» Our Team

Mary Zopfi

I can’t remember ever not liking people. I have always felt energized when my house is full of all shapes and sizes of humans. I love hearing their stories, drying their tears, smiling at their victories, and gut-belly laughing and snorting at their silliness.

But somewhere along the way, I began to wear a mask. The longer I wore it, the harder it was to remove—for anyone. I felt that perfection eluded me, yet I was fearful that if I let others become aware of that, let others know my deepest pain, it would cause my world to come crashing down. The mask was becoming a permanent fixture.

“There was a little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead,
and when she was good,
she was very very good.
And when she was bad,
she was horrid.”

I can remember my mother reciting this to me as a youngster. Now as years have caught up with me, I see just how wise she was! I was very, very good, at trying to hold everything together. I was horrid at letting others help. I was very, very good at convincing others I was fine. I was horrid at allowing myself to be vulnerable.

I was suffocating under the mask when I finally faced a “do or die” moment. A week after my husband of 29 years and I separated, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I chose “do”! I took a small step, a very scary step, and the journey has been amazing.

Come share your story. Come shed some tears. Let’s smile together at your victories. Let’s let out some awesome belly laughs. Allow yourself the freedom to be you.

To learn more about my experiences and my heart, I invite you to read my blog at CountryVillageRetreat.com/marys-blog.

Nadia Hicks

Mary and I have been praying and dreaming of Country Village Retreat for a long time. I don’t have an official title, but I plan to be all of the following: soldier of the Lord, chief prayer warrior, evil detector, body guard, tear wiper, laugh maker, dream stretcher, head cheerleader, and vice president of all things Mary.

I love life. It’s a gift from God, and I embrace it with both arms—the good, the bad, and the ugly—because God is there through it all. I am a woman, a sister, a mother, and a child. I am powerful, and I am weak. I am confident, and I am scared. I have emotions, and I love them. My emotions are not a handicap. Because of my emotions, I can understand with my heart when my head fails me.

God blessed us women with tear ducts and deep passion, and I’m thankful that He did. My heart grows when it’s filled with awe and folds in on itself when I feel pain. I cry tears of sadness and tears of joy, and I find that tears cleanse. I laugh as much as possible, and laughing makes it all worthwhile and tolerable.

My desire for you at Country Village Retreat is that you see yourself through God’s eyes. He created you in His image, and He sees you as beautiful, valuable, and loved. I have to admit, I think this is just over-the-top amazing. At the retreat I hope we can remind you that you are God’s daughter—a princess. You are so special.

We all have a story. Mine is long, complicated, and filled with mystery and intrigue. Details? You’ll have to wait and see. I look forward to meeting you in person.

Becky Jensen

I’m an inner adrenaline junkie, an analytical person, and I naturally respond to others in crisis. You can imagine how difficult it was to feel like my hands were tied as I watched my friend Mary struggle with cancer and loss. Geographically we were hundreds of miles apart. I felt hopeless, yet she assured me she was okay. Later I discovered the extent of her pain.

When Mary asked me to be the volunteer coordinator for Country Village Retreat, I was glad to step into that role and to support Mary in her dream.

I am a strong believer in faith, family and friends. I believe they are crucial when maneuvering through life’s crisis. I feel blessed to have a part in encouraging other women. Welcome!

Lily Zopfi Glass

I’m a lifestyle and editorial photographer living in the Midwest (and brewing my own southern sweet tea). At Country Village Retreat, I’m the staff photographer and a volunteer.

I am Mary’s youngest daughter, and I’m so grateful for the beautiful examples of womanhood set before me in my grandmother, mother, and older sister. I hope to pass along the same values of strength and compassion that they possess to my own baby girl.

I look forward to a portrait session with each woman at Country Village Retreat. Each session is relaxed and intimate. It’s an opportunity to feel comfortable and confident and to be reminded of your true beauty and value. It’s my hope that when you look back at your image, you will recall the sweetness of even life’s most trying moments.

LilyGlassPhotography.com
Blog.LilyGlassPhotography.com

Jennie Zopfi

An entrepreneur at heart with southern charm and and the matching accent, I’m the oldest daughter of Mary. Born with the superwoman mentality, I can relate to how challenging it is to take time for yourself—time to slow down and rest. I look forward to helping you do just that. You will find me in every corner of Country Village Retreat, anxious to serve you in any way I can! And yes, I will be more than happy to teach you how to say “Ya’ll” the prim and proper way. I can also teach you to ride a Harley. (Aren’t we marvelous creatures?) May you find a renewed spirit and a rested body at Country Village Retreat.

Ashley McConnell

I lead yoga at the retreat. I am a woman who loves to feel connected to my surroundings, mother nature, and beautiful expressions of life. My heart is open and full of gratitude because each and every moment we are on this earth, we are provided with truth and love.