Yes... it's happening!

 

I am very excited to announce our 2nd Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy next year!  

 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us:

October 6 - 13, 2018

 We are very excited to have this special teacher joining us...

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This beautiful lady is Sheila Atchley and if you don't know her... you need to!!

Here's a little bit of information on this talented, funny, honest & open gorgeous lady:

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Hi, I'm Sheila Atchley:  artist-author, wisdom-chaser, silver-haired ordinary mystic.  

I'm a celebrant, a congregant, and a flagrant creative.

I have a semi-empty nest, a pet husband, and five adorable grand-wildlings.

And I over-use the hyphen.  

While I am equally drawn to words and art, words are my defining first love, and a big part of my art form.  I'm here to encourage you with paint, prose, and poetry.  I'm here to unleash an army of women whose metric is grace.

One of my passions is the middle age woman.  This beautiful season of life is under-celebrated and under-valued.  Middle aged women do not get enough support, by and large.  I aim to change that, when and where I can.  I believe that, just like Abraham in the bible, “everywhere the soles of your feet tread shall be yours…the Lord will extend your boundaries…”.  

Middle age is a vast and gracious land, a land where many of us now find ourselves walking, a land where the potential fruit is enormous if you are willing to slay some giants.  I’m busy doing just that, in my personal life, in my art, and in my writing and speaking ministry.  I want to help you extend your boundaries, and to inherit what’s yours, in every season.  

After all, if I encourage the women, I encourage the world.

So sit down, relax, and please overlook my hair (it is its own light source, my apologies.).  Let's talk about the things that really matter, and laugh about the things that really don't.  

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Ok, don't you love her already?

I didn't even know this lady 4 months ago!  Our dear mutual friend Jeanne Oliver mentioned her to me when we were in Italy together this past summer and she told me it was someone I needed to know.  Well, a few hours later I got a Facebook message that was Jeanne connecting us.  THANK YOU JEANNE!  I truly am in Awe of the Lord's PERFECT timing and the way He brings people into our lives.  I already love and adore Sheila and the conversations we have had just confirm it over and over.  You do NOT want to miss this special, special lady having a BLAST in Italy with us next FALL!

You can check out more of Sheila's life and art at: Sheilaatchley.art

So let me share with you the WHY we decided to add this retreat next year.  I know... I already have a retreat in Italy in 2018!  And if you want to join that one... Please feel free to join us!  I think I have a few more spots open if the Summer 2018 retreat works better for your schedule.  I know for some people it's easier to get away when the kids have their summer break and that would be a great time to actually BRING the family!  This past summer we had our biggest group EVER and it was because we said YES to hubby's or families and it was a BLAST!

Getting back to the FALL 2018 Retreat...

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My daughter and I just got back from a work trip to France & Italy for our retreats and we really didn’t expect what happened.  We knew it would be beautiful in the fall (and it WAS) and it would be so great to see new things and discover new places we want to take YOU in the future… and it WAS.  But we didn’t think we would be coming back… NEXT Fall!  It was just SO beautiful and SO inspiring and we could feel the Lord stirring something in us to come back with YOU next fall… so we are.  

Each year that we have done these retreats I am just in awe of how God is moving and knitting people together through these times together.  We are so thankful the Lord has blessed us with this opportunity to serve and love and come along side the women that come to our retreats! Our prayer is always that the people who the Lord is calling to be there COME, and that throughout the week they are able to draw closer to Him and hear and experience what God is wanting them learn from this time in Italy.  

It is so evident that He places us in the right place at exactly the right time because He has something to show us.  Mostly, because the Lord wants so show us how much He LOVES US but ALSO to show us how BIG of a God He is and that He does have a PLAN for each one of us and He wants us to see that!  He also brings others into our lives for a reason and I get SO excited to see that each year… the people who come into a group of strangers and leave a week later with a FAMILY of friends.  He is so good to bring us together and bring people into our lives who we need to know… who we may need to help us through hard times, or to share our joys or simply to share laughs with and beautiful art with… and that it ultimately is His gift to bring us together.  I am so unbelievably sure of that... and it's why I always cry at these retreats...

because of the STORIES.

I could go on and on with stories... one about a woman telling me she "needed to hear those exact words" or another lady saying she doesn't have very many women in her life and she now has a whole group of ladies!  Or that one lady was so down on herself and how she felt she was "weird or didn't fit it in her world" until another lady who came was JUST LIKE HER... and she realized it was OK to be who she is!  Or how one has struggled with a certain problem and two other ladies were going through the SAME THING.  The stories go on and on.  So as we pray each year for the people to come, I am in AWE of how the Lord orchestrates it... 

PERFECTLY.

I say all this because I want that for YOU.  I'm not trying to sell you on a week in Italy.  You could go by yourself and see Italy.  What I am wanting is for you to come spend a week getting to know what the Lord has for you here at one of our retreats.  Because if you are feeling it on your heart to come... than He does have something here for you.  And trust me... you will go back changed.  I hear it all the time... "This was LIFE CHANGING"  

So please pray about it, seek the Lord's will, and if you feel the Lord prompting you to come next year, then come.  There WILL be room for you.  If you sign up NOW... OR if you can't sign up for a while.  I truly believe if you are meant to come, there will be a space for you.  

Registration will OPEN THIS FRIDAY, November 10, 2017 at 9am PST/Noon EST

You will click on the SIGN UP button at the top of this website and then the drop down menu will show three different retreats.  Click on the "Italy Retreat - Fall 2018" if that is the retreat you want to join and then it will take you to another page.  On that page you will click on the retreat you want to SIGN UP for and it will take you through the prompts to pay the deposit.

Oh, I hope to meet you in Italy next year!

Hugs,

Laura

P.S.  I am always available if you have ANY questions.  You can contact me via the CONTACT button at the top of the page as well.

 

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