June 2, 2005|2:14 am

One woman, a mother with three children, flew from her home state, Illinois, all the way to sunny, southern California for a weekend of "rest and renewal" with Christ and other women.

Cheryl Baird, 39, said "It's a great break for me because I'm a mom with three kids, so for me, I need to get away from the daily life and just to be with Christian women."

Roughly 50 women from around the nation and representing different generations - some as old as 50s and others as young as 19 - joined together from May 28-30, 2005 for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' "Rest and Renewal Retreat." They played sports, listened to Bible study, and enjoyed fellowship with one another.

This annual event has built up a community of women who return each year, and for Baird, fellowship with women was just what she needed.

"Having the chance to reconnect with friends is a real boost since I'm at home with kids. It's that fellowship, that sense of community, and that opportunity to hear some real teaching and get a break from the daily life that makes this retreat worth the plane ticket," she said.

Not only did this event focus on fellowship, but it was also about a relationship with God. The theme this year was "Be filled," and the women talked about what it meant to be filled from God.

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"We talk a lot about how God fills us in a community, that we're in a community of praying for one another and caring for one another in practical ways."

Each morning, there was a time of worship with Jami Smith, followed by a scriptural message taught by Jo Kadlecek, an author and international speaker.

Her message was taken from Ephesians 3:18-21, of which verse 18 states, "to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

"We had a time of solitude for people to be alone and meditate for a little while and write in journals," said Debbie Haliday, FCA Regional Camp Director.

"The purpose," she said "is to provide a place where women who are involved in sports can be together to rest and experience some time with the Lord, set apart from the busyness of our lives."