This weekend I traveled to Pigeon Forge to teach a retreat entitled "Sarah: A Woman out of Control." (I may have mentioned it a time or three). While I was preparing the material, God opened my eyes to many things but perhaps the thing most relevant personally was trusting that God's will where I am concerned will be accomplished even in the face of human impossibility. There are promises God has made towards me, but I am the world's worst at trying to finagle the details to make sure what I believe He desires has the opportunity to come about.
Because we all know God needs help in working all things together for good, don't we? Let's say I'm convinced God has led me to apply for a job or seek a ministry position. Don't you think I'm doing God a favor by emailing and following up continually? Really, what if the person forgets me and ends up messing up His calling on my life? And then there is always the hubby. Won't God appreciate the rest if I play the Holy Spirit and manipulate him into being a more godly man instead of making God take the time to mold him Himself?
Girls, the one who neither slumbers nor sleeps is not lax where your details are concerned. If He wants you to have that job, it won't be given to another. And if He wants your hubby to step it up, a pounding heart will gain much more than a pounding head. Give God the opportunity to work on your behalf! In my experience, He's not very fond of splitting glory.
Oh well, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent. Let me show you some pictures!
This is my Mom-In-Law, Frankie, and My Friend Kaye. I can't just call Kaye by her given name. It must be preceded by My Friend or it just isn't the same. All of you should aspire to be a friend to these two girls. They plan these retreats twice a year as a way to bless their churches and girlfriends. There is such a diverse group there every time and I can't tell you how much I look forward to my times with them. And, it would be enough for them just to go through the trouble of coordinating the travel arrangements but THEY COOK. And we aren't talking cafeteria food, honey. Just let the words Paula Deen, mac-n-cheese, pinto beans, meatloaf, chicken casserole, biscuits and gravy, homemade chocolate cake, etc. etc. float around in your mind and then you'll have some small idea of the smorgasboard we girls are treated to for mealtimes.
What? Did I hear you say you want to be on Frankie and Kaye's friend list? They would be delighted. :)
Christy, Melanie, Mary Lynn, and Jerri. I'm praising God for some promises He's fulfilled for Melanie. Her DIL Christy is a hoot! Mary Lynn and Jerri co-organized the weekend and worked tirelessly in the kitchen with Frankie and Kaye. Y'all, I can not say enough about the deliciousness of the buffet they prepared or how much I know we all appreciate how hard they worked to make sure the girls enjoyed our weekend.
I already mentioned that My Girl turned 6 over the weekend. Her aunt Laura Beth brought her this Princess balloon and I swear you would have thought she'd given her a pair of rhinestone flip flops. Mostly, I think she loved it so much because of who gave it to her. The Girl loves her auntie.
Here's a shot of part of the group. I had so many pictures of individuals and dern if they aren't mostly blurry. This was such a fun group of women. I knew about half of them and the others I fell in love with instantly. Oh yes, notice how high the ceiling peak is. You'll need to refer back in a moment.
The pretty tables. The goody bags had some awesome loot inside.
Well, she accidentally let it go.
She was sobbing.
Right as it was time for me to teach.
Now obviously I couldn't run down to the store and get her another and y'all, these ceilings were crazy high. Thankfully, crazy tall Laura Beth came to the rescue.
She couldn't bear seeing The Girl so brokenhearted so, get this, she STACKED TWO CHAIRS ON A TABLE TOP and tried to reach the balloon string.
She wasn't tall enough but there was no limit to her crazy so she decided to hold The Girl up, ON TOP OF THE TWO STACKED CHAIRS ON A TABLE TOP, to see if she could reach it. By this time, it was either have a heart attack or take pictures.
I chose the pictures.
When we realized that the toddler on top of the auntie on top of the two chairs on top of the table wasn't going to do the trick, one of the ladies dug through the kitchen drawers and found barbecue tongs. I don't think it occured to any of us to take The Girl out of Laura Beth's arms so she could snap at the balloon string.
Laura Beth got the balloon, saved the day, and The Girl was smiling once again.
You rock, LB!!
And this is probably my favorite picture of the retreat. The Girl was clearly not interested in hearing anything her mother had to say during the sessions. In fact she said, "Mom, is there something I can do while you are talking because I know it is going to be really boring."
There's a referral I'll put on my bio.
Otherwise, she was such a total angel for all four gatherings and of course, everyone there just babied her to death. It swelled my heart for our first Mommy/Girl getaway to be centered around The Word. I just look forward to the day when she'll pretend she's listening to me instead of Purble's Place and Barbie.com on the headphones.
I still have more pictures of The Birthday but this post is already as long as my arm. I'll spare you until tomorrow!