Monday, April 28, 2008

Heading East...

This Friday we are headed to Alta Mesa Church of Christ to do a ladies retreat for them. It's been very odd -- every time we mention at church that we are headed to Alta Mesa, we hear, "Oh, really? My (aunt/ sister/ sister-in-law/ dear friend/ mom/ obscure relative or friend) goes there! I think she said she was going to go to the retreat!" So, we can't wait to meet more of our family! Very exciting! (Check out their logo and video on that page!! I LOVE to see what all people do with their theme! Creativity -- as I've mentioned -- not my gift!)

As always, getting out of town is tough! Businesses and work loom over us about what all MUST be done before we leave, and if not before we leave, then before we return (which, in essence...) Families need to be squared away and daddies that don't usually do the 'cruise directing' are left in charge of shuttling and managing. Ministries are left to shuffle around and replace us. Just lots of life going on.

Say a prayer for us, as we get all of our lives settled and set in motion, while potentially hearing a word from the Lord that He would like us to pass on to the wonderful ladies of Alta Mesa. Kind of seems like a tall order, doesn't it? It is! Pray also for the ladies of Alta Mesa, some of whom are working so hard to prepare for this event so that those ladies may hear words from the Lord, as well as draw closer to each other.

As much as it is on our 'to-do list', it's always a little like Christmas: we KNOW the Lord will show up, and we can't wait to see what He will do with our time! You know we'll tell you all about it here!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A&M Church of Christ Ladies Retreat

A week ago today the Coffee Group almost to the minute the Coffee Group was meeting to leave town to head to College Station. After we all gathered together, we realized that 4 out of 5 of us had not eaten anything that day, so we headed to Rosa's for a quick lunch. After a 90 second drive we all piled out of the car. Not even a 2 minute drive from our meeting place and we were already stopping. There is nothing worse than 4 starving and cranky women in a car together for hours, so you just gotta do what you just gotta do.

On our way to College Station we laughed and talked. God has blessed us with friends who embrace each of our similarities and love our differences, so there is always plenty of fun to be had. I don't know how Schwann's came up but it did, and Donna mentioned that her families favorite cold treat was a minty, chocolatey bar. Someone said, wouldn't it be cool if we saw a Schwann's truck in the next town. We stopped at a gas station/convenience mart to use the facilities and wouldn't you know it that a Schwann's truck pulled up as we were all getting back into the van. So Judy hopped right out and bought a box of frozen treats. There were 20 frozen treats in the box. There were 5 of us gals. Now although we all like us some chocolate, and those treats were ONLY 60 calories each, we couldn't even come close to finishing the box. We kept our eyes open as to who might like some frozen treats, after all it was a warm day and the sun was shining...who wouldn't want a frozen treat? Fort Hood jumped right out at us, and after asking Denise to turn the car around we headed into the driveway of Fort Hood. The security men asked us for our identification and instead we gave him ice cream. They were VERY excited. After they x-rayed the treats I am sure they ate every last bit. That was so much fun.

Then we arrived at our hotel and in our rooms were hospitality gifts from the church and a nice note to welcome us to College Station.

We went to the A&M Church that night to see where we would be speaking that next day, go over our seating and familiarize ourselves with sound and microphones. The place was full of hustle and bustle with women of the church getting the Aggies For Christ Gym set up for all the ladies the next day.

Here are some pictures of the Retreat Day.

Here is Donna, Essie Childers (one of the co-coordinators of the retreat) and Sarah. One of the ladies of the church embroidered aprons with the theme of the day for all the coordinators.

Here is Donna standing next to Yogi Bear on the way home.

This is a beautiful church that we have driven past to go to a couple of retreats. Each time we drive by Denise and I comment how beautiful it is. This time Denise stopped so I could take a picture.

Praise God for his faithfulness and blessings over the weekend of travelling and showing up BIG for the retreat.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

College Station

We returned last night about 10 p.m. from a wonderful day in College Station with the ladies at the A&M Church of Christ. What a precious and fun group of women! AND -- oh, my stars, the decorations! I love to see it when people are gifted with creativity in that way because it is SO not my gift! I could go on and on about the women we met and the connections we made or re-made as God had us forge new paths and cross old paths with women.

I'll be perfectly honest -- this schedule is hard on my body. I spent the last 7 days going to bed about 11 and getting up at 4:30 or 5 and on Saturday and Sunday I was blessed to sleep all the way to 6. I'm sure for some of you that's a vacation, but I can't keep that up for too terribly long. So, very soon I will be in my pajamas under the covers recuperating from the last week. And, yes, I am forsaking baby showers and gatherings to do that, which is very unlike me. But before I crawl under the covers, I will kneel in gratitude. I still can't believe that the Lord is using me to speak His word, tell His story, and witness His healing in women's lives again and again. I will give up all manner of sleep (for as long as I physically can) to be able to join in His work -- and then I will pray to be physically strengthened so that I may still continue.

To the ladies at A&M: thank you for allowing us as a group to join you in your day. Thank you for sharing your tears and laughter with us. Thank you for showing us a group of women who love big and loud with each other.

And: For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen the ladies of A&M church with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in all of your hearts through faith. And I pray that the ladies of A&M church, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that each of you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Adapted from Ephesians 3:14-21

Inside Jokes

When we traveled this weekend, Donna mentioned that we should write down all of the hilarious things that happen on a trip so that when we're too old to still travel or remember what happened, we'll have those memories! So, only my peeps will get most of this, but here is my list of what I most want to remember from the College Station trip of '08:

  • Accosting the Schwann's man in Hamilton
  • Giving away our Schwann's stuff to the guards at Fort Hood
  • Missing a photo op with Yogi Bear
  • TURN LEFT HERE! (screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech)
  • A surprise visit from Maggie
  • "Doesn't she know that I'm Judy Hampton-Suites?"
  • Judy's phone ringing IN THE MIDDLE OF US TALKING with the ringtone, "I'm too sexy for my shirt..."
  • "Well, I thought she was just name-dropping, but now it all makes sense."