Each year, the time comes to sign up for the women’s retreat, and it is without question, something I will participate in. I love the surety with which I approach these special weekends. I know that it will be a time to connect with old friends, as well as make new ones. The concentrated time away with uninterrupted conversation is sweet to this mommy’s soul. To think I get to sit and enjoy these meals with women, whom I don’t need to serve, scold, or clean up after. I love the opportunities to deepen relationships with the women I’ve admired from a distance, or watched from across the aisle, or passed 100 times in the hallway. In a church of our size, it can be easy to constantly stick with the same people – to find comfort in the familiar faces and lives around us. I love the opportunity to push that circle a little wider and connect with people that do not cross my daily path.
Don’t get me wrong. I get those butterflies before meals, wondering where I’ll sit, will it be awkward (not to mention – what are we eating??). But truth is, I have been so pleasantly surprised over the years at how easy it can be. Truth is, we have a really neat room of women to be with. We have a mixed bag, so to speak, that is a sweet reminder of God’s unique design in each of us. There are young and mature, single and married, public/private/homeschool moms, professionals and students. And all of these women have one thing in common. They are there. We sign up with the intention of growing in our relationship with our Creator. That in itself is good reason to strike up a conversation with someone new. And it doesn’t have to be a deep conversation, but just a friendly smile and “hi, I haven’t had the chance to meet/talk to/connect with you yet.” See where it goes. You may simply have a pleasant 2-minute conversation, and walk away a little warmer on the inside. But what if God has a bigger purpose in mind? What if He is connecting the dots into the eternal places, by the fact that He may stir in you the boldness to approach someone new. Maybe they need someone just like you. Maybe you need someone just like them. And maybe you don’t even know it yet.
I love the change of pace, the fact that I get to decide what I want to do, and do it. I love that I get a break from my beloved and energetic family. I love the feeling of entering that sanctuary when hundreds of women are joined together, blending seasons of life, styles of living, walks, habits, personalities, strengths, weaknesses – they all blend as we come together to worship our one true Lord. So, for those of you not yet signed up… there is room, and maybe, just maybe, God has something really sweet in store for you. For those of you who are already committed, I’ll see you there… and if you see me walk into that dining room looking for a seat, feel free to find me one at your table!!!
…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25