I grew up in the Lutheran church and always knew God. When I was in my mid 20’s I started attending a
non-denominational Christian church and was rebaptized. I went on a mission trip to South Africa and
my faith became stronger than it had ever been. After my husband and I got married, we went through a
lot of life change. We had a miscarriage, he lost his job, and we moved across the country. We soon had
a little boy and I became a stay at home mom. I loved that time with my son. I became pregnant again
when my son was 9 months old and, at the same time, my husband started a small business and was
traveling 80% of the time. It was hard being a (essentially) single, pregnant mom, with no breaks or help.
After our second son was born, life took a turn for the worse. My husband went back on the road
right away. All I could think was, “I can’t do this”. I never stopped believing in God, but I started
to believe the lies over the truth. The lies of being a failure, the fear of not being able to handle
this season, that I couldn’t do it all on my own. It surrounded me and I fell into a deep
postpartum depression and quickly became suicidal. I sought help but relief wasn’t coming soon
enough. I made the difficult decision to check myself into an inpatient mental health facility for
5 days. After that, my husband went back on the road and I was alone with both babies again,
with no breaks, no help. I became suicidal again.

One night, I had reached my breaking point. I sobbed, putting my almost 2-year-old to bed,
knowing it was going to be the last time I would hold him. I put on worship music and took a
Xanax. I thought, “I will wash up and maybe that will give it enough time to kick in, just to take
the edge off and change my mind”. I finished washing up and fell face down on the floor,
begging God to save me. I swore that if God would get me through this; that I would somehow
use it for His glory. By the time I was done praying, His peace (and the Xanax) washed over me
and I went to bed. The next day I felt a little better. I felt like God hadn’t left me; that He was still
fighting for me. I found a spiritual mentor to walk with me through this season and a few
months later, I was baptized by the Holy Spirit.

A few months later, my husband and I were sitting in church, the pastor was speaking on
Matthew 11:28, “ Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest,”
and I thought, “Yes! That’s what I experienced, real rest for my soul!” And I heard, almost
audibly, from the Lord “Start a mom’s retreat”! I had no idea how to run a retreat, I had never
been to one, how was I going to run one?! But He kept saying, “I’ll take care of it, just be my
hands and feet”. So, keeping to my promise of using that season to bring His Kingdom glory, I
did it.

Restore is an annual retreat in Middle TN for moms. It is 3 days filled with worship, speakers,
testimonies, prayer, crafts, down time and time to connect with other moms.
We try to keep costs as low as possible so that all moms can attend. We do fundraisers
throughout the year to help raise money for scholarships. We also accept donations through our
website. We are a registered 501(c)(3) for tax deductions.

The next retreat will be April 3-5, you can register or find out more details at

Lisa Sanford, 

Founder, Restore Moms Retreat

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or attempts, please call the hotline for suicide prevention at – 1-800-273-8255