By The Brook 2019

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On June 21 & 22 we welcomed special needs moms, grandmothers, and female caregivers from around the country to a weekend of refreshment and encouragement.


It brings us so much joy to watch these beautiful women arrive and greet each other. Many friendships that are maintained across distances throughout the year are reignited on this weekend, and others meet new friends for the first time. An afternoon full of pampering - including manicures, haircuts, makeup, and delicious food - kicks off the retreat.


The evening continued this year with a 10th Birthday celebration that began with dinner and was filled with surprises.


Dinner was followed by Coffee Talk featuring Roots Coffee, and then a surprise birthday party complete with gifts for every lady in attendance to end the night. Unfortunately a thunderstorm and power outage brought the party to an end earlier than planned, but everyone made it safely to their hotel after the storm ended.

When asked to share their favorite part of By The Brook retreats, attendees very often enthusiastically answer, “The Saturday morning worship service!” This year was no exception. Jimmy Thorpe, Cheyenne Lewis, and team led us in a beautiful time of worship. Becky Davidson followed worship with an encouraging and empowering message reminding us to look to God and His Word for what is true about us and our stories.

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Our hosts, Dawn and Lori, had so many great segments planned for us throughout the weekend. We smiled and laughed with them, and left feeling lighter because of their joy.

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Each year we have a special guest join us for our Living Room Session. This year’s guest, Mary Susan McConnell, was such a treat. She shared her story of becoming a mother to her precious daughter, Abi. Mary Susan is the host of the Mama Bear Podcast and talks with mamas all over the world who are raising children with special needs. It was a gift to have the opportunity to hear her own story during our Living Room Session.

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Saturday concluded this year with a conversation with Becky Davidson and her Tribe of friends. They shared about the importance of community and how being willing to share life with others can help us redefine this life.

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As always, we are so incredibly grateful to our sponsors who partnered with us to make this event possible:
Fry, Fry, Knight & Looper, Select Designs, Sunbelt Rentals, Tim Tebow Foundation, Joni & Friends, River Community Church, Cigi’s, Amber Flynn Jared, Trinity Assembly, Washington Avenue Baptist Church, and Grade A Catering.

If you are a special-needs mom anywhere in the world, we hope you will consider joining us next year for what is arguably our favorite weekend of the year. If you know a special-needs mom who could use a weekend to breath and be refreshed, would you consider sharing with her about this retreat? Registration for next year is already open!

We can hardly believe what God continues to do in the lives of special needs families. He is so good, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of His story in lifting up the special needs community.

Kimberly ThorpeComment