|It's a small miracle no one was in a chocolate coma by now... :)|
~My heart is happy tonight~
Today was our women's retreat at church - Cafe' Chocolat - so in addition to lots of time to talk to girls, I also got to enjoy lots of chocolate...a pretty awesome combination.
One of the things I love most about life is that people can experience the same thing and yet have totally different take-aways. What I got from today wasn't the same as what anyone else there did. God has a reason for each of us to be touched and to learn in unique ways.
So here is a randomly mixed list of cool highlights for me
My grandma's fruit pizza was enjoyed by everyone today. My grandma passed away 13 years ago, but she was on my mind as I read from her typewriter-typed, food stained recipe. God brought her to the retreat for me, although she wasn't visibly there...just in my heart. :)
I had the awesome privilege of explaining to someone that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are 4 different books, written by 4 different guys, but all about the same thing...Jesus. That was cool for me. Why, you ask? Because I remember not knowing that, and it seems like it was yesterday. I've now tried to expound on the previous 4 sentences for 30 minutes and I give up. I'll explain in person if you ever ask me. And I might confuse you even more...
I was reminded that there are lots of lonely ladies out there.
Waiting for an invitation to be part of something.
I get so caught up in my own self-centered, "I'm too busy" social life, that I forget there are people within my reach who just want SOMETHING to do.
Thank you, God, for showing me that.
I was reminded that I embarrass myself so often it's become the norm, and that approximately 22 years ago was the last time something mortified me so much I couldn't even laugh about it. I'm thankful God gives those humiliating situations to me and not someone else.
Who takes friendships for granted? I do. Who speaks their mind without considering who's on the receiving end? I do. Who doesn't let friends know they are valued? Me. And I run off and do my own thing...and walk alone more than I should...and yet my friends are there for me when I return.
I need to give those friendships the love and care they deserve.
Trying to ignore people who make me unhappy isn't exactly extending them grace. And yet, hmm...Jesus says, "love your enemies." That's right, Brook, loving them from a far, far distance doesn't count. I'll work on that...
Chocolate is good. :)
Just like my heart tonight, the Almond Joy candy bar is happy. I just know it. And it's the candy bar that I chose to represent me today. Sometimes I feel like a nut. Actually, that's all the time... :)
Most of all, God's grace is just...wow. Beyond explanation.
Because of His grace, because of His example of grace to me, because His Holy Spirit lives in me and gives me the ability to do things I could never, ever do on my own, I can extend that same grace to everyone...to my friends, to people I don't know, to people I don't even like...
I'm glad God pulled me into our church today to learn about His grace with these ladies.
Next month, I have the privilege of co-leading this same retreat for a group of women at the KidMin Conference in Ohio. Although not one of them will take away exactly what I did today, God has different and equally valuable things for them to learn. And I can't wait to be part of it. :)
"We praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son."