This is the Little Flowers room, ready for the 2011 Retreat. Details on the first half of the meeting can be seen here.
We attended Mass at noon.
We ate lunch and had some free time while the workers set up the next station, tie-dye.
Each girl brought a white shirt from home. I had white handkerchiefs on hand for those who forgot their shirt. Rose and I prepared the shirts while the girls ate lunch.
The girls were eager to create a masterpiece for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They worked in two groups of 3-4. My two helpers each ran their own station. My remaining mom helper conducted story time in the room for all the girls in waiting.
Next, was an outdoor rotation — bubbles. I had planned the second half of the retreat to consist of a rotation between outdoor activities and indoor crafts.
My plan was not His plan!
Father and the seminarians were passing by and I invited them to give the girls a bubble demonstration. They jumped on the invitation and were delighted to share in some recreation. The girls were thrilled to have the clerics as playmates.
Fr. M, Mr. M, and Mr. O became bubble pros.
The gracefilled bubbles were such a hit with the clerics that I invited them to give another demonstration for the girls. Fr. M volunteered to hold the sand bucket before I could announce the object of the game.
The seminarians were beyond excited to have their shot at Father.
Too bad the water wasn’t more refreshing. It was poured into the buckets at the beginning of the day and the 90+ degree temp. brought the buckets of water to a near boil. The clerics never grumbled about the water temp. I made the discovery on my own when I went to re-fill a bucket.
Small things for Jesus!
Father had to leave to attend to his duties as Pastor. He managed to sneak a water fight in prior to his farewell.
Father picked on Mr. O and Mr. M showed no mercy to Father.
Father directed the seminarians to stay with the Little Flowers.
It was a blessing for the girls to see the clerics at play.
The girls got in on the water fun. They even attacked the seminarians, just as Father did, after their competition.
Mr. O graciously played along with the girls as they drenched him and Mr. M with water. However, Mr. O couldn’t leave on that note. He went for the water hose. I gave him a little help.
I distracted the girls with a game of Simon-Says while Mr. O set his plan of attack. The last call was, “Simon-says to turn around.” Mr. O took his queue and blasted the girls.
The girls were exhausted and in need of a break. They thanked Mr. O and Mr. M and excused themselves.
They were served a snack outdoors. Then we discussed the Glorious Mysteries and prayed one decade of the Rosary. The girls were to focus in on the most important part of the Hail Mary, the name of Jesus. They practiced showing reverence and bowed when they heard the name of Jesus.
The girls were allowed free-time once they cleaned up. The girls decided to take their free-time in doors. We did not have enough time for my structured crafts that I had planned but the girls were given full reign of limited craft supplies. The littlest Little Flower came up with craft that all the girls loved, pipe cleaner jewelry. The girls used bright colored pipe cleaners and pony beads. The big-sis helpers supervised and joined in on the crafting fun.
It was a blessed day for all.
I pray that the girls grow in virtue and seek to do all things For Jesus through Mary!
I received a beautiful consolation that same evening of the retreat. My kids were all in bed and I sat downstairs with my feet up, ready to pass out, as I prayed and shared my day with Dad. I got a call from a parent. She had other business to discuss with me. Just as we were about to say good-bye, she offered me a sweet story. She said, “Before I go, I wanted to share with you what my LF did on the way home…She began to sing, “If you want to get to heaven be obedient. If you want to get to heaven be obedient.” She song this line over and over. She sang it to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
I could hear the LF voice singing those sweet words in my head. They were not my exact words from the retreat. They were her inspired words, from her heart. They filled me with thanksgiving and I gave praise to God.
The work I do is ALL FOR HIM. The fruits that are made are ALL HIS. The blessings I receive are returned to Our Blessed Mother, for her disposal. Always, ALL FOR JESUS THROUGH MARY!