Monday, September 17, 2012

Girlfriends are MANDATORY!

I just got back from Austin, Texas, where I took part in a girls weekend.  Two friends from college, one from the East Coast, another from the West, dreamed it up and decided to invite their friends from around the country to meet in the middle.  Those friends invited friends, and so on, and so forth…

When I originally received the “Save the Date” I thought, “Man, this sounds like so much fun, but: I only know two of the women, I can’t technically afford to go, and what do I do with the kids?”  

I will say this; only knowing two of the women wasn’t enough of a roadblock.  I love women and love meeting new women and hearing their stories…it’s what makes my heart beat, it’s the whole emphasis of my non-profit, Bevy…but, I am a tight wad when it comes to money.  

Okay, so I’m not a tight wad.  I love to share and I think it’s fun to treat others to meals and such, but I don’t like to be a financial burden to my family.  As a wife and mom who stays at home, it’s important to me to financially steward our cash flow (Doing FPU right now...more on that later...).  So yeah, not to sound like a martyr or burden, but I’m not a huge fan of spending moo-lah on myself when I think of all the other ways it could be spent.  Whah, whah.
Anyway…I have to say, the “what do I do with the kids?” question left my mind about as quickly as it entered.  I’m not bragging in the sense of, “In YO FACE!” but my husband really does indeed ROCK.  I knew if I talked to him about this retreat and told him I really wanted to go and felt like I was supposed to be there, he would work with me to make it happen, which would include him making some sacrifices and working from home for at least part of my weekend away.  He knows how much I love to be with girlfriends.

The necessary self-portrait

Where cowboy boots are king...and girls night out mandatory!

With Kim and Jessica, the two friends with "Insane Courage!"

After our time with Kristin

Meeting another bereaved momma-friend
I can’t really explain why I felt like I was supposed to go to this girls’ weekend away, but I knew I wasn’t invited on accident and that whomever God would introduce me to over the course of the time away would fill my heart and inspire me to keep pressing on with the dreams God has put upon my heart for years now.

I can’t even begin to put into words all the things the Lord did in my heart over the course of one hot, but beautiful weekend in Austin.  I’m still processing much of it.  One thing that blessed my heart was the fact that I got to just show up.  I feel like a bit of a slacker writing that previous sentence, but I’ve been a leader among my peers and in women’s groups for as long as I can remember.  I’ve only been to one other retreat that I didn’t plan…and that was 8 years ago.  Ironically, I received the “Save the Date” from my friends, Kim and Jessica, the week after I cancelled a Midwest Bevy Retreat.  It seems I was due for a retreat, but not one I would have to plan or organize. 

I showed up with expectations.  Not expectations of people or that I’d be entertained all weekend, but anticipation of God’s hand in our time together, and for what each of us would take away.  I prayed a lot during the months leading up to September 6-9.  Prayers for my friends who were coordinating the weekend, prayers for Kristin Armstrong who shared with us on Saturday, prayers for all the women whom I had never met but whose stories I would get to hear throughout the weekend, prayers for my girlfriend living in Austin who would join me in the adventure, and prayers for my own heart to take it all in, hear God’s direction and purpose for my life, and to JUST BE!

The weekend exceeded my expectations!  It was a little tough to transition back into my "day to day extraordinary life", but not without hope or a course of action to move forward with dreams He has placed on my heart.

I'm just thankful to Kim and Jessica who took Matt Damon's advice and went for it!

I'm so grateful God knew what my heart needed even more than I did...He's BIG that way!

*What will it take for you and your girlfriends to realize time together isn't a luxury but rather mandatory for your heart?!

The night before I left for my trip, Jason and I had a heart to heart in the corner of the kitchen.  I will share more on that tomorrow…

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