Sunday, January 17, 2016

Blessed

I just got to experience an amazing weekend with the ladies from church. This is our second year hosting a retreat to start off the year. Each year has blessed us with unexpected connections.

This year's topic was REFUGE.
We discussed at our annual meeting that we want to be a refuge for each other and the ladies in our community. We decided to study and discuss it together.

Our first speaker taught us that we are a lot like her dog. We know there's this beautiful house where we are cared for and loved. But when the storms come, we hide in the smallest place possible and the simplest place.

The second speaker was me. I shared my refuge and how my personality may not make me seem like the best refuge for ladies. But with trust and understanding, you will be the right refuge for the right person, like searching for a port in the storm when a boat is in need of refuge.

Third speaker taught us through music and the Psalms how we should search for refuge instead of trying to hide in our box in the woods. We need to run from to run to and cry out and claim the victory by reading and remembering so that we can rest and rejoice in our Lord.

Our fourth speaker told us her story and how she has overcome struggles by continuously coming back to the Lord as her refuge. She taught us how He has instilled in us all the gift of creation. We each have the gift to create something and it serves as a refuge to us.

I think we had the most fun with the personality test we took as our ice breaker. It was silly and right on the money for certain things. But it helped us recognize the similarities and differences between us all and that we need one if each to get certain things done in life.

As I was reflecting on the weekend, I realized how blessed I was. That if anything happened in my life, I wouldn't want to be with any other group of ladies. The prayer warriors, the care givers, the entertainers, and everyone inbetween. I feel blessed to be able to learn more about them and allow them to learn more about me. And to learn how to become closer to our Lord and let Him shine through us to the world.

I am blessed. Now I need to continue to be a blessing.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tossed Together

I woke this morning realizing that I had forgotten to share a story with my Women's Ministry group. We had an amazing meeting titled "Tossed Together ". We had a salad lunch with the meeting and everyone brought a topping. And I didn't connect it to the lesson for them. I was just nervous to get the meeting rolling.  Here's why we did this...

We are all here together for a reason. God has a purpose for bringing you all here to this place at this time. I have known for a while that those who are meant to be here, will be. What is the significance of this?

We have been tossed together for a purpose. He has a plan for putting all of our different personalities and gifts together. We have been Tossed Together to create an amazing salad like we have all just eaten.

If I would have been the only one here today, my salad would have been pretty sad. Just some lettuce, carrots, and sunflower seeds.

Once you add one more, we now have a dressing and some bread to go with it. That is starting to make a meal. It's more enjoyable and easier to swallow.

If you add all of you, we have a feast. We have lettuce, spinach, 4 dressings, 2 breads, carrots, peppers, cranberries, sunflower seeds, cucumber, cottage cheese, eggs, cheese, and I know I'm forgetting something because the counter was full. And we had enough to fill all of us and share with our families and a family in need.

Because we all came together and tossed what we had brought together, we had an amazing meal and some to share. We filled ourselves and were able to outreach. This is what our Women's Ministry is all about. Coming together to be filled so that we can reach out to others.

If it's just me, it's a sad lunch that's hard to swallow. It's an unsatisfied fill that doesn't give me the strength to put myself out there.

Once you add one more, it can become a satisfying lunch that makes you want to do more. Your conversation gives you strength to do more.

God designed us to need others. We were not meant to be alone. Therefore he keeps tossing us together in churches where we can grow and make a difference.  When we are all Tossed Together we make an amazing feast. And the conversation we have can change us, our community, and hopefully someday the world.

Knowing this, because we now experienced it, why wouldn't you want to encourage more ladies to be part of the feast? Why would you want to stay away from the banquet and eat a dry lonely lunch by yourself?

Encourage others to play a part in the feast. Share with them how they will be filled to the point that they will need to share with others.

Imagine the kind of salad we could create if every lady joined us bringing with them just one item. If they brought just one of their gifts, what kind of dent in the world could we create? How far could the ripples from our dent travel? How many of you want to fins this out?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Excessive Words

It has occurred to me that I have an excessive amount of words to use every day. I hear them come out of many mouths every day and am fascinated by them. It just has never occurred to me that I have that many too since talking has never been my strong suit.

It's amazing how many words I have now that I've been working on talking and expressing myself more for the past 15 years. (Wow. When you double digit things it makes an impact on your brain.)

So I was thinking this morning that I need to find a proper outlet for my words and make it a habit. For that has been my downfall, making anything a habit.

I first thought I needed to find a place to dump my words but that imaged a spewing form and didn't seem pretty.

Then I thought I may need to put them somewhere. That brought the image of them not being valuable or worthy of sharing.

Then I thought of a place for them. That sounded right. Each word has it's proper place. They are being created in my brain for a purpose. They should not just be flung around, spewed out, or hidden away. They should be put in their proper place.

And that's when I realized that I really do have an excessive amount of words. Because I thought all of that about the words that roll around in my head.