I spent Monday in an all-day personal retreat, and it was great. I started out at this restaurant/coffee house/bar (?) recommended by a Facebook friend. Great coffee and the perfect place to get started going through all of my learning over the past four months. Basically, I pulled out all of my notes and conference materials and started going through and pulling out the useful tidbits. I have learned that I need to be doing something in order to pay attention or focus, so I take tons of notes when I’m in meetings and learning environments. Most of the time I find the notes are just bits of information that are useless. But there are always pieces that I can glean.

After a while of copying the best parts of my notes from three different conferences onto new sheets of paper, I realized that I needed to spread out. We had hotel points (kind of like frequent flier miles) that I had reserved a room with (yay for freebies!). I called the hotel and they said I could check in early. So by noon I was in a room, spreading out my stuff across the desk and floor, and having lunch. I took a few short breaks during the day, and by nine o’clock that night, I had gone through everything. All of my notes were condensed down to a few pages. I had copied the information I wanted to remember about the women in my collegial group into a more organized way in a prayer journal. I had emailed everyone who had committed to being on my sounding board with the specific assignments I had for them to help me with. I had also re-done my “ministry map” that we created at PLI. I didn’t like the form they gave us, and besides it was cluttered with my hand-written lists that didn’t look very good at all. I took a doodle I had drawn as the basis for my personal purpose statement and made it the background of my map. Then over the top, I added boxes for each area I wanted to see at a glance. When I got home on Tuesday, I printed it on our color printer, and now it’s hanging above my computer at church. Want to see?