The Casting Dock

A much anticipated retreat that fully delivered.

You know those little get-aways that are just perfectly timed? The ones that provide the exact thing you’re needing at the precise moment that you need it? They fill your tank in such a way that you realize just how low it had previously been and how oblivious you were to the steady decline. Well, this was it for me: a very, very well-timed and highly anticipated retreat to Maine with some of my favorite people.

I feel so overwhelmingly grateful for the friends I made in college (some of whom were not present on this trip…). When I come away from time spent with this group, I feel encouraged, refreshed, and, as trite as it sounds, inspired. I feel inspired by the people they are (and the incredible people they’ve chosen as life partners), the convictions they both hold and live by, the different things they have accomplished or are working towards, and the way in which they engage life, dream big, and care for others along the way. I know that sounds cheesy and melodramatic, but I am always amazed at how I leave their company thinking more deeply and passionately about life and feeling energized to tackle it with a clearer vision and more renewed purpose. Inspiration really does sum it up well.

I am fascinated by the group phenomenon, by the notion of a whole being more than the sum of its parts, by group dynamics, cohesion, identity–the whole social psychological study of it. Somehow the dynamics of this group pay both instant and longterm dividends. I have SO. MUCH. FUN. with them. It’s fun-loving, laughter-filled, and generally sports- or games-infused (my style!). Conversations flow naturally, weaving seamlessly between casual chatter and more meaningful topics, and there’s a real sense of authenticity in every interaction. Instant dividends. But then in the longterm, I am left revisiting past conversations, thinking about different implications, and trying to apply strengths that I’ve recognized and admired in others to myself and my life. Basically just trying to harness that inspiration into something tangibly beneficial, both for myself and for others. Longterm dividends.

It is truly my hope and prayer that everyone has friends such as these who will encourage and inspire you and yet will also sled down a hill with you on an air mattress greased up with vegetable oil just for the fun of it (insert your fun equivalent if that sounds horribly unintriguing or just juvenile. It might’ve been a little of the latter, but man was it fun. See for yourself here!)

3 comments

1 Jer { 02.08.11 at 9:05 am }

Sledding down the hill on an air mattress was juvenile until it actually worked. Then it was awesome.

And let the record show that body sledding works…kind of. Sure, wearing a greased up trash bag for a shirt and taking a running start help, but I heard the strange noises Dash was making during his bumpy ride down that hill. They were NOT the noises one usually associates with fun or joy.

Great weekend–let’s do it again sometime soon, huh?!?

2 Noche { 02.08.11 at 9:35 am }

Classic “Lisa” ingenuity!! I love it . Stay tuned for more to come….off to work to pay for a new air mattress!!!

3 Rhonda { 02.08.11 at 12:49 pm }

What a great idea! How I would have loved to have jumped on that air mattress! Never too old for fun like that! I love hearing about your group dynamics. God calls us to live in community, but honestly, it isn’t something “island livers” like me do very well. I admire it from a distance. You are blessed by having those relationships as they are blessed by having one with you and Jerry!

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