Life After Joni and Friends Family Retreat

My family and I left Joni and Friends Family Camp yesterday and leaving was tough.  If you’ve ever gone to one of these family camps you know what I mean. Today as I pondered my thoughts and feelings post camp God helped me put two top 5 lists into words.  My friend, Diane Kim, who just got home from a Joni and Friends Camp (in California–ours was in Michigan) encouraged me to share these tips.

Top 5 Things You May Experience/Think Post Joni and Friends Family Retreat

 5)  When stopping to eat on the car ride home your eyes glaze over as you wonder, “Wait, what happened to our wonderful STM? (short term missionary for those of you who don’t know family retreat shorthand) You mean we have to manage this all by ourselves?”

4) Culture shock.  We’ve been in a wonderful Christian community where meltdowns are normal (from us or our special needs loved oneJ).  Not so once we drive off the Maranatha campus.

3) Where is my baked oatmeal and all the other delicious food served in the dining hall?

2)  You mean I have to go home and do all this laundry?

1)  Where is Sandy’s calm presence and how am I supposed to know what to do next without Michelle’s announcements?

 Top 5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself After Family Retreat

5)  Remember the truth.  Even though we don’t have the wonderful Joni and Friends family around us God is still with us, He is still working and He still loves each one of us.

4) If possible, try not to schedule too much the weekend after camp so you and your family have some time to decompress—and do laundry!

3) When you sin (which we all do) ask Jesus for forgiveness, get back up and keep pressing on.

2) Go easy on yourself and each other as you adjust back into the “real” world.

1) And remember, at least now we can start counting down to Joni and Friends 2014!


 –Picture taken by Brandon Abbs


About morethanwords1

I'm a mom of two very different boys. One has no probelm talking, loves and is gifted at reading and writing and the other has a bright smile, amazing laugh but can barely talk.
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8 Responses to Life After Joni and Friends Family Retreat

  1. Diane says:

    Great stuff Debbie! Crashing back to earth sure can sting :-/

  2. Bruce says:

    Brandon’s picture is awesome. Thanks for sharing the day with us and inviting us to be a part of your community!

  3. Melissa Davenport says:

    Perfectly said. Emma came unglued last night saying how there is too much hatred in the world and she wanted to go back to the comfort of “Joni Camp.”

  4. Sally says:

    Love your number 1’s on each list! I so miss prepared meals and no dishes. Awesome picture Brandon!!!

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