Tonya Marvin and a team of five other women will be hosting a women’s retreat next Saturday at the Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay.
The retreat is sponsored by Marvin’s non-profit ministry, Transformed, Revived, Renewed Ministries. Entitled “Superwoman is Frazzled,” the retreat focuses on finding balance for women who are trying to do it all and are worn out.
“I honestly wasn’t that settled when the name was presented,” said Marvin. “I didn’t think it sounded spiritual or Christian enough, but a lot of women have been drawn to this idea of trying to be superwoman and failing.”
The retreat, which will last from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., is made up of main sessions and several breakout sessions. Marvin will be the main speaker and five other women will be teaching the breakout sessions. As the main speaker, Marvin’s focus is on superwoman.
“I am teaching on a few different subjects,” she said. “I will be talking about ‘Superwoman’s Balancing Act’ which is about not trying to do it all. I’ll also be doing ‘Superwoman’s Helper’ which is about the Holy Spirit; ‘Superwoman’s Savior’ which is about Jesus Christ; and ‘Superwoman’s Secrets’ which will be about things that the enemy uses to hold us in bondage.”
The breakout sessions focus on different areas that matter to women. Amie Hartman’s talk, “The Things We Do for Love,” will focus on the crazy things women will do for love and approval. Christy O’Donnell’s talk, “Disarming Our Inner Diva,” will address skills for peace in the workplace, and Heidi Poteat’s session, “Don’t Reign on My Parade,” deals with control issues and the need to submit to God. Tammy Morehart’s session, “Storybook Girls in a Not So Storybook World” deals specifically with the mother-daughter relationship, and Vanessa Greer’s talk “Rubies and Diamonds and Pearls- Oh My!” will help in dealing with bad things happening to good people.
The $55 registration fee includes a chair massage and an Italian dinner buffet. Attendees can purchase a box lunch for an additional $7.50.
“We currently have about 100 people registered, including volunteers,” said Marvin. “We’d love to see another 50 sign up.”
The volunteers for the event are teenage girls who are involved in the teen ministry Youth for Christ, and about a dozen local massage therapists that have donated their time for the chair massages.
Marvin, who started her work life as a dental hygienist, has always been involved in ministry, but several years ago she felt a call into full-time ministry.
“It started with Bible studies we did at our house,” she said. “We had a women’s Bible study on Mondays and one for couples on Wednesdays. Then in 2010, I felt led to do a retreat.”
The first retreat was held in October 2010. Since that time, Marvin has been invited to speak at churches, various events and even to lead other retreats.
“At least once a month, I am somewhere speaking,” she said. “I really enjoy teaching the Bible and the doors have just been opening to go to different towns and churches.”
The ministry, which is supported by area churches, individuals and the Marvins themselves, is non-denominational and is a lay ministry, meaning that the people who teach are not ordained and most have other jobs or vocations.
“We’ve been truly blessed by area friends, neighbors and churches that have helped us out,” she said. “My husband and I fund a lot ourselves, too.”
Marvin’s ministry sponsors a retreat every other year. From that retreat, she and the other teachers are often asked to give either one of the sessions from the retreat or to lead entire conferences for other churches and ministries.
“Sometimes, people just want me to speak on a specific thing,” she explained, “but other times they’ll have me come in and do the whole retreat. It just really depends on what the church or group wants.”
Marvin wants the retreat to refresh area women and that when they leave “Superwoman is Frazzled” on Saturday, they will leave with hope and practical tools to find balance and rest in their own lives.
“Without Jesus in our everyday life, life is going to be frazzled,” she said. “I want to spend time with God to grow daily but also with the understanding that God rested. What makes us think we as women don’t deserve or need to rest – when, in fact, God wants us to?”