Silver Bella High

Did you ever go to church camp or a ladies’ spiritual retreat? Do you remember having to come down from that “mountain top” experience and back to reality? Yep, that’s me today.

Silver Bella was arguably one of the most completely wonderful experiences of my life. God gave me clear, sunny, safe traveling weather (sandwiching a picturesque first-snow-of-the-season during Silver Bella), meaningful and hilarious conversations with Joan and Clara, fabulous, fabulous food (all deliciously South Beach Diet-friendly), inspiring crafting, amazing teachers and learning opportunities, kindred-spirit new friends and, even, a good night’s sleep…. And then He gave me more of the same. And more.

And all of this delectable sundae-of-a-weekend was topped off with the cherry of Jenny Doh’s closing remarks.

God gave me those closing remarks, too, because, if you click on the link above to read her speech (and I hope you do!), you will read this:

…when we are in a community, we know that ultimately, we are not alone. It’s within a community that we learn that regardless of our shiny personas, regardless of our seemingly perfect lives and perfect blogs, and our mountain of Facebook friends and mountain of Twitter followers, that none of use are immune from some painful scenes that befall all of our lives … sometimes when we least expect it. Some of us are living through those scenes at this very minute, wishing that there would somehow be a way to push a FAST FORWARD button so the scenes would finally end….

And this:

…creativity helps us get through life.

And this:

…realize a deep and significant truth … which is that: we all hurt. And if we are willing to open our hearts and hands, and say yes to the process, and say yes to the community, we will not need a fast forward button or a stop button … we will be able to live through each scene because no matter what scene we may be in we will always know that we are capable of creating beauty, and we are not alone.

I am finding myself repeating this last bit of her closing remarks over and over to myself today. Silver Bella, for me, was so much more than just a fun weekend away from routine and responsibility. It was a weekend confirming that what God has given me to strengthen me to live through the scenes of my life (including Peter’s weekend meltdown and current admission to an adolescent psych ward) is the desire and ability to create with my hands something of beauty.

In her closing remarks, Jenny Doh also said:

Dr. Kelly Lambert, Chair of the Department of Psychology for Virginia’s Randolph Macon College has conducted research to conclude that when we engage in hands-on projects, our mental, emotional, and physical states improve…. Lambert says “It’s like taking mental-health vitamins, building up resilience … our ability to bounce back from hardship by reminding our brains that we can have some impact on this world around us.”

What I experienced at Silver Bella this weekend encourages me, in the midst of laundry and dishes and homeschooling and parenting children with mental illness, to keep using that tool of creativity that God has given me to build up my resilience so that I can continue to have an impact on this world around me, to His glory.

P.S. Hold on to your seats…there’s LOTS more Silver Bella to come!


7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Your Brother said,

    Sounds super. Let’s hear more.


  2. 3

    MOM said,

    I’m glad that you had such an inspiring, fun weekend. Now, I’m waiting to see what creative items you received or learned to do!!!

  3. 4

    Kris said,

    That is just how I felt about my first and now, second, Silver Bella — good for my soul! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think the bootie kit is a perfect ornament. And I love your photos of the love ornament swap. I had mine out this morning admiring them too.

  4. 5

    Laurie said,

    This was my first Silver Bella and I felt similarly — you summed it up so well! I’m glad you have more encouragement for what sounds like a rough parenting challenge, and I know you will rise to it. Thank you for being a part of the three inchey swap — I loved your piece and will cherish it!

  5. 6

    Thinking of you and this sometimes difficult life. I am glad you will have had such a great fill up with Silver Bella and then to come home to some hardship. Sometimes that mountaintop descend is sooooooooooooo hard!! But Love remains, The Love Chapter that is! XOXO to you Lisa!!

  6. 7

    I totally agre. One of the best artful experiences ever!

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