This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a “work retreat” with Joy Canupp, a women’s Christian leadership coach/speaker and the creator behind Simply Joy. It was AWESOME.

The point of the weekend was for creators, writers, business leaders, etc. to come together for a time of productivity and shared learning. We stayed in Joy’s vacation home in the mountains of NC, and the 100+-year-old house had so much character and so much space to spread out and work. (The electric heated blanket on my bed and the hot tea selection also made my stay super cozy).

Throughout the Thursday-lunch to Saturday-lunch event, there were over 14 hours of individual, uninterrupted work time scheduled, and it was glorious. I was able to pray, plan, dream, and write for the year ahead, jotting down ideas and checking things off my to-do list. I started nailing down ideas for Admin April 2019 (see 2018’s resources here), scheduled this month’s freebies (10 Commandments activities, Bible skills games, and Valentine resources coming at you soon!), and made plans to connect with new vendors for the DKM Marketplace.

There were also times of intentional conversation/Q&A among the participants, where we asked questions about each other’s favorite organizational tools, business practices, and hopes for our ministries. It was a great time of sharing what I know and learning from what others know.

There were only 4 of us attending this retreat (including Joy), and to be honest, I was a little nervous at first. As an introvert, 2 1/2 days in a house with people I don’t know is nauseating, but Joy was a gracious hostess and emphasized often how this weekend was a time for us to do what we needed to do, whether that was work, read, or even just take a nap. Because of the intentional times of individual work, I didn’t feel pressure to interact with people all the time, and I enjoyed the times we did gather together. Plus I’m walking away from the retreat with new friends and connections.

During one of our conversation/Q&A times, Joy laid out 50+ cards on the table with different pictures on them. She had each of us choose 3 pictures: 1 for where we feel like our business/ministry is now, 1 for where we want it to be, and 1 for how it will get there.

The picture above is the one I chose for where Deeper KidMin is now: a sunrise caught in the moments of early morning. Deeper KidMin is just over a year old, and it’s still in its beginning phases. This sunrise represents the dawning of this ministry and the promise of what’s to come.

This second picture is where I want Deeper KidMin to be. When I first saw the trees in the forest, I immediately thought of each tree being one of you, the kidmin leaders I have the privilege to know and support. I want Deeper KidMin to be a place where children’s ministry leaders flourish and grow into tall oaks for their ministries that branch off and influence the families they serve in the name of Jesus. Psalm 1:3 came to mind and has become a prayer for the children’s ministry leaders Deeper KidMin serves…

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

This third picture is multi-faceted in representing how Deeper KidMin will move from the first picture to the second. First, it’s a reminder that there will be times like this weekend when I need to get away, hunker down and get work done. But it’s also a reminder of what NOT to do if I want to build that forest in the second picture. I prefer to work alone and do things on my own, but I know that I will limit Deeper KidMin’s influence and impact if I try to do it all by myself. So this picture reminds me to work hard at my piece of the puzzle, but to remember there’s room on the bench for others too. (Which is why I’m so excited we’re adding new Vendors and their new resources to the DKM Marketplace each month!).

So thanks again, Joy, for hosting and giving our group the chance to get away, pray, plan, and dream for our ministries. It was a much-needed refreshment and renewal as we head into 2019.

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