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Simple Words for a Divine Weekend

How can I express my feelings in simple words? This weekend changed my life.Beautiful Ferncliff Campground

I faced two giant fears and came out a new person: Women and Spiders

Being an Air Force brat, we moved a lot. I moved from school to school until we settled in Fresno, California. From 6th grade on, I was in the same school, with the same people, but was always considered the “new kid”. My first circle of friends damaged my faith in girls and women. Countless days of shattered confidence, inadequacies, and tear soaked pillows brought me to the conclusion that large groups of women were evil.

In many ways, I have allowed those early school years to cheat me out of deep relationships with friends. There have only been a very select few I have trusted with the real me.

This weekend at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference changed my perception of large groups of women. I felt love, acceptance, encouragement, and a sense of belonging. I learned, lived, and laughed more than I thought possible.Cabin in the Woods on Pond

I stayed in a cabin with one of my closest friends, Jeanetta, but was very nervous about all the empty beds. With each new person that entered, my fears starting dissipating.

Each of these beautiful ladies in our cabin felt like a gift to my soul. Each one of them touched and healed my faith in women in a way simple words can not express. Thank you to Liz, Vera, Alicia, & Katie for being authentically awesome!


With the new revelation of my cabin mates being such cool chicks, I went into the morning breakfast with a sense of security and renewed confidence. I sat at a table with ladies I didn’t know and really talked to them. (Y’all for me that’s kind of a big deal). I did the same thing at lunch. I mean, hello…I was meeting people!!!

I was taken from my comfortable, but lonely box, and put into a new, happy world of belonging and joy. In this life we need people. We are not meant to be on an island. We need community.


The second night we battled a nest of spiders and survived. (Yes an actual nest of hatching baby spiders..I know ewwwww!)  We had to get a new cabin, lost a couple of roommates (who lived close enough to travel home), and gained a new roomie.  Peggy entered as we were all jumping up and down, squealing, and squashing spiders.  Bless her heart for sticking with us and not running for the hills!

Spiders are a HUGE phobia of mine. Well, spiders and all bugs in general. One time I threw a whole glass of red wine on my poor mom while trying to get away from a moth. But that’s a story for a different time.

It was funny facing both large fears on the same weekend. My hope is the next time I have to battle a nest of baby spiders, or any other fear, I have some rock solid gals by my side with shoes ready to stomp away the angst.

I’m excited to have found a renewed faith in women and the confirmation needed to step forward confidently and say “Hi I’m Cyndi!”.  I still might squeal and scream at spiders…I mean there is only so much one can grow on a weekend…right?

My not so simple words to sum up a divine weekend?  Be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone, embrace those around you, live in the moment, be yourself, and have no regrets.  Your life is what you make it!

Knit scarf from Black and White Handspun Yarn

24 thoughts on “Simple Words for a Divine Weekend

  1. Great to meet you this weekend and thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  2. Great to meet you this weekend! Thanks for sharing your talents with us–loved all those scarves.

  3. Last year AWBU taught me that there are actually nice women in this world. I’m glad you got to experience the love!

  4. Great to connect with you at ARWB Retreat this past weekend. So impressed with your handmade yarn–I especially LOVE your felted soap! Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words about my works, Karen!

  5. Lovely post! So glad to meet you this weekend.

    1. Thanks Stacey! It was nice to meet you too!

  6. You are making me so sad that I wasn’t able to come this year. I have to make it a priority next year.

  7. Beautifully written post!! I’m so glad you felt the community that is the Arkansas Women Bloggers!! Props to you for facing 2 of your fears!! Never easy, but you came out with a new perspective and wonderful friends!

  8. I loved staying in the new, spider-free cabin with you and the other ladies.

  9. This is awesome! I totally get what you mean by groups of women being scary and how this group just isn’t that way. It wasn’t even like we were putting our “we’re going to be nice” faces on. It was just genuinely a uplifting and enjoyable weekend.

    1. Yes Jamie! I went into the weekend thinking I was gonna have to put on my “we’re going to be nice face” and grin and bear it, but it was the total opposite! I genuinely laughed and loved every minute of it. 🙂 Such a fantastic group of women.

  10. Lovely, lovely. Just like you!

  11. This post is perfect. This is exactly why we started the ARWB conferences in the first place! I am so glad that you were brave enough to join us and I am so glad that I got to meet you and see your amazing talents – both in felt and in words.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Fawn. 🙂 It was a pleasure to meet you as well and I’m very grateful to be part of the ARWB community!

  12. Aww you made me cry!! (Trust me hard to do.) I am blessed to have met each and everyone of ya’ll. I felt the same way you did. I asked my husband when we got there if we could just go home and he pushed me out of the car. I am thankful he did. I feel that each one of ya’ll added something to my cup. Thank you for coming!

    1. Alicia, you made my weekend with your super sweetness and our shared kindred geekery. Give your hubby a big hug from me for pushing you out of the car. 🙂

  13. Great post! I had some of the same concerns you did (well, not about the spiders 😉 but was thoroughly, pleasantly surprised by the accepting and encouraging feeling from the group as a whole, as well as the sense of getting almost 1-on-1 “personal coaching” and suggestions from so many of the ladies there! I left feeling motivated and pushed in a good way. Yay!

  14. Loved meeting you at the conference!
    The majority of us come from that same place of reluctance and fear, but what a beautiful thing when it’s overcome. 🙂


    1. Loved meeting you as well Mari!!!

  15. Loved this post. It was so great to see you. I very much agree – large groups of women can be scary. This group of women really is uplifting. See you soon! Bout to try your dryer balls 🙂

  16. I love you friend!

    1. Right back at ya sweets!

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