Every two years, the network that helped start our church — Orchard Group — hosts a retreat for the lead pastors and their spouses from all of the churches across the network. It’s held in Miami, and it’s always a really great time of reconnecting with people we love, who are on a similar journey, from across the country and around the world.
In addition to being in a fun city with an inspiring group of people, the retreat agenda is a solid mix of developmental sessions and free time. Church planting and pastoring can sometimes feel like an endless outpouring of energy, so it’s nice to have times when we’re the ones who can get poured into.
In preparation for the retreat, we filled out emotional intelligence assessments, which we then went over once we got to Miami. Have you ever taken an emotional intelligence assessment? I can’t say that any of my results were really surprising — I knew going into it that I’ve got to work on naming and expressing my emotions a whole lot more. I also guessed Jordan would have a higher EQ than me, aaaaand, yeah, I was right. (In fact, Jordan’s emotional intelligence was one of the things that made me fall for him.)
One of the most valuable things I walked away with was a checklist the facilitator presented, which outlines five needs we all have. Whenever we feel like any of the five things is threatened, we tend to react in negative ways –
Status: your relative importance to others
Certainty: your ability to predict the future
Autonomy: a sense of control over events
Relatedness: a sense of safety with others, of friend rather than foe
Fairness: a sense of fair exchanges, justice between people
Mmmm hmmm. This should take me to a whole ‘nother level of self-awareness, let me tell you.
Outside of the enriching sessions, Jordan and I soaked up the two nights we were away from Jameson. “Sleeping in” past 6:30 a.m. and just a general freeness in not having him crawl all over us. And he had a great time being with my mom, Jordan’s parents, his aunt and uncle, and his cousins. People kept asking if we were managing ok without him, and we’d both give a quick and resounding, “Yes!” But if we’re honest, there were two couples who each brought their six-months-old son, and Jordan and I were kind of obsessed with everything both of them did.
Across the two days, we took a dinner cruise around Miami, had a tasty Cuban lunch, made a return trip to ‘O My Buns (see our first trip here), and enjoyed views of the ocean, reading, naps, and showers with no time limit.On our last day, before heading to the airport, we made our way to Wynwood for lunch and to see the abundance of spectacular street art found across the neighborhood.Our group of 10 grabbed lunch at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, which serves a mash up of Latin American tapas. Given it’s proximity to Wynwood Walls, I honestly didn’t have the highest hopes — I guess because I figured they can rely on their great location instead of worrying about making great food. But boy, I was pleasantly surprised. We all loved our food. And the art all around us and Miami sunshine just added to the good vibes.
After lunch, we walked around some more, and had we not needed to catch our flight back to NYC, I could have walked around snapping photos all day.But I rode the waves of inspiration–from street artists and new books and artisan food and thoughts of my baby boy and co-laboring lovers of the gospel from around the globe–all the way home.
ChristinaJanuary 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm
I could literally feel the energy of this place through your descriptions and the imagery. Seems like such a cool place for rest & mental clarity. Living vicariously :-)
Jessica RiceJanuary 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm
Thanks Christina! It’s definitely a must see if you’re ever in Miami!
CrystalJanuary 26, 2016 at 11:47 am
I agree! I am in love with your writing, I feel like I’m with you!
Jessica RiceJanuary 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm
CeCeJanuary 26, 2016 at 1:15 pm
I love your photography!
Jessica RiceJanuary 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm
Thanks! It’s a hobby Jordan and I love, especially when we’re in new places.