Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Retreat for the New Year

The first week of January was so amazing.  I went to Chrysalis Retreat Center in Kerrville, TX to attend a week long January term class called "Imaginative Readings for Creative Preaching".  We were assigned eight different literary works ranging from spiritual memoirs to poetry compilations to novels.  I worked on reading as much as possible over the Christmas break.  I had never read The Grapes of Wrath and was so moved by Steinbeck's classic work.  It turned out to be just one of many powerful works we would discuss over the course of the week.  

One of the best things about retreating in Kerrville is the drive to get there.  The views are just breathtaking and I saw so many places I would like to visit again and again.  One of my favorite spots that I have enjoyed visiting before is Fredericksburg and in particular, the Peach Tree Tea Room.  Oh, I love that place!  I managed to time my journey just right to stop there for lunch.  The sandwich sampler, perfect for the indecisive diner, is my favorite and I enjoyed every bite!

The retreat center itself was so lovely.  We stayed in these wonderful cabins that had a large backporch complete with rocking chairs and a beautiful view.  I just love a beautiful view. :)  So in the afternoons, I would frequently find myself in one of those rockers reading powerful words and journaling.  

One afternoon we ventured into town in search of caffeine and wireless internet.  We found both at the local Starbucks.  Now, talk about a view!  I was quite happy to spend several hours with my caffeinated treat and Anne Lamott.  An added bonus on this day was a chat with my friend Erin who was traveling for work in the area.  :)

The sky was so crisp and clear.  I couldn't help but be captivated by the moon one evening.

On our final morning, I decided to rise early and take a stroll down a path, taking in the beauty of nature and the experience of this place one more time.

What an experience of refreshment and renewal.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience it.
On my drive back, I stopped again in Fredericksburg for lunch, but this time went to an adorable restaurant called Sweet Marley's on my friend Erin's recommendation.

It was adorable and thankfully, I still got to enjoy their whimsical Christmas decor!

I also enjoyed their tomato basil soup and a delightful sandwich. :)

After this stop, it was straight on toward home.

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