Rainsford Retreat | January 2017

If you were to ask us what we did last weekend, our answer would be: “We held our second annual Rainsford Retreat!” (Obviously.)  But seriously, for the second year running, JP and I have taken a weekend in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to hold our very own seminar – the Rainsford Retreat.  2017 attendance: 2.

Why do you go?  

As many of you other small business hustlers out there will understand, working from home can also be stifling, particularly when you’re trying to think big picture or long-term.  So, regularly JP and I clear out!  This physical separation from our daily place of work does so much for us.  It removes us from our daily distractions, gives us room to talk/listen, and allows us to really focus; making this time set apart and extremely valuable.  It allows us to reflect accurately on the past.  It allows us to dream vividly about the future.  It allows us to celebrate our business and marriage!  

What do you do?

Every good meeting starts with a solid agenda.  JP and I use the several weeks leading up to our retreat to create a detailed agenda (broken down into 30 minute increments people!).  Our agenda includes brainstorming sessions, working sessions, research, breaks, meals, and of course the Saturday afternoon adventure!  This may sound ironic, but with the space to create, we also gain sweet rest through good food and drink, great music (Essential! See samples from our playlist below!), and beautiful fellowship. After cups on cups on cups of coffee/tea, multiple bottles of wine, loads of sticky notes, scribbled sheets of notepaper, and diagrams in the sketchpad, we have a pot of gold – a list of dreams with actions scratched out to achieve them. These retreats have been the chance for us to dream about the future and chronicle a witness to how the Lord has worked in the past.

You’ve done all this stuff, so what’s next?

Man, we’re glad you asked!  (You didn’t have to do that!)  Next for us is that pot of gold – the long list of actions for us to scratch through.  We’re excited to say that we’ll soon be updating our branding and website to go with our new theme of “creation”.  (We can’t wait to dive into all that word means to us soon!)  But we’re even more excited about our refined and clarified purpose for documenting weddings.  Over hours spent rocking back and forth by the woodstove in our one-room Smoky Mountain cabin, our conversation moved from “What do you love about weddings?” to something deeper: “What do you love about marriage?”  The power of a good question is formidable.  Friends, this question moved us!  We have been so overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness and our growth in our four short years of marriage.  We cannot imagine what answer that question will inspire in, Lord willing, forty years.  It was with a lifelong perspective that we consolidated our purpose for documenting weddings:

Your wedding is the beginning of a new creation. You are joined to someone else and become a new being. You begin a lifetime adventure of growth and create a new legacy. Our privilege is to create a witness to your growth and legacy which will stand for generations.

But enough about us. How would you use a weekend in the woods? What ideas/questions have you been batting around which would finally be addressed? What blessings would you chronicle and dreams would you finally put on paper? 

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