Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tell About It Tuesday -- The "While We're Waiting Weekend" for Dads

Let me see ... Where do I begin?  There's just so much to say!  From all reports, the While We're Waiting Weekend for Dads was a huge success.  When Brad got home on Sunday afternoon, he was positively giddy.  There's really no other way to describe it.  All he could talk about is how good God is.  I'd been waiting all weekend for him to come home so I could pump him for details about everything that happened while they were there ... and all he kept saying is "God is so good!"

I finally got him to settle down and tell me about the weekend.  And, wow, God really is good.  The guys had an absolutely amazing time of fellowship over the course of the weekend.  Obviously, I wasn't there, so everything I'm going to share here comes secondhand, but hopefully you can get an idea of how the weekend went.  I'm actually going to mostly let the pictures speak for themselves.

Our While We're Waiting Weekends for Dads are held in a very rural part of Yell County, Arkansas.  My husband's family owns a multi-bedroom house and several hundred acres there.  The guys take over the house for the weekend.  There's no TV and no cell phone service, so they have the opportunity to truly get away in solitude.  There is wi-fi available -- They can't be completely cut off from civilization, can they?  ;)

Five dads came for the weekend, plus Brad (my husband) and Larry (the co-host).  My husband's dad and brother also came, and they were the cooks and waiters for the weekend.  The guys all arrived on Friday evening at different times, as they were able to get there after work.  They spent that evening just getting to know each other, not even discussing their kids in Heaven at that point.  Apparently, it was like a big "bunkin' party", because I understand they didn't go to sleep until around midnight!

Saturday morning began with a big breakfast, and then the guys began to share their kids' stories.  I'm not going to share any of that here ... In fact, Brad shared very little of it with me ... The things shared at our retreats are sacred, and often very personal and private.  He did say that their conversation was very deep and rich, as I'm sure you can imagine.

After some sharing time, the guys took off on a four-wheeler ride.  

While they were riding, their cooks fixed lunch and brought a table and chairs down to one of the ponds.  They ate and shared more of their kids' stories.  While they were there, some dogs ran several deer right past where they were sitting.  

During the afternoon, the guys had several more adventures.  They did some more 4-wheeler riding ...

Had a little excitement on the 4-wheeler ride ... Don't worry, they got him out!

Did some arrowhead hunting ...

Success!!  Isn't that a gorgeous arrowhead!?

They visited the "Rock Hole"... The river is a little muddy right now due to the recent rains.

Then they climbed up in deer stands and watched wildlife for awhile...

Yes, those are wild hogs under the deer feeder.  Can you see the piglets?!

When they got back to the house, their cooks had prepared a steak dinner with all the fixin's for them.  They even got to sample bear meat.  Yes, bear meat!  Brad's cousin had killed a bear earlier this hunting season, so there ya go.  Brad tells me it was delicious.

They closed out the weekend on Sunday morning with a time of worship and reflection.  The guys had a lot to share as they closed.  I can't speak for any of the other guys, but Brad came home a changed man.  I'll leave you with one quote.  One of the Dads had driven from a long distance ... he told Brad and Larry that "it was the best six hundred miles he had ever driven."  I think that says it all.

The next While We're Waiting Weekend for Dads is scheduled for April 19-21, 2013, and Brad and Larry are already counting the days!  If you'd like to register, or get more information, please visit our website by clicking here.


Kelle said...

WOW! I think it is a GREAT thing you both do with/for other parents that have lost a chid. I have followed your blog since the beginning ~ Something always makes me smile & cry sometimes.

May God Bless You Both,
Kelle : )

Jill Sullivan said...

Thank you, Kelle ... We LOVE doing these retreats. We wish we could just do it full time ... Maybe someday! :)