31 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) February 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

Gosh, I feel more rejuvenated just from reading about your experience. Whenever I’m in need of a reboot, I find time outdoors does it for me, too. Bring in nature, especially the mountains, pushes my reset button and leaves me with a new sense of perspective. I’m aching to get up to Asheville now. I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip!

32 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers February 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

Great reminders! I’m glad you had a good trip. It looks like a lot of fun!

33 Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness February 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Sounds like you had an awesome weekend with many important reminders! Glad you got some time to refill! For me, my rejuvenating comes from being outside in the sun doing any kind of activity – something about light and warmth is so energizing and healing!

34 Katie @peacebeme February 8, 2013 at 12:23 am

Loved this post Tina!

35 Danica @ It's Progression February 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

Sounds like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing the link to that survey–it was interesting to see what results it gave me!

36 jassy February 10, 2013 at 8:04 am

glad that there are activities like that in your area :) keep the faith :)

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