Last year, right about this time, I had a LOT on my plate… I was stretched w-a-y beyond my comfort zone and natural skill set, as my ministry partner and myself, along with a team of lovely women from another ministry we had just met, prepared to launch a very special, full day event for women called You Go Girl!~ There’s hope for you yet 🙂
In the middle of the details- the exhibitor contracts, and invitations to area shelter residents, the marketing, and volunteer coordination, the program planning, and registrations… (can you feel the stress mounting?) I had the opportunity to get away on retreat for a weekend with women from my new church family. God is good, and I didn’t miss the “coincidence” of the retreat landing on a free weekend during a busy spring performance schedule. Nor did I miss the “random” opportunities to get to know some very special women on a much deeper level when we would just “happen” to run into each other during free time, or on solo expeditions around the camp. The weekend downtime was exactly what I needed, and the frosting on the cake? I won a doorprize- a free facial/massage! (donated by Rosie, a church member whom I had not yet met) As I have RARELY (if ever?) won things from a drawing, & I don’t believe in coincidences, I chalked this gift up to the amazing, generous women who arranged the retreat, and wanted me, one of the newcomers to feel welcome. I figured my name had to have been put in a hat with the 3-4 other newbies, and thus my odds of winning had naturally been more favorable… Regardless, I was delighted with my prize, but with my crazy schedule at the time, I put the certificate away for safekeeping, to enjoy later when I could relax and really appreciate it.
Well, months go by and I forget about this gift, and in fact, I lost the certificate in the “organized clutter” that is my office until January of this year. Once again, my schedule is busy, once again, I’m carrying some stress, but once again I couldn’t immediately take advantage of this generous offer. I have rosacea and very sensitive skin, and in the middle of a busy performance season and other social obligations, I was afraid to risk a blotchy blow-up right before a friend’s wedding, etc. When I came across the certificate again, it was now April, and I thought, with nearly a year gone by, I couldn’t claim this anymore; I was too embarrassed. I was also really sorry that I let this opportunity go to waste.
As this spring has progressed, I have found myself once more shouldering a very HEAVY load. (Do you see the pattern here?) I could go on and on about my particular personality strengths/weaknesses, or about situations in my family of origin that contributed to the way I felt I needed to survive in the world. I could tell you about how I’ve been learning about healthy boundaries, or about how I’m a work-in-progress, practicing letting go of the things that weren’t mine to begin with, (Thank You, Abba!) but I won’t. Let’s just say, once again I find myself carrying a LOT on my plate, and once again I haven’t been taking the best care of myself as I’ve been trying to handle extra tasks (probably not my responsibility), and still genuinely be there for others.
So what does My Abba/Father do? On Mother’s Day every woman was given a raffle ticket as she entered the church for our service last Sunday. EVERY woman- it didn’t matter if she were a mother or not, (our pastors are really good about recognizing the pain that can accompany this day for those who have lost mothers, or had difficulty having children, etc. etc.) We get to the end of the service and Monty, our senior pastor begins reading the numbers of the winning ticket. 3-9-0 (and then he laughs because of course all of the tickets started with these three digits) 4-2 (my husband and younger son sitting on either side of me and reading along, both lean closer.) 7! “Mom! You won!” and I sit there in shock for a second, while my pastor looks up, waiting for the winner to reveal herself. I’m still thinking, I must have heard it wrong, but no one else is moving or shouting out or anything, and I slowly raise my hand. Pastor Monty invites me to the front to claim my prize, and you guessed it– it’s a facial/massage by Rosie!!!
I’m still laughing about it, but this time I heard You loud and clear, God! (and you can bet I’ve already made my appointment to enjoy my facial, and to get to know Rosie)