I just spent another weekend with a few hundred of my friends at the Homeschool Moms' Winter Summit 2016. This is a fantastic, Jesus-centered retreat specifically designed to encourage homeschool moms.
There is really very little talk about homeschooling and absolutely no talk about curriculum, but do you know what there is a HUGE focus on?
GRACE. Rejoicing in the beautiful grace God has given us, extending grace to ourselves when we fail, and offering that same grace to others when they disappoint us.
This retreat will benefit ALL moms who are just looking for someone to encourage them to keep giving it their best shot, and to keep relying on God to give them the strength to do it. Anyone who would like other moms to lock arms with her and say, "We're in this parenting thing together sister," would love The Summit.
Saturday night dance party
But one of the things that makes it so extra special to me is that this is where my people gather. I know without a doubt that this hotel ballroom will be filled with women just like me who know exactly what it feels like to be a stay at home mom in a one income family who spends all day every day directly responsible for her children's education.
They know what it is to wonder if they will have to explain again at the family reunion that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Or the nervous, deer in the headlights look your child gets when he stalls and stammers upon being asked asked what grade he is in. They know what it is to wonder if you are ruining your child's chances of getting into college, his future, his life because of your weaknesses and inadequacies.
Mrs. Homeschool Universe finalists
The whole weekend is chock full of heartfelt praise and worship, hilarious skits, transparent honesty, encouraging sessions, and plenty of advice from moms who have already traveled the road I am still on.
This picture represents 97 combined years of homeschool wisdom and 23 homeschooled kids whom they have graduated.
GRADUATED! They have completed their homeschool journeys! Can you believe they are all still standing tall and they come to The Summit every year to cheer the rest of us on? THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PART! These ladies take anonymous questions that have been submitted throughout the weekend and they answer even the most difficult ones with honesty and transparency. I am telling you right now that it is SOLID GOLD to have these ladies speak life and encouragement into us bone weary moms who are just trying to get through one more school year without running away from home.
In between the general sessions, delicious food, and skits, there were 12 breakout sessions to choose from during the weekend, so it was easy to tailor the topics to suit different needs.
I was asked to speak in 2 of those sessions, and I brought along my 15 year old daughter to be a "Summit Server."
Cami and me
She had a ball with some of the other daughters running errands, helping ladies find where the restrooms were, and holding babies.
Me and Kelly
Another one of my favorite parts is just getting to hang and laugh with some very dear friends that I have grown to love. When you spend the entire weekend with someone, you never know what you might find out. You could hear that she has met and danced with Jon Bon Jovi, and you might squeal and be very jealous because there was a time that you and Jon shared a very rich history (in your head) and yet he never invited you on stage to dance with him. (No comment on which of the above ladies was the lucky one.)
Wouldn't you love to grab a few girlfriends and make it a weekend to remember? We would love for you to join us at The Summit next year! Read what these ladies had to say about the weekend below.