Cabin in the Woods: Couples Retreat in Ranger, GA
Our 2016 travels started with a mini 1-hr roadtrip and a weekend cabin getaway in North Georgia.
Still basking in the freshness of 2016, as it was only the second weekend of the year, six of us (couples) went to Brown Mountain Cabin in Ranger, Georgia for a couple’s retreat. For two days it was our own private cabin in the woods.
I had the pleasure of working with the other couples to coordinate and plan the trip and I must say they made it so easy!! A few of us ladies had been talking about it for a long while and when I decided to pull the trigger everyone got behind it and did their part. From adding it to their busy life schedules to making the payments on time – it was every group trip planner’s dream come true. My married friends rock!
We all left out Friday night and carpooled – three couples to a vehicle.
The car Danny and I were in was the first to arrive. But the second car arrived shortly after.
Although, I knew we booked a cabin in the mountains, my brain didn’t really register that we’d have to drive up a mountain, until we were...driving up the mountain. LOL.
I had a mini freak out – there may or may not have been some fretful outbursts, closed eyes, and shallow breathing. In my defense we were in a new place, driving up unpaved, narrow, winding mountain roads in the dark.
(My only other mountain road reference point is driving up mountains in Jamaica – where crazy (“mad”) drivers overtake you on narrow mountain roads and speed around the curves.)
In the end, the drive up to what was the very top of the mountain was totally worth all the breathtaking views the next day.
There was some structure for our weekend but not too much, the main goal was that everyone be able to relax and enjoy their time with their spouse and that we made time to come together as group.
The theme for the weekend was
Agreement in marriage is important.
Of course there will be times when you don’t see eye to eye and there are differences in opinion but even when a husband and wife find themselves on opposite sides of a spectrum the goal should be coming towards the middle and working together to decide on the best course of action.
The theme “Agree” also went beyond just agreeing with each other on the direction of your marriage – because obviously you can’t walk together in the same direction unless you agree on what that direction is (Amos 3:3) – but also and just as importantly agree with what God is saying to you as a couple about your marriage. After all, the best way to secure your marriage is to have that third cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
We had an itinerary that we did our best to stick to, but again it was pretty flexible.
The only non-negotiables for the weekend were group devotional times, eating together, and staying off our phones as much as possible.
Danny was in charge of organizing the devotional times, and of course they turned out to be amazing.
The first night as a group, the 12 of us took communion, it was beautiful way to start off our weekend. Danny was the one that led that night. He really broke down the word communion and taking communion together highlighted the fact that we are blessed with a community of young married couples.
Saturday morning Phil led the group time – one of the highlights was an amazing couple building exercise in which one person was “blindfolded” and their spouse who could see had to lead them. The twist – only the blindfolded person could talk, the person who could see couldn’t talk but still had to lead the blindfolded person to complete a task. It reminded us all of the importance of communication between husband and wife.
Sunday morning we worshipped together. Mike led us in an amazing discussion on whether we view God as a Manager (more professional and less personal) or a Mentor (professional but more intimate) and how that view could affect how we see our spouse and our marriage. After the discussion we went into a time of prayer as “To Worship You I Live” played, and the power of God fell on us all. It was beautiful. It was something many people may expect to see in a church setting and not in the living room of a cabin in the woods.
There was as much physical food as there was spiritual food.
The women cooked Friday night and Saturday night. But the men really did their thing in the kitchen Saturday for lunch and Sunday morning for breakfast.
We didn’t venture out as much as we’d like and I’m sure a few people had a little cabin fever, but we made it work - shooting pool, girl talk, male bonding, group discussions on race, economics, and education, football...we had a great time!
We're hoping we can make the couple’s retreat an annual event and expand it to include even more of our married friends.
We left the cabin, revived and refreshed and ready to take on the rest of 2016 as married couples standing in agreement with God.