Recent Retreat Recap

Hi friends~ And a special hello to my new friends in KY!  I can’t believe this week has passed so quickly.  Thanks to Teaque and my Blackberry, I’ve got a few fun pics to share. (I enlarged them and now they’re a little fuzzy.)  

The theme was on Mary and Martha:

  “Mary or Martha – Which one are you?  Let Jesus help make you a blend of the two!”

We talked about how we (especially as women) wake up running all day long, and often miss the most important fuel of the day – our time at the feet of Jesus. 

The Marthas in the group were challenged to get filled first with Jesus and some time with Him, then to get up and serve out of the overflow of that intimate relationship.  It’s how Marthas will serve with joy.

The Marys in the group (including yours truly) were challenged to not stay in such a state of “meditation” all day that our houses and families fall apart around us.  If Marys will do their “work” as unto the Lord – as a worship to Him, they/we will serve with joy. 

Jesus calls us to both sit at His feet, and to get up and work.  Matthew 6:33 in the CEV sums up the balance of Mary and Martha quite well:

“But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants.

Then the other things will be yours as well.”
Seeking God 1st, and working to please Him –
In my humble understanding,
that’s how we all can be the balance of both Mary and Martha! 🙂

It was a special weekend, made extra special by fellowship with some sweet friends from my past.

We were at Rough River, where everything was so lush and green.  Living in the flat delta (which has a beauty of its own) has made the rolling hills more beautiful than I ever before noticed. 

This is our precious group of “Marys and Marthas”.  😉
They played a game where each group had to take a roll of toilet paper and dress one from their group as either a “Mary” or a “Martha”.  After a lot of creativity and laughter, they made ME choose a winning team.  All four were so creative that I couldn’t make a final decision!
This is Candle Sampley.  She is a beautiful young woman of God with incredible talent for songwriting, media production, and ministry.  She blessed us over the weekend with her music.  You can find out more about Candle at

True to what we love about Kentucky, after Friday night’s session, there was a Bluegrass singing going on in the lodge.   It was delightful.  Different groups took turns, and door prizes were given.  There was an older couple sitting in front of us that every once in a while, would get up and dance to the music.  I so wanted to get up and dance with them/him… but I don’t know a single step!  (I was secretly hoping he would ask me anyway…)  Their feet were perfectly in sync, and I couldn’t help but think of the many years they had danced and done life together. 

I was just about to go to my room when it was door prize time… and guess who won?  Me!  I NEVER win anything!  It was an extra special gift and joy because what I won was a Jerry Clower CD of his best and funniest stories.  For those of you who don’t know who Jerry Clower is, he was a “Hee Haw” type commedian – very “down home” funny – and my daddy told his jokes often.  In fact, my dad would be the entertainment at local banquets and events, as a Jerry Clower impersonater. 
My mom even made him a “costume” like Jerry wore. 
Listening to the bluegrass music and winning that CD was like a sweet nod to both of my parents.  I kept imagining how much fun they would be having if they were with us.  (I also won a calendar of local bluegrass bands.) 🙂

On Sunday, I got to spend some time with a few friends that weren’t able to go to the retreat.  There were so many others I was hoping to see, but time just didn’t allow. 

Maybe one of these days I’ll get back to the Bluegrass State – and take my mom with me… and maybe, just maybe, we’ll hit it on a just right weekend, and we can enjoy more fellowship and the music that made my trip so special. 

Thanks so much to everyone who was a part of this weekend.  May God continue the work He has started in each of us… He is so faithful, and He will NOT let us down!

“…be satisfied {if in nothing else – be satisfied in the Lord}
with your present [circumstances and with what you have];
for He [God] Himself has said,
I will not in any way fail you
r give you up nor leave you without support.
[I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not
in any degree leave you helpless
nor forsake nor let [you] down
(relax My hold on you)!
[Assuredly not!]”
Hebrews 13:5 (AMP)

{tiny writing, mine}

Much love to each of you~

aka: a classic “Mary” striving to build my “Martha” side

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. Smelling Coffee says:

    Teaque~ Those pictures were my fault… I didn't save them correctly. I realized it after I published the post and left to go out of town. Thanks so much for your pictures!


  2. Hi precious friend!

    It looks like you and all the ladies had a wonderful time together and in the Lord!

    Always enjoy teachings on Mary/Martha. I'm a blend of both ladies. At different times in my life I leaned more one way then the other but definitely a blend.

    Love the photos! Congratulations on your winnings!

    I love you much!

  3. Oh girl I hate that those pictures didn't email better -blah! I always wonder if they will enlarge well – not this time. Sorry!

    I had a wonderful time at the retreat and was so incredibly blessed by attending. Thank you!

  4. Hi Jennifer, I would naturally be a Martha:-) I have learned in the many years walking with my Lord that I need to be Mary as well. It isn't always first thing in the morning (I have to get out the door to work and some days work better than others!) but I do spend time in the Word most days. Tiem with the Lord strengthens my love for Him and slows me down so I can hear His voice in the many that surround me.

  5. I'm still rejoicing from the weekend! I so much appreciated it…and needed it! Morning prayer and Bible times this week have been wonderful and filled with a new freshness that I had been missing for a while. Thank you again for the encouragement to see how much I need the fuel of spending real, quality time with Jesus first thing before trying to face the day. I very much enjoyed meeting you and hearing your story and teaching last weekend. Thank you!