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G A T H E R I N G S | Peace Retreat

During a beach trip this past summer, I read a book where the idea of Glamping was introduced to me - camping with a glamorous side where you step outside of this hectic world into a world of peace and tranquility coupled with fun activities allowing you to do things you don't normally take time to do while spending the night tucked in luxurious yerts decorated from top to bottom and decked out with memory foam mattresses.

I'm pretty sure that was a run-on sentence, but I just couldn't stop! Nor could I stop myself from wanting to make this experience happen in my backyard. So, several months ago, I discovered an Instagram account called Upcountry Camp, and realized the owner, Emily Henning, actually lived right here in Madison, Mississippi. Of course, being the shy person that I am - NOT - I decided to message Emily and see if she would like to meet for coffee to discuss how she and I could partner up for a Gatherings Glamping experience. During that meeting, I learned that she was new to the area; however, it seemed that she had literally already made more friends than I have been able to make in the 32 years I've lived here. Girl has got networking ability, for sure! But she also has the ability to make you feel special by serving you so well. Emily not only set up the Glamping tents which took hours the day before, but she stayed and helped me with my responsibilities.

The entire experience was a run-on sentence in a good way ... it just kept getting better and better and we could not stop ourselves.

Earlier in the week, I had emailed specific instructions to all 15 ladies asking them to make sure they arrived somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 on this Friday afternoon - reminding them to leave their worries behind because this weekend was to be a time for us to refuel our mind, body, soul and spirit. Even though I named this event "Peace Retreat" because it fell on the National Day of Peace, the real reason that I chose this weekend was because the Feast of Tabernacles began on this weekend.

During the Old Testament, the Jewish people would travel into Jerusalem and set up tents around the Temple where they would spend seven nights and eight days celebrating the past goodness of God. Even today, some Jewish people still build huts and sleep in their backyard as a reminder of God's provision. This Feast falls on Tishri 15 (which is somewhere between the middle of September and October) and will be when the moon is starting to become full {giving the Jewish people plenty of light while staying in Jerusalem}.

I have always wanted to do this so what better time than now! And what better company than with you beautiful ladies!


Arrival and Appetizers


Paper Marbling with Elizabeth Ford


Dinner with Certified Nutritionist Traci Holloway


Engaging in Scripture with

Ashley Smith


Midnight Body Flow with

Melissa Kay McCombs


Breakfast and Envelope Lining


Prayer, Praise, Power and Peace with Robin Bolton

This Gatherings Glamping event will be unforgettable for me. Sitting under the stars talking with my friends until wee hours of the morning, laying on my yoga mat looking up at the full moon remembering the past provisions of what God has done in my life just this last year, gasping as a shooting star was sent from Heaven, crying as prayers were being prayed for healing. It just doesn't get much better than this. I believe our bonds were strengthened, our hearts softened, our souls nourished, our bodies stretched, and it all happened on the eve of the most celebratory event in the Old Testament: The Feast of Tabernacles.

The only thing better will be when Jesus comes and tabernacles among us {I think maybe we might have gotten a small taste of what that will be like on this "un-recreatable" weekend}.



Thanks to Salad Days for allowing us to enjoy their delicious lettuce as we created and devoured a masterpiece of a salad. Salad Days is a hydroponic farm that specializes in growing pesticide-free, non-GMO, and sustainability grown produce. They are able to supply warm season crops such as several varieties of tomatoes and lettuce nearly 365 days a year. You can find anywhere from 12,000+ heads of lettuce to 2,000+ tomato plants in their greenhouses year around. Family owned and operated by Jamie Redmond and Leigh Bailey, Salad Days is primarily a wholesale distributor to restaurants and grocery stores, but offer a farm-market on site in Flora on Saturday mornings from 9:00 - Noon, where they sell fresh produce plus a number of other local products. Salad Days is a friend to Gatherings.


Breakfast was so thoughtfully delivered to us by a new company in Wilmington, North Carolina. Founded by two brothers, Brandon and Cody, Duckworthy Goods was born to bridge the gap between adventure gear and sophistication. Using primary material of waxed canvas (also known as "duck" canvas - hence the name), leather trim, and solid brass hardware, Duckworthy Goods aspires to share their passion for travel products with rugged functionality and timeless, classic design. Gatherings is pleased to be a friend of Duckworthy Goods.


Emily Henning had the idea for Upcountry Camp in 2016, while her family was living in Kenya. For four years they had amazing safari adventures, survived without modern conveniences, and lived with fascinating people from all over the world. As they moved back to the States they wanted the values of “experiences over material things” to stick with them while wanting to share with people the biggest lesson they learned: you can be comfortable outside! Emily sets up canvas tents and fills them with stylishly durable furnishings. Her goal is to wow you with how fun it is to do something outside of your normal routine. She also wants you to relax so she takes care of all the setup details. You simply show up and start having fun. Then, when the event is over, you walk away refreshed while we take care of the pack-up. "Our mission is to bring you together with your loved ones in a way that strengthens your unique bond with this shared experience. Whether it is for your child’s birthday sleepover, a girlfriends’ bachelorette party, your family campout, or a romantic couples escape, there is something special about taking a break from a climate-controlled environment and going outside to a cozy tent. It is a deep breath for the soul." It is safe to say that Emily's mission was accomplished on this Friday evening at this Gatherings Glamping Peace Retreat.


Only a few days left until the next Gatherings class, Ladies. This event will be held off-site at Arco Avenue at the Township in Ridgeland. If you are interested in upping your Instagram game, you will not want to miss this class being taught by Laurel Donahoo. Click here for more information.

Be blessed, Jill

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