Every year since my husband and I started leading a small group Missional Community, we have retreated to Lake Arrowhead for the weekend. Our entire MC packs for a weekend and we caravan up through the San Bernadino mountains to what has become one of my favorite places on earth.
Lake Arrowhead is amazing for many reasons. Around 2 hours outside of LA, it boasts a quaint lake side village surrounded my mountains of evergreens, long windy roads and secluded cabin homes. As it does not have the ski-ready slopes of its bigger brother Big Bear Lake, it is also a great deal more relaxed and less touristy. It is the ideal spot for a getaway with friends and always provides much needed rest through it's forested wilderness.
This year marked our 3rd trip to the Lake, and it is crazy to think how the Lord has grown and changed our little God family. Our MC is made up of all new people since the last time we retreated to the Lake, new friends from other cities and old friends come home after years away. Our previous MC had multiplied to start a new mission in another part of LA and I am so grateful for both that and how God has sent new people to take their places alongside us.
We really wanted the focus of this years retreat to be REST. We didn't plan any hikes, or outings, we simply chilled around our amazing Air BnB. We ate a ton of home cooked food, played games and talked late into the nights. It was bliss.
I think we can easily over-plan our vacations, retreats, or trips away. More and more I am coming to appreciate the value of idleness amongst friends. Although we could have bonded through activity, those quiet mornings sipping coffee on the deck, cooking pasta in the kitchen, or just sitting silently on the sofa bonded us just as strongly.
Our prayer for the weekend was simple: that everyone would feel safe to be vulnerable and honest about where they were at in life and that everyone could love them through it. God showed up in major ways and we got to share the struggles and triumphs each of us were facing. Each person's story was met with scripture, prayer, hugs and mutual tears. Life is so much sweeter and God's comfort so much larger when experienced alongside close friends.
We wrapped our retreat with the usual tradition of a final breakfast at Belgium Waffle Works in Lake Arrowhead Village. We gorged ourselves on eggs and waffles and were sure to capture some memories at the water's edge.
We had a bright and warm weekend and it's sparked our interest to travel to the Lake in the summer months when we can enjoy it's cool waters instead of it's snowy trees. I am so grateful for these friends, our hot tub chats, our Birthday ice creams and our never ending obsession with Pop music and Sardines in the dark.
Until the next one!
~ A ~