Monday, March 07, 2011

What Do I Get Out of Getting Away?

Church Girls Weekend ~ Flat Creek Lodge, Swainsboro, GA

I think maybe we need to start at the first Girlfriend Getaway we ever did ~ 2001? There were 9 of us in a cabin at Brasstown Valley Resort. We laughed, talked, cried, hiked, ate, drank, got massages ~ you get the picture. It just felt right. It was so easy to be with these women, some of which were my good friends and others I was just getting to know better. A few were pregnant, many of us had our first or second babies by then. One was newly married and we may even have had a single in the bunch. My point is - we may have been at different points in our lives but we all had one common thread ~ WE WERE ALL WOMEN! Women in need of a break from our everyday life of work, dishes, diapers, laundry, etc. Great rejuvenating things happen when women get together. We renew each other spirits without even trying. We are there for each other just by being there.

When we spend time with other women it fills us in a way that nothing else can. We actually release oxytocin when we are together ~ which counters stress and produces a calming effect. This stuff is real it is not just something in our heads. Studies have been done at UCLA to prove this fact. So, when we are making plans to getaway on a Girls Weekend think about it as taking care of yourself, just as important as eating healthy and exercising.

Since, that very first Girls Weekend I realized just how important this time together is and I started planning and organizing them for not only my girlfriends but my church, fellow teachers and my family! The smallest weekend being that first one of nine to a church Girls Weekend I ran for almost 60! After my first one for the church I can remember calling my mother to tell her, "It works! It works!". The "model" I had set up through several trips for my girlfriends even worked for women who didn't know each other super well. We are just happy when we are together!

Girlfriend Girls Weekend ~ Saint Simons Island, GA

For me personally, these weekends are not just a Getaway from diapers and dishes they are a gift! God has blessed me with so many truly magical moments on these weekends -

  • One woman once told me she never felt like she fit in anywhere and now she finally did!
  • Another lady had grown up in a foreign country where you went from living in your parents home straight to living with your husband. She had NEVER experienced a "dorm/sorority" like feeling ~ she LOVED sharing a bathroom with other women!
  • One woman had never even had a manicure although her own daughters "treat" themselves all the time (her words not mine). On her weekend she had a massage, reflexology, facial and realized that she is WORTH a little pampering. It is good to feel good!
  • One of my younger cousins was exposed to so many LIFE women issues in one weekend (cancer, loss of a parent, loss of a husband, divorce, pregnancy, etc) that when she got back to school all the little issues at school seemed just that ~ LITTLE! What a concept to grasp at such a young age ~ that life is BIG and women are STRONG!
  • There have been unexpected reunions as a result of some of our weekends. What a joy to be present when these magical moments happen!

I have witnessed so many life changes in these short weekends. I am so glad God has chosen me to use in this manner. A special thank you to all the women who trust and "Getaway" with me each year!

Both these shots above and below are from The Inn at Serenbe, Palmetto, GA

Saint Simons Island

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