Children seem to grow up so quickly these days. One week, you're tying shoelaces and wiping jelly off faces; the next, you're explaining to your daughter has she must wear a t-shirt over a two-piece swimsuit at camp. I recently took my daughter on a mother-daughter retreat to facilitate important conversations in a non-threatening and quiet environment.
The two-night outing was so successful that I wanted to share how I planned a Christ-centered mother-daughter retreat, so that you, too, can have conversations with your daughter that lay the groundwork for future talks about purity, cleanliness, who they are in Christ, and the relationship both of you share.
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Granted, my daughter is eight years old, and you need to tailor the retreat's topics based on your own daughter. But first, the logistics. We went off for a two-night, three-day retreat, and that is important, particularly if there are other kids in the house. This is supposed to be one-on-one time, or if you have multiple daughters, consider bringing all the girls. But it is vitally important that girls get one-on-one time with their moms if at all possible.
We stayed in an Airbnb cottage that I have stayed in previously for a writing retreat. As soon as Laura walked in, she was immediately swept up in the thought that this was a sweet and special time for just her and I. Although she had her own room, she hung out in my room a lot. The Airbnb had a kitchen so we were able to cook together, eat with each other in the dining room, and talk about each others' hopes, dreams, and aspirations. When planning a retreat, look for an affordable get-away whether that's a house, apartment, or hotel room. It doesn't have to be hours away--check your city for any affordable Airbnbs, which eliminate the mileage anyway, and bring groceries from home.
To make this time fun for Laura, and so I could at least get some writing done, we stopped and bought a "friend" for her 18" doll, Ella. Although not from the expensive class of similar dolls, "Kate," Ella, and Laura had a wonderful time playing quietly, which is a rare occasion. It's important to mark this retreat with something special and tangible for your daughter so she can remember it with fondness. The doll and some accessories were the perfect complement to achieve that goal.
The material things aside, over a dinner she helped me make the first night, I started the conversations about purity by telling her that when she accepted Christ as her Savior last year, that very moment, she became a Child of God, a Daughter of the Most High King, and in that exact moment, Jesus gave her the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who immediately indwelled her. "What?!" she said. "You mean the Holy Spirit is inside me?" Quickly bringing me her Bible (for some reason she wanted to see the words in her own Holy Word), she said, "Show me where it says that!"
I turned to these passages and she read them, out loud, with a huge smile on her face:
"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.' ~ 2 Timothy 2:14
"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." ~ John 16:13
"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." ~ Romans 8:9
"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." ~ Revelation 19:11-16
"Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” ~ Mark 3:35
I told her that the moment she had accepted Christ as her Savior, she became a Child of God, a Daughter of the Most High King -- so, therefore, as a Princess, a Daughter of the King, I asked, how was she supposed to act?
Laura thought a minute and said, "Like Christ. Serving Him by serving others."
I also talked with her a little about purity -- based on her age -- but mainly kept it to the need to properly clean herself, health, and also, that she is to protect bathing suit areas. She is to sit like a lady (not like a boy who just hopped off a saddle) and to shine like the diamond she is for Jesus' sake.
The retreat was only for two nights and three days, but the conversations we had were reiterated, prayed over, and talked about in various forms as we were at lunch on Main Street, walking though an antique store and other shops, and playing together at a playground. We prayed together. We hugged and snuggled and painted toenails and fingernails. She took delightfully long baths and enjoyed the soaking tub.
This will not be the only Mother-Daughter Retreat we will have. These retreats will be annually, and will build upon one another. Childhood is so fleeting these days--it's up to us, Christian moms, to grab those moments and nurture them, to tell our daughters they are worthy, beautiful, and important to us, to our families, and to Jesus.
(C) 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee
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