Why I Need to be at Laity Lodge’s Writers Retreat

Running Our Boat on the Ocean. July 3, 2009.
A Top Ten List
A bunch of my good friends over at The High Calling are heading off to this amazing retreat next month. And they’re giving away a seat at the event! I really, really, really want to attend. (And I need to: good writers use more interesting intensifiers than “really, really, really.”) Today I’m listing the reasons I need to go. You can read all about this retreat–and sign up yourself–here.
10. I’m an ocean girl. And we all know that writers need to understand rivers. Think Mark Twain. Laity Lodge is on the Frio River.
9. I haven’t attended a retreat since I was in college. That’s a whole lotta years without a restorative, purposeful gathering. 
8. I’m in need of diversion at that time. September 30 is my grandson Cadence’s birthday. He’ll be five this year, and he and his family just moved an ocean away from me, so I won’t be with him to celebrate. It’s also the anniversary of my mother’s death. Gathering with writers, by a river, would provide an excellent, constructive way to pass that challenging date.
7. So many of my Facebook friends will be there that I’ll be lonely–oh, so lonely–without them.
6. I could bring blueberry muffins. Or brownies. Or focaccia. What’s a retreat without some home-baked goodness?
5. I have more to learn than just about anyone else who might go. So the upside potential for ROI is huge.
4. Laity Lodge has lined up an amazing group of presenters.
3. I’m a good encourager. Every retreat needs its cheerleaders. 
2. Many dear friends are also entering this contest. And we all know how what happens when people who care about one another are competing for a single prize: the winner feels guilty. I’m willing to be the guilty one, sparing my friends that pain.
Yup, I’m a giver like that.

And the number one reason I need to be at the Laity Lodge Writers Retreat is….

1. Since February, 2009, I’ve been burdened with a call to write for God. We all know that once He calls, He equips. Also, these past months, I’ve felt a longing for time at Laity Lodge. I made a tiny donation to their giving campaign; later I received in the mail a lovely newsletter describing the lodge’s history, telling its story. Since then, my heart’s been desiring a visit there. Could it be that this retreat is part of his His plan to equip me to serve Him? My soul longs for the opportunity to gather, face-to-face, with talented writers who use their gifts to glorify our God. This weekend feels like a chance to grow, to stretch, to learn, to increase my service to Him–to fulfill that longing.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalm 37:3-5 (NASB)


  1. Oh girl! I truly, truly hope you get to experience deep, dark, crushing guilt!

  2. That's so kind, Nancy. We're all going to be hugely blessed, no matter who the "guilty party" turns out to be. 🙂

  3. You two make me smile. Go, you. Or Nancy.

  4. Or YOU, Lyla!

    I'm thinking this is one of those cases where the thing I'll be praying for is His will.

    I just wrote about that for BibleDude. It'll be up next week, I think.

    Time to walk that walk.

  5. I love that #2 one. 🙂

    I also will volunteer to feel the guilt.

    I will wear it with slumped shoulders everytime I appear in someone's camera. Otherwise, I'll smile the entire time.

  6. here I thought you'd be about the baking, Duane!

  7. What a great post! I hope you're able to attend the retreat!

  8. Your sacrifice, taking on the guilt of writers everywhere, is commendable!

  9. Hope you make it, Sheila. Though, if you don't bring homemade baked goods, I might have to hope someone makes it.

  10. LOVED this, Sheila – how I wish every single one of you could come – maybe we should do an on-line fund drive like so many do for other conferences out there?? So, I'm praying for miracles for all of you…and how many are there now? Sheila/Nancy/Lyla/Emily and Duane???

    And the baked goods are just bonus -frosting on top!

    Blessings as you wait – when will you know??

  11. This retreat will edify all those who are able to attend. The joy of meeting blogging friends will simply be an additional treat! Your 10 reasons are all valid and good. Hope you are selected!

  12. Brandee,
    Thank you! Both for your kind words and good wishes!

  13. David,
    Aren't we called to be like Him? And a little winner's guilt is NOTHING compared to our Lord's suffering for our good.

  14. Sam,
    Oh, if I'm fortunate enough to be chosen, I'll definitely be baking before I board the plane!

  15. Diana,
    Thanks for your kind words. I think praying for miracles is a great idea. He does them all the time, you know….

    The contest closes on the sixth. So I won't hear before then.

  16. Hazel,

    I have a strong sense that this retreat will bless those who attend and many who don't attend, too.

  17. And you can add to that list: It would make my friend Laura very, very happy!

  18. Laura,
    you're so sweet. I'm sure you'll enjoy the company of whomever is selected 🙂

  19. Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com

    I'm with Laura. I'd be one of the smiling greeters. 🙂

  20. And I would be a grinning-like-a-fool greetee! Thanks, Jennifer!

  21. Sheila, your list made me smile–first the item about ROI. (You know how to get to me.) But the piece about guilt is too funny!

    Whether the drawing goes your way or not, you know that we really really really love you.

  22. Aw Marcus,

    I really really really love you guys, too.

    (Though I've been wondering lately: perhaps I'm too old to address my pals as "you guys" unless they're all men?)