Brittney, Brianna, and I returned home last Monday from a very good weekend at Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. This was a great time with just the three of us. The messages were excellent. The flowers were beautiful. The games were fun. But perhaps the thing I enjoyed the most was the sharing between me and my girls on subjects that aren't brought up near enough in families across this nation. Vision Forum produced a questionnaire for girls to ask their fathers. It included all sorts of questions about my childhood, my spiritual walk, and what books I'd recommend and why. These were questions that opened up conversation. I'd talk as the girls tried to take notes on what I said. Finally, I told them to just jot down a few things to remind them, but that it'd be tough to document everything. We didn't get to spend a lot of time on the questionnaire when we were actually at the conference, but we did a lot of talking in the car on the way home. My good friend, Phill, suggested that the car ride is almost as meaningful as the conference. I can see now what he means. Had we flown, we wouldn't have been confined in that small space for as long as we were, and we wouldn't have seen any sights along the way. On the way out there, we stopped by the first capitol of the Confederacy, in Montgomery, Alabama. We bought a cookbook/homemaking book written by Robert E. Lee's granddaughter at the gift shop there. We also dined on some very good bar-b-que in Memphis. And of course, we took plenty of pictures (which I never seem to have time to post to this blog!).
I am grateful to Doug Phillips, Geoff Botkin, Scott Brown, Anna Sophia Botkin, and Elizabeth Botkin for the excellent lectures and QA times. I am grateful to my wife for being so agreeable to having three of her most helpful family members leave her for six days while my son stepped in to help with the baby. I'm grateful to Michael for helping his mother keep the household running smooth in our absence. But most of all, I'm grateful to my Lord for giving me three precious daughters, two of which went with me on this retreat. (Sarah will need to grow up a bit before she is allowed to go. We just celebrated her two year old birthday.) Of course, I'm also grateful to the Lord for my four sons. I am certainly a blessed man. I love being a Daddy!