Life seems to have suddenly gotten in the way of blogging. I know I'm not the only one who has had to step back and take a hard look at my priorities. For me, blogging began as a way to connect with other Christian women. It was to be a place to share experiences, good or bad, and to encourage and to be encouraged. It has done that for me, but it has also taken up a large portion of time that would be better spent tending to the needs of my husband, and my household.
Since the first of the month, I have been in a bit of a slump. After returning home from a visit with my family, my heart became heavy, and I found it difficult to do much of anything. Even praying was hard. Until a week ago, when I opened my prayer blog to receive requests. Then things began to change. Thanks to Bev for motivating me to put others' needs ahead of my own. I read those few requests and was moved to tears that I would be afforded such a privilege. Y'all, I am humbled. God is so good!
Friday evening, my ex-wife-in-law, April, and I left for the weekend on a church women's retreat. It was my first ever, and I didn't know what to expect. April was the only one I knew, even though I have been attending the church for almost a year. I had "met and gret" a few of the ladies, but hadn't ever taken an opportunity to get to know any of them. I'm not unfriendly, just really shy, and it takes me a while to open up.
So there I was in the middle of worship, kinda holding back for some reason, not really getting into it. Then our speaker began to teach on the first chapter of Jeremiah. I was so relieved to know that we would be spending time in the Word. The focus was "New Beginnings." At one point she asked if we had ever wondered if God cares where we live, and she referred us to Acts 17:26-27. That was apparently the word I needed, because I felt a huge burden lifted at that moment. She reminded us that it isn't about "me." It's about His plan and His purpose. We need to get involved His way.
After the session, I talked with Diane, our speaker. I had to tell her how her message had ministered to me. She asked if she could pray over me, and while she was praying, she said "I'm seeing a train. I don't know if that means anything to you, but it's a steam engine." She continued to pray, then she said, "It means stay on track. Keep moving forward. It's not a fast-moving train, but it is steady." That does mean something to me. I had been feeling rather discouraged, even doubting that I am living where I should be. Yes, I do recall sharing that I had been given assurance that this is where God wants me, but it had been a while since I last heard from Him.
Later, in our room, April and I were reading our Bibles, and I saw something that made me laugh aloud. The Bible I use is the NIV, and if you'll look at the bold heading just above verse 16, you'll see what I saw. See where it says "In Athens"? Y'all that's where I live! Go ahead and laugh. I realize it may seem silly, but that was just what I needed. It felt so good to lighten up.
In Saturday morning's session, Diane made yet another statement that will stick with me. "I can't do anything about what is not happening. I need to see what is happening and get involved." After the session, Jenny, a member of our church, invited us to a meeting to view a Moms In Touch International informational video. She is the leader of a group for a neighboring county, and it just so happens that there is no group for any of the schools in my county. Have you ever noticed this link in my sidebar? I've known about the organization for almost a year. When I discovered their list of "31 Ways to Pray for Our Youth," I printed it out and put it on my wall at work, gave copies to other moms, and emailed it to the moms in my family. Back in July, I linked to it in this post. I have to tell you it's starting to sink in that this just may be where God wants me to get involved.
Sunday morning's session ended with testimonies from several of the women in attendance. What an awesome weekend! I wanted to share all of this with them, but I knew I wouldn't be able to speak without breaking out into the "ugly cry," and I wasn't ready for them to see that yet. By the way, I found out that there's a new members class next Sunday, and I plan to be there.
Before we left, I made a point to speak with one of the women I hadn't had a chance to meet. She looked very familiar to me, but I didn't think I had seen her at church. She attends an earlier service. We discussed other places where we may have crossed paths, then she mentioned handbell choir. Of course, that's where I've seen her! I told her that I had played handbells in high school, and she informed me of our choir's need for more ringers. Guess who's going to practice tomorrow evening! Yes, she called me this afternoon to remind me. I'm really excited, not so much about the handbells as about finding a place to serve. The face to face meeting with other women was pretty cool, too. Praise the Lord!
What's to become of my blogging? I'm thinking that my prayer blog should be my primary focus, and this one will take a back seat. Hopefully, I'll be able to post at least once a week, and more often if time allows. I'll still be reading and lurking, commenting only if I have something to add to the conversation.
See y'all tomorrow! Many blessings!!