It was a wonderful, sunny, & inviting day! Fifty-seven women gathered together this past Saturday for a day of “Investing in Others”. We were challenged to really think intentionally about the legacy we are living out day to day & to consider how we may embrace the church community as family & in our daily walk, bring someone alongside us to mentor. The day flew by (for me at least) & I left, feeling utterly blessed to have spent it with my “sisters & mothers” in Christ.
Here’s just a little photo recap of some of the day for you to enjoy.
A really big thanks goes out to Laura, Errin, Carolyn & Roma for all your hard work to make this day special!
As I was getting breakfast together this morning, this song popped into my head & I found myself praying the words. I decided to do a quick search online & found this video from Rich Mullins & was moved by his sincerity & honesty. Although the video itself is not the best quality & a little dated, the message is fabulous. Watch for yourself & may you walk with God step by step.
I am recognizing that women of all walks of life crave meaningful, authentic relationships with other women. The most frequently checked off box on our recent Women’s Ministry “Surveys” was that women “Desire to connect with other women.”.
I recently read about a gal who was speaking at a christian women’s retreat. During one of her sessions she asked ladies to stand as she read from a list of life experiences. If they had lived through one of the descriptions they stood up. One by one, sobbing women rose to their feet as she read the list.
Twelve women stood together when she asked if anyone had had a miscarriage. One woman had buried a spouse. Five came from unbelieving homes. One had lived through marital infidelity. Three had escaped relationships where they had faced verbal, physical or sexual abuse. Three ladies had struggled with depression. The list went on and on. By the time she had finished, every woman in the room was standing.
She wrote, “We were knee-deep in one another’s junk, and yet I had never felt closer to a group of women. As we closed the session I asked them to share more about their stories at their individual tables. As I surveyed the room, women who had been strangers only minutes before were huddled around one another, embracing, sharing & weeping. God was knitting hearts together. It was a moment I’ll never forget.”
How about you? Do you have genuine, edifying friendships? How can we be more intentional about cultivating deeper relationships with one another?
I’m not sure I have the answers, but maybe there are a few things we could try. Perhaps we need to try & simplify our Sunday routine to allow more time for building relationships. I know I’m often guilty of tending to our kids or doing ministry related “business” on Sunday mornings. Real relationships require time & transparency. Perhaps it means investing some time with another gal who has gone through or is experiencing something similar to yourself in hopes of offering encouragement & hope. Other ways of connecting with others & taking our casual acquaintances to genuine friendships may include attending a women’s bible study, getting involved in a small group, coming to the women’s retreat &/or joining other women for a time of prayer on Sunday mornings.
Wouldn’t it be exciting if all of us had a real feeling of connectedness? I desire that for each one of us & pray that we, as women, would be able to experience that in all sorts of ways.
I just love retreats!! There is something magnetic for me – spending a day for me, connecting & worshipping with other women, & being inspired that feed me & make me yearn for more. And so it comes as no surprise that I would be uber (yes – I think that should be a word) excited about our upcoming Women’s Day Retreat. It will be a casual day (so bring your slippers) in which we will spend time fellowshipping, eating, learning, sharing & having fun together. We are delighted to have Mary Reimer, pastor of FaithWorks, come & share with us about “Investing in Others” & what that means for each of us.
The retreat will be held next Saturday, October 23, 2010 @ FGMB Church, from 9am – 4:30pm. Cost is $40 & includes lunch. If you have yet to register you are not too late! We will still be accepting registrations this Sunday (Oct 17th) in the West Foyer.
This retreat is for women of all ages & stages of life. We would love to have you join us! I know I’m looking forward to it!
This post will be brief, but I wanted to make sure to sincerely wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I also thought I should add a few more things to my “100 List” seeing as how I didn’t the other day. So here are a few more:
I Am Thankful For:
The women of our church
Kev’s job security
Our small group
This Women’s Ministry Blog
My new computer
All of our wonderful babysitters
The opportunity I had to attend the Leadership Summit this summer
This beautiful warm weather (who knew I’d be wearing my flip flops in October!)!
May you feel incredibly blessed as we are reminded to give thanks this weekend!
We are studying this book, by John Ortberg, in our small group. Last night, Ortberg spoke about Michelangelo’s painting “The Creation of Adam” & showed us an image of the whole painting. As he described this painting, I found more meaning in looking at the whole piece rather than the smaller image we are more familiar with of just the two man’s hands; kind of like what happens sometimes when we look at not just a single bible verse, but the context as well in which we find it in.
Take a good look at the painting. Notice that the figure of God is extended toward the man with great determination. He twists his body to move it as close to the man as possible. His head is turned toward the man and his gaze is fixed on him. God’s arm is stretched out, his index finger extended straight forward; every muscle is taut. God appears to be earnestly desiring to close the gap between himself & this man. God is as close as He can be. But having come that close, he allows just a little space, so that Adam can choose.
Adam on the other hand, does not appear to be over eager in my opinion. He is laid back, arm partially extended, not appearing to be giving much effort to close the gap. Maybe he has no interest in making a connection. Maybe he assumes that God, having come this far, will close the gap. Maybe he is indifferent to the possibility of touching his creator. Maybe he lacks the strength. All he would have to do is lift a finger, but…
Do you resonate with this painting? Are you, like Adam, just needing to lift your finger, put in a little effort, to close the gap between yourself & God? Or, is it really that simple? Are there times when you feel as though you are reaching out as far as you can and you still can’t make that connection?
I don’t have all the answers, but I am intrigued to find out what else God has to teach me through this study. Although we may find ourselves, at times, wondering where God is, I assure you that He is not too far away. Psalm 139 is a powerful & perfect example of just that. David wrote: ” O Lord, you have examined my heart & know everything about me…You go before me & follow me…I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go lie down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night – but even in the darkness I cannot hide from you….”