Friday, August 28, 2009

Oregon: Part 1

It's so easy to get caught up in our everyday routines, jobs, to-do lists and overall demands, stress and responsibility of life- what's not easy is taking the time to really step away, relax, recharge and refresh...fourtunatly for me I found a way to squeeze in a little of that a couple weeks ago when I had the wonderful pleasure of attending a Christian Photographer's Retreat for Women-
Be Thou My Vision in Bend, Oregon (ahhhhh)...
Traveling to the West Coast is always a little tricky from Florida because of the time difference, so I had a very creative travel itenary. I chose to fly into Portland and drive the nearly 3 hours to Bend...hold on, I am not crazy- let me explain :)I would have had a 3 hr. layover in Portland just to catch a 45 minute flight to Bend (the 3rd flight of the day) ...AND I also saved nearly $200 on the tickets- so I figured it I was renting a car anyway so I might as well get to see some of Oregon while I was there! The savings just about paid for the rental car. The bonus: I did not loose any time because I would have just been stuck sitting in the airport for that same 3 hours... it was a win-win- win! (not to mention one of the most beautiful drives EVER!!!)

The retreat was lead by Jane Johnson and was really just an idea that blossomed into reality. I was part of 14 women who came from all over the to accomplish the same thing...relax and refocus on what is really important in life- Keeping God first, being assured that He has a plan for us and trusting His will for our lives.
We all arrived on Sunday, checked in to the lodge and met up for an evening reception and to get to know each other. Jane had made gift bags for us with a journal, gift from Big Folio and chocolates- yum!
After dinner we informally sat in a circle and shared our testimonies and our history in photography- right away I knew we were all meant to be there and it would be such an enriching experience!Every morning after breakfast we had our quiet time and then would meet back for the morning session together. Early on in the week Heather and I discovered this great little area by the pond that (besides the bugs was) so peaceful- she had a nice spot further down by the water and I really liked this big rock. I had a great view, could hear all the sounds of nature and for the most part the mosquitos stayed away (though they would coordinate some attacks every now and then-ha!)

The morning sessions were just awesome, emotional and so simple in the ways we shared with each other what was on our hearts. We encouraged each other with our own expereinces and by sharing verses that helped us in every kind of situation.
In the afternoons after the morning sessions we had tons of free time to explore Bend...Browse, Shop and have lunch together :) The first day we had lunch at Typhoon ( a Thai bistro) and the second day we went for Mexican...yummmmy!!!
As always the time flew by and the retreat was coming to an end as the last of our 4 days together was quickly approaching! Ohhh, how much fun we had as we all grew closer together and to God! What a great group of ladies and I am so blessed to have 13 new and wonderful friends- love you girls!!!Our Awesome Group...Back Row: Beth, Erin, Krista, Memoree, Jasmine, Janine, Alicia Front Row: Jackie, Mery, Jane, Me :), Scarlett, Kylie and Heather

More to come about the workshop and also tons of pictures of my scenic drive back to Portland!


  1. I just saw your new album (this one) on Facebook and I LOVE this. Everything about it. JUST last weekend I was saying to my sister (and fellow photog) that I wish there was a Christian photog conference I could attend!!! Okay so is this an annual thing? Can I sign up for next year?! :)

  2. Thanks Lizzz :) The next retreat is actually already in the works. There is a group for the retreat on FaceBook- here is the link and I think there may be a contact form you can register your email with on the direct website

    It was wonderful and completely centered on God which was exactly what I was looking for. Hope you can make the next one- take care :)

  3. So I know this is from forever ago, but I just wanted to update you and tell you I just booked my flight to Oregon this morning. :) I'm so excited for the retreat! Thanks for your blog entry - it's how I found out about it!

  4. Awesome! I know you will enjoy it and will really see God's hand at work- have a wonderful trip and please give Jane a big hug for me :)