Meet Deanna Kramper. Deanna is a wife, home-school mom to 3 kids, and is very involved with her church. In the last two years she has come to ALL 3 of our different 61A Retreats. She came to Beauty for Ashes in November of 2021, Hearing God in September of 2022, and Abide in April of 2023. We LOVE having Deanna at retreats! She takes the most breathtaking photos, always grabs a selfie with “Foxy,” climbs into the trees, and has given several of us the best back massages.
Deanna agreed to answer some questions for us in order to give you further insight into our retreats and why women value them.
What drew you to your first retreat?
My first retreat was “Beauty for Ashes.” Even though we couldn’t afford for me to go, I kept having this intense tugging feeling that no matter the cost, no matter the panic attacks from being away from my family, I just HAD to do whatever it took to get there. God was pulling me in so deep, I knew He was going to do way more than I could ever expect in my life through this retreat. Way More, was an understatement 😭🙌.
Why do you keep coming back to retreats?
I keep coming back because EVERY SINGLE TIME God reveals Himself to me more and more. He brings clarity to my mind like I’ve never had before. I leave encouraged, rested, full of desire and promise, and healed both inwardly and outwardly. I learn so many new things. Things that not only help me, but that I can pass on and implement with my children and husband on a daily basis. That having a true one on one relationship with Jesus is not only important, but it’s also fun and so simple!
What is your favorite thing about retreats?
My favorite thing about retreats is being able to shut off the outside world and all its noise and distractions. You just don’t realize how loud everything is, until it isn’t anymore. You don’t realize how easy it is to hear God speak, until the busyness is removed.
Which is your favorite retreat? Why?
A favorite retreat… That’s impossible to answer. They are all my favorites, but each has its own reason. Beauty for Ashes… I would suggest everyone do first if possible. God showed me things that I had thought were not a problem anymore that clearly I was still holding onto and were affecting how I saw myself and how I felt God saw me, even though I would convince myself otherwise. I received the most healing (so much) from this retreat. This set me up to be in a better place to receive what God had for me in the later retreats.
Hearing God… this retreat spoke so deeply to all my love languages and showed me how tangible and fun speaking to and hearing from God is. It truly is that simple! He is speaking to us every moment of every day in so many different ways- we just have to recognize it for what it is…Him!
Abide… It’s what we all need. I learned how to sit still, listen, and how to JUST BE. I thought I had to figure out how to shut my overactive ADHD brain off to truly rest and relax, but I don’t. In fact, God showed me through this retreat how He made me different and the purpose of these gifts He’s given me, along with how to use them to my advantage and for His glory. This retreat inspired me to set a whole day aside for our entire family where we stay both together and apart at different times to sit and be intentional in our relationship with Jesus. That could be doing anything and just inviting Jesus to join us: taking a nature walk, having a picnic, coloring, taking a nap, taking photos, watching the birds etc.
What’s been a favorite meal served at a retreat?
What’s with these favorites again- does there have to be one, lol? The garden soup… the breakfast egg muffins… and the quinoa salad!!
How has your relationship with the Lord grown since attending your first retreat?
More than I ever had realized was possible! My intentionality and desire to be present with Him are night and day from what they once were.
Are the retreats worth the cost? How so or not?
The retreats are absolutely worth the cost!! Besides including your lodging, all meals/snacks, supplies, and break out sessions the whole weekend (3-4 days/nights), the Total Free-ness and close relationships both from God and other amazing woman in itself is priceless. Until you experience it yourself, you can’t fully understand it.
What would be one piece of advice you’d give to a woman who’s thinking about coming to a retreat?
Sign up now and thank yourself later!
Would you share one special experience or moment that you’ve had with the Lord at a retreat?
While sitting down and drawing how I felt God was seeing me in the moment – His eyes just watching from above while all this chaos in my life and noise was overwhelming me without Him helping at all – He showed me how He was really seeing me: Just as I, a parent, lean over one of my children who is bawling their eyes out while doing math homework because they don’t understand it and are overwhelmed. But just as I know they have already been equipped with the knowledge to solve those equations, God reminds me that He, too, has already prepared and equipped me to go through the difficult seasons in my life. Just because He’s not taking my struggle away in this moment doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care about me and what I’m going through, but in fact is showing me how much He believes in me and that with Him I can do anything.