Yesterday, we awoke to absolute gorgeous weather....sunny with no humidity. For those of us in the south, this is almost unheard of in August. We were so excited because we were dropping off the kids at Steve's parents at noon, then enjoying a leisurely lunch without screaming kids, and then driving up to Camp Sumatanga with our Sunday school class.
Camp Sumatanga is a wonderful camp about 45 miles north of Birmingham with a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, as well as various places to sleep, dependent on how much you want to "rough it." Of course we all wanted air conditioning, and since we had a group of 18, they put our entire group in one of their retreat centers. As soon as we arrived, the men broke off to play football, and the girls got ready to go canoeing. We were all so excited to enjoy the beautiful afternoon, but unfortunately they didn't have a lifeguard on duty so we couldn't canoe or swim. Oh well, we just walked around the lake and chit-chatted. About an hour later, the boys showed up sweaty and sore and we hung out a little longer before breaking to shower and get ready for dinner.
When we regrouped we got together for a lesson on the "5 Love Languages" led by one of our members, Lyndsey. She did a great job, and we all participated and tried to determine how better to communicate with our spouses. After a very marginal dinner, we went to a great bonfire for just our group. It was a perfect night for it, being that it was a little cooler, so we enjoyed a couple adult beverages and hung out more. One of the guys in the class, Chris, plays in a band and entertained us with some singing and guitar playing. Of course we all tried to sing along, but it wasn't the best singing. But at that point in the evening it didn't matter....we were having fun and getting to know each other better.
Alisha, one of our members who was unable to attend last minute, packed us all of the s'mores fixins so we felt like kids at a campfire!
We had a great group go from our class! We have a very fun class, with over 30 couples, all close in age and in a similar stage in life (married with at least one child). Of course, trying to get everyone to go was impossible, since several couples have recently had babies, or are expecting shortly, but we were able to get about third of them to commit, so I was happy.
This morning it was even cooler, so after breakfast, we drove up to a little open air chapel to do our other lesson that Chris had prepared. Though we had the place to ourselves, and the view was wonderful...it was very chilly for those of us in short and t-shirts. But after learning more ways to better our relationships...I felt great! Chris did a wonderful job combining two books and pulling Bible verses that were applicable to the lesson.
Overall, our class had a GREAT time (or at least we did)! Steve and I feel quite lucky to have joined the "Journey" class at its inception and to have made such wonderful friendships these past three years. We are hoping to make this an annual retreat, and hopefully we can have even better participation next year!