Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Young Ladies' Retreat in Iowa

Last week, Melody, Anna, Lydia, and our friend Audrey
 went with Mom to a Young Ladies' Retreat hosted by our friend Allison!

We stopped at a really nice rest stop in Iowa

A map of the state of IA was on the floor!

Beautiful stained walls

Even Viola, IA was on the map :)

We stopped at the largest truck stop in the world, called Iowa 80

Our first speaker was excellent! The topic was "Falling in Love
with Jesus". One of her key points was about looking for approval from the right source.
So often we try to live up to the expectations that people place on us and forget -
we should live for an audience of One! 

Allison did an amazing job with the decorations!

Allison doing Audrey's make-up

A wonderful session on "The Beauty of the Secret Place".
Our relationship with God is greater than any other
relationship that we will ever have.
We learned a lot about daily abiding in God.

Chelsy shared a session on "Cultivating Refinement in a Culture
of Vulgarity". She encouraged us to choose a different path from the world
and be a women of virtue who is rare in today's world.
We had a great discussion about many practical issues,
and came away with a lot of good ideas :)

One of the delicious meals we ate...

 "The Beauty of Modesty"
A fresh look at a timeless truth.
Modesty is more than how you dress - it is being others-focused. 

Our wonderful hostess, Allison, gave a talk called "Scheduled
by the Savior".
She spoke about letting God control our priorities, and the usefulness of having your own mission statement.
This was an extremely helpful and practical session especially for those who have graduated from school
and may not have life planned out for them anymore :) 

The coffee bar was continually open :)

Kayla, Anna, and Audrey

Lydia and Audrey matched even without calling each other :)

We had an excellent kitchen crew

Many games of Dutch Blitz were played

Allison trying to light the centerpiece candles :)

The centerpiece decoration

Talking :)

All of us girls with Allison's grandma (we invaded her house :D)

Playing Catch Phrase

How should I say this???

Elizabeth did really great :)

Some of us even got our nails painted...thank you Kaylee!

Allison doing Anna's make-up

All of us surprised the speakers and Allison with gift baskets!
They were really excited :)

We played many rounds of "Signs"

These cinnamon rolls were delicious!

Tessa and Lydia

The Michigan crew with Chelsy

Anna with Hannah

We were all so happy to see Elizabeth! We met at the Bible Bee a few years ago!

Allison and Lydia

We met a lot of new people there - one of them was Kaylee!

Thank you so much for hosting us, Allison!

The whole group of girls!

This is the house we stayed in...

The Iowa scenery is so pretty!

Back to home sweet home!

We learned so much and were greatly encouraged in the Lord
through our time at the Young Ladies' Retreat. 


  1. What a wonderful Girls Retreat! It was GREAT meeting you girls!!! -Mary

  2. Whatever possessed YOU to take a pic of the coffee bar, I'm sure i don't know...

    1. Love this comment! But... you will have to ask Lydia whether or not she made use of the coffee bar :)

  3. Hi girls! What a wonderful time! I had no idea that you all were acquainted with Alison and Chelsy Bontrager and their family! We love to follow both Chel's blog as well as their family's

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. Oh. And I was wondering if any of you have heard about the blog called The Arsenal? I know that you all would be encouraged by this young man's writings (especially the guys) and thought I'd pass it along. Here is the URL:
    Hope you enjoy it!


    1. Hi Cassie!

      I actually do follow Reagan's blog and have really enjoyed the articles I have read :) I should pass more of them on to my brothers, though!

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. I am SO glad you girls were able to come, too! What a special, refreshing time it was :D And, haha, that catch phrase picture of me is totally awkward/hilarious ;) So blessed by you ladies + looking forward to seeing you again, Lord willing! Thanks for the post, Lydia - I was super excited to read through it. :) Much love!