A friend recently asked me to help her with a retreat that the church is hosting in November. My task is relatively simple, mostly because I’ve done it before (prayer stations), so I readily agreed. Plus, it’s nice to do something, to have a goal and work with others to accomplish it. Plus, I just love thinking on these things. She showed me her leaders guide and I nearly piddled on the floor. With my love of “curriculum” I should have been a teacher.

So, in typical me-fashion, I’ve over-thought the whole stinkin’ thing. Well, not my part. I haven’t given too much consideration to it… that’ll come the week before. But the big picture thinking. That’s what I love most. The what-ifing.

This morning I read through the lesson with which I’ll be affiliated. Bread of life = Jesus. Check. The program is designed (and it’s probably a big selling point) so that it doesn’t require *too* much prep on the part of the presenters – it provides main points, questions to think on and scripture. Presenters pretty much just fill in the gap. Presto. Insta-retreat.

And honestly, for a group of women-folk, that’s probably all that is needed. We’re all there for the brownies and the chatter, right? I mean, the music and the messages are good and fortifying, but a bulk of the “spirit moving” generally comes around dinner and in the late night. The sessions catalyze those conversations. So, these thoughts aren’t a critique of the curriculum. It is meeting it’s intended purpose.

But.

With me, there’s always a big but. Like I said, I like playing the what if game. What if… the retreat was focused on the real issues that women face? What if the questions we asked were more relative to day-to-day life? I mean, I do need to focus on Jesus as Bread of Life; however, I have a bigger struggle with the bread of sourdough than of life. I mean, there’s a real connection between women, food and God. There’s even a book about it (I’m 299 in the queue to read it). Perhaps diving into discussion about that bread would illicit an authentic conversation about what it means to be the Bread of Life. But then again, maybe I’ve just been to too many Revolve tours.

So after pondering this, I wondered… (like I said, what-ifing): What are the topics that seem specific to women and their spiritual life? Not just how to squeeze in a prayer time (though topics of that nature have their place). I started thinking… what if when a bunch of women got together they talked about their real struggles and then focused on steering that conversation toward the spiritual. You know, Given A [what I experience in life] and Given B [what I know to be true about God], Then C [what does that mean for my life choices, future experience and, specifically for women – my emotion about them].

So I’m compiling a list. If I were to sell a Woman’s Retreat in a Box, what would make my table of contents? 

1. If you wish to eat that last blueberry cake donut you’ll have to pry it from my dead fingers because I need this to make my day a bit brighter
2. Mom jeans, minivans and spitup on my shoulder: how to accept your place in life without giving up completely
3. To quote an ultimate girl-fest (SITC 2): “Yes, I love my children dearly, but I need to be more than a mom.”
4. Whoa, Bitchfest 2010. Let’s bring it down a notch, k? (I’m not sure Zondervan would go for my vernacular, but anyone who has seen me in my element knows that it’s probably the most accurate terminology).
5. When everything’s not “fine”. And how to communicate that.
6. It’s more than a paycheck, but less than “my life”.
7. The value of a good hobby. 

I haven’t thought on this enough, but it’s getting a bit too late, so I’ll open the floor for suggestions. 

Visit me elsewhere: