Tuesday, December 18, 2007

First Ladies Nite Out!

Last night was our first Ladies Nite Out here in Raymondville, TX. Keep in mind, we normally run 25-35 on Wednesday nights (counting men and kids). But I really believed we could have 40 ladies packed into my living room. So, I made sure we had seating for 40 (it's not really faith unless you act like it's going to happen!).

The event started at 6:00 PM. At 5:00 PM women started coming to help out. My 80-year-old Wela (our secretary's mother) even asked for a broom to sweep the leaves from our driveway! The house was abuzz with anticipation. By 5:30 women were POURING in! Keep in mind most Baptists find a way to arrive 5 minutes late to all church functions! :o) My house can seat 20, so we were soon unfolding those church folding chairs I brought home, knowing we would need them. We DID!

We literally did a "count off" by going around the room and numbering ourselves, and we ended up with 37 women. We know of at least 3 who could not make it at the last minute, so that would have been my 40. AMAZING!

But the best part was what happened to the women at the gathering. They let their hair down. They enjoyed fellowship. They pigged out on appetizers and desserts. They got to forget their problems and burdens for two hours and just have a good time. We all left our problems at the door!

Everyone helped make sure everything was just right, and then we enjoyed time just visiting and eating before I started the program. First we all gave our names since so many of us don't know each other yet. Then I read a humorous reading by Liz Curtis Higgs about those dratted fashion tragedies--"leggings." We laughed so hard!

Then I shared my health story, and just how good my life is. You could have heard a pin drop. Normally as I begin to wrap up, I welcome the ladies to ask questions, because by that point they know my life is an open book. Well, I didn't have to open the floor for questions-they just very naturally started raising their hands and asking questions. It was so neat!

I announced the plans for Women's Ministries in 2008. Now the ladies are even more excited than ever! They've never had much to look forward to in the way of activities with just ladies, and in a small town with little to do, monthly fellowship meetings are needful. I told them we would have a Mug and Muffin Makeover Night. They said, "excuse me, WHAT? What is that?!" I explained that we would all bring coffee mugs to exchange, have muffins and other goodies, and enjoy some makeovers. They said, "You have to remember, we are simple country people. This is all new to us. But we are along for the ride!" I told them to hang on because it would be a wild ride, and they all laughed and cheered!

I encouraged the women to be willing to share their stories with others. God never wastes one drop of any type of pain we go through (whether it is physical, heartache, you name it). He always ALWAYS finds a way to get the glory from it IF WE LET HIM. I explained that their special story (each unique) can be used to reflect Christ to others. It doesn't have to be pain-maybe it is victory-or overcoming a circumstance. Whatever it is-God wants us each to be used by Him.

It was so neat as the ladies said goodbye, there was a flow of women coming to me, hugging me, and whispering in my ear, "I have a story to share with you sometime." They could tell I cared, and they felt comfortable letting down their walls with me. THANK YOU LORD!

They didn't leave me with a mess, either! Before I knew it, without me barking out one order or begging one person to stay to help, the ladies just starting folding chairs and stacking them outside, washing dishes, putting away leftovers in ziplock bags. You name it, they did it. I have very little to do today. This in itself is a true gift!

I am still living in the afterglow of a special candlelight communion followed-up with a rip-roaring time at our Ladies Nite Out!

1 comment:

mrealty said...

Hi, Kathy! After talking with you last night, I decided to "Google" your name. (Who would have known that Google--the search engine-- would become a verb?)And there you were! How great that you have your own website! I'm very interested in the writing you do for your work! It was a very enjoyable evening, and I was glad to be invited! Hope to talk with you again before long! God bless you! Bonnie Brown