Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WEEKEND|REFRESH RETREAT - MAY 19-21, 2017

You know that retreat we talked about a forever ago??  Well, it's exactly one month away!

I had such an overwhelming response of women expressing interest in the retreat, that I decided to give dibs on registration to those people.  And well, the whole she-bang booked up in a matter of hours.  It was fast and furious, and a sign to me that there is a desperate need for this type of thing.

I so wish I could include every single person who wants to go, but the house is only so big.  If you would like to add yourself to the waitlist in case anyone drops last minute, please fill out the form below.  And if you're not necessarily interest in this one, but this is something you'd like to do in the future if (when?) I do another one of these, go ahead and sign up on the waitlist and write that in the notes section.  That'll help me gauge interest in planning for another one.  


My hope is that this is a weekend that balances the need to be filled up, but also poured out.  A restful place for the weary mom just needing a break, the busy woman who hasn't had any time to reflect and process, the girl who desperately needs some love, a glass of wine, and Jesus all meshed into one weekend.  I can't wait to report back how it all went!

The waitlist registration form and more details for the retreat can be found below if you are interested.  


xoxo,
Amy




May 19-21, 2017
Entiat, WA
$160.00



DATES and TIMES
The retreat will officially kick off on Friday, May 19th at 7pm and come to a close on Sunday, May 21 at 11am.

LOCATION

Y'all.  THIS is where we will be staying...
I'm not kidding.  And this is the reason why we HAD to move the retreat from March to May! Average temperatures in Entiat in May are mid-seventies, so we can definitely take advantage of the pool and lakefront amenities!

The house has 4 bedrooms (one of which with an additional loft with a queen bed), as well as a bunk room with 6 twin bunkbeds, and 3 and a half bathrooms.  Depending on numbers, we will figure out sleeping arrangements.

It's absolutely beautiful!  You can check out more photos of the house HERE.

The owner has been extremely generous with us so that we can keep costs as low as possible.


COST
The total cost for the retreat is $160.  That includes a two night stay at this gorgeous house, as well as food for the weekend - 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 big, glorious dinner party - and all the amazing stuff we are going to do!

Cancellations (with a full refund) must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the retreat (by May 5 at the latest). 


And if cost feels prohibitive to you, but you really want to come, please email me at tinyuprisings@gmail.com.  We may be able to provide a subsidized cost or scholarship for you.

JOIN ME
The retreat is now full!  Please fill out the form above to be added to the waitlist.  Waitlisted people will be added in the order that they were received if spots become available. 





Thursday, April 13, 2017

THIS EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY LIFE



Here I am.  I'm 40.  And yep, I'm struggling a little to swallow that number.  

There have been some funny moments.  Desperate shopping in the juniors department for a dress to wear to my birthday party, my mind awash with images of sirens going off and security guards with megaphones yelling, "Ma'am, step away from the clothes or we may have to arrest you! You are too old to shop here!"  Is there an age limit in the juniors department?  I didn't have these thoughts when I was 39, but there's something about 40 that screams middle age in a different way.  

I have read many articles entitled things like What I Would Tell My 30 Year Old Self  or What I Wish I had Known at 20. I will not be writing one of those articles. Every multi-facet of me at every age has made me who I am today.  I wouldn't be able to offer encouragement to a women struggling with body image or new motherhood if I hadn't struggled with my own.  I would not have learned to make smarter choices if I hadn't made bad ones early on.  I wouldn't want to change any of it and I don't take any of it back.

Life has a learning curve that no advice, no words of wisdom, could ever straighten.   Whether we like it or not, that learning curve looks more like a roller-coaster than a steady, upward slope. Ups, downs, twists, turns, the unexpected loop the loop.  We all start at the same point and we all end at the same point, but some of our middles are a little more twisty than others.  

Lord knows I'm twisty.  

My learning curve just decided to kick into high gear with this milestone birthday and all the introspection that it brings.  Currently, the roller coaster ride is bringing me back to this one thought: 


THIS IS IT.

This.  This right here.  This year.  This day.  This moment.  This is my life.  This is all I get and I better start living it.

I've spent my whole life anxiously waiting to get to the next thing.  I thought life would start when I got there, but then it was on to the next thing after that.  

As a child I couldn't wait to be thirteen with braces (Where I got that hair-brained idea, I'll never know. I would even cover my teeth with those silver Juicy Fruit wrappers to pretend I had them.)  In high school, I couldn't wait to be in college.  In college, I couldn't wait to pursue dancing again.  After college, I couldn't wait to get married.  When I was dancing professionally, I couldn't wait to make it through some of those rehearsals or the next set of performances.  I couldn't wait to get pregnant, to have a baby. And when baby arrived, I couldn't wait to be out of the newborn phase, the terrible twos, the toddler years. I couldn't wait for the long days of early motherhood to be over and kids in bed.  I couldn't wait for school-aged littles and a break in my day. I couldn't wait to start this blog. What did I forego with all this waiting to start and to live?  

I push my friends, my husband, my kids away because I'm busy waiting and being impatient. Get out of my way, everyone, can't you see that I'm trying to get to what's next?

And here I am. Did I miss it?  Am I missing it?  Am I missing my own life because I was waiting for something else.  Something shinier or bigger or more extraordinary.

Extraordinary.  Extra Ordinary.  EXTRA. ORDINARY.  

Let that sink in for a minute.  

Open your eyes.  Life is extra ordinary.  It is both remarkable and unremarkable in one breath.  

The ordinariness of life, I have tried to sweep away like cheerios from the kitchen floor.  I want to brush it away and get on with it.   I wanted to do something... be somebody.  I didn't intend to end up here.  Small girl.  Small life.  

But THIS IS IT.

And I mean that not in a despairing or melancholy way.  I mean that in a WAKE UP AND LOOK AROUND way.  Beauty is all around me.  To these kids, I am their world.  To my husband, I am his one and only.  To my life, I am the leading lady.  

I want to carve, "Amy was here," all over my life. 

See, feel, taste, smell, hear this.  This is it.  This is your extraordinary life.   

May we be present in it.  May we savor the coffee instead of gulping it.  May we look into little eyes and mirror their wonder instead of rushing them along.  

May we be content in our smallness instead of coveting bigness.  And in our smallness, feel the vastness of God and understand that He created us for such a time as this.  For this exact day, hour, moment, child, joy, disappointment. May we not underestimate or discount the work we are here to do, the love we are here to give.  It is BIG and essential.  

May we give of ourselves freely instead of saving our time, energy, money, ideas, and love for later, because later we'll still want to save our time, energy, money, ideas, and love.   Later is not finite. It can never be reached, for there will always be later, more, better.  Time is sand sifting through our fingers.  

May we say yes more because right now is all we've got. May we say no more because right now is all we've got.  May the circle of the ones we love most deeply know that they are shiny, big, and significant in our lives, that they are extra ordinary and extraordinary. 

May we come to understand that it is most often the little things etched in our mind forever, the things we thought were inconsequential or felt totally random or normal that make a life well lived.  

My pinnacle moments include a sunset hour stolen at a park last minute, sun glinting off water and little feet swinging high, squeals and smiles all around, bedtime kisses with my son, watching my two bigs ski down a mountain while remembering when they were still cocooned inside me, that I got to take part in an extraordinary, ordinary miracle growing them and making life and now they are little people sailing away on skis like it's nothing, a $2 creative ice cream date with my husband so many years ago, a long dinner with friends. 

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die, and I'm pretty sure these are some of the things I will see.  I doubt I will see the things I strived for, the manufactured mountaintops that only last for a second.  I doubt I will see the promotion or the time I fit into size 4 jeans.  I doubt I will see how many readers or likes or comments I got.  

I will see faces.  Faces.  Faces.  Faces.  Ordinary faces that were extraordinary because our lives intersected, and we chose to live it boldly, fully, richly.  We chose to be present and bump into each other and sift our sand together.

This is it.  Now is the time.  This is the opportunity, your happily ever after, your for better or for worse.  This is your life, your love, your people.  And these are your faces right before you.  

Don't miss it.  



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