Today I spoke at Freedom Temple in Rock Hill, SC at their women's luncheon. This was my second time getting to do this, and I enjoyed it this time even more than last time! I love the ladies at Freedom Temple-- they are such sweethearts and make me feel so loved on and welcome. They give big, gracious hugs and all just have the sweetest smiles and spirits. I was so honored that they wanted me back. Today I shared with them on balance. As women today, we all seem to struggle with balance-- no matter what season of life we are in. I could see as many older woman nodding and agreeing while I spoke as the younger ones. There doesn't seem to be one of us who isn't affected by busyness and stress, it seems!
I took my 8yo daughter with me, as we had a day of shopping that I had promised her and just felt like it made the most sense to bring her along and stay out afterwards. She was more than glad to come with me and sat there perfectly while I spoke. She even made two little friends to sit with while she was there! The biggest blessing of my day came as we were riding home afterwards. She told me, "You did good today mom. You even got me to pray about something at the end." I asked her what she meant by that. "Well," she said, "You know how you were talking about things we need to let go of and let God take care of?" I nodded. "I realized when you were talking that I have been trying really hard to make these certain friends like me and I don't need to do that. I need to let God take care of it. So that's what I prayed about at the end."
I don't think I will ever forget that moment.
You see, I love ministering to women. I count it one of my greatest blessings and greatest shocks that I get to do what I do. I can't believe people let me get up in front of them and share-- and even listen, and respond, and share their stories with me. I feel so privileged to be a part of their lives for whatever time I get to have with them.
But all of that doesn't hold a candle to knowing that today, in that audience, my little girl sat and listened and God spoke to her through me. She prayed about something that was personal for her, taking my message and making it part of her spiritual life. I can only imagine how precious to the Father's ears that must be-- to hear that sweet little voice asking Him to take her worries about her friends. To know that even at a young age she is learning to lay her worries at His feet. To come before the throne and pour out her heart to Him. And the fact that I got to have a part in leading her there today was so emotional and so powerful. When I decided to take her with me today, I had no idea how significant having her there would be. Not for her, but for me. Ministering to others is wonderful-- a great blessing I do not deserve. But ministering to my daughter was priceless. Truly. I find it hard to express the depth of my feeling about it in words. There is simply nothing greater that we can do as mothers than to lead our children to God. It is an awesome, awesome honor.
We did end up going shopping together afterwards. We stopped at my favorite TJ Maxx I have ever been in (which is located in Rock Hill) and intended to start there. But she found so many cute things there that we never got any further! She is very proud of her cute, hip new clothes and I am glad we were able to find them for good prices! My favorite shirt she got out of all of them is one we found on the clearance rack for $7! After TJ Maxx we had to hit Target because really, a day of shopping just isn't complete unless you hit Target or Walmart. We picked up a cute pair of flip flops for me because I needed brown flip flops that weren't boring looking. These fit the bill and I am sure I will be wearing them a lot this summer. So, if you know me IRL and get tired of seeing them, I am sorry.
By the time we were all finished shopping, my broken foot was hurting. (It hardly ever hurts me now but boy it did today.) I knew it was time to head home and get off my feet. My daughter was so tired from our day of excitement that she fell asleep as we drove-- something that rarely happens as none of mine tend to sleep in cars. I envied her nap as I drove, but cranked up my Ipod to keep me awake!
I arrived home to this in the crockpot and the sweet potatoes almost finished cooking in the oven, thanks to my wonderful, supportive husband who remembered to start them on time! I heated up several cans of corn and in no time we were ready to all sit down and eat together. (Just as an aside, the pork tenderloin was a huge hit. Curt said it was the best pork tenderloin I have ever made! It has such a great flavor and was so easy to throw together. I highly recommend giving it a try.) Anyway, with swim team practices every night, all of us eating together is a rare treat these days. I looked at my three boys all lined up down one side of the table and my three girls all lined up down the other side. I felt incredibly blessed in so many ways. As one of the ladies at the church said today simply, "God is good." Indeed He is.