Sweet Friends,I miss being in touch with you. But at this moment my heart is full of joy and satisfaction. I see the goodness of the Lord and His faithfulness as I reflect on my life. I had so much fun last weekend. I was in Nashville with some friends that started a coop for moms with me 18 years ago. I taught passionately, at that time, that if a mom stayed centered in her walk with the Lord and loved Him in front of her children, that she would be fruitful and productive in everything she did. And I was convinced that all moms needed a support group of some kind--kindred spirits to pray with, to hold hands with, to giggle and have fun and cry with and who would keep each other focussed on the Lord and His ideals.
It was such an encouragement to me to see how faithful these friends had been to keep the small group system going in the Nashville area for all those years. They have kept the faith, loved their husbands, and their children and sought to build a godly legacy in their homes. We can all see the amazing faithfulness of the Lord. What a heritage I have found in friendships that hold together from the glue of doing ministry together. I had a chance to share a lot of these ideals with the new group of moms that have joined their small group and it is so good to see that foundational things never change, they just become more clear.
I also see that if we view God as loving and life-giving and redeeming--a God who is a champion for our cause and on our side and patient with us--and we live that out before our children in our home, they will catch it. But if we have in our heart thoughts about a God who is disappointed with us or condemning us, our children will read that God in our behavior and never learn the joy and love and grace of the Lord. I have so realized that those who water the right plants of faith, hope and love in their hearts, remain steadfast. How blessed I am to walk in the company of such women.
But before I spoke on Friday-Saturday, I had flown to Nashville a day early so that I could stay with my oldest, beloved friend, Gwen Todd, in Kentucky--the first friend who taught me the value of commitment and love in working alongside if her in ministry. We are indeed like sisters. Gwen moved back from Vienna, Austria to take care of her beloved mom who is 93 and has alzheimers.
Just happened Gwen didn't meet me at the airport. I found out that she was stuck in her Kentucky cottage with her mom and had been there for 3 days and nights without electricity, or lights or heat in the midst of the ice storm. She couldn't leave her home because of her mom's fragility. So, my sweet friend loaned me a car, I stopped at a store and quickly picked up a meal and drove to Kentucky. It was like a ghost town--no stop lights worked, no lights anywhere, trees fallen in the street that I had to dodge in the dark. But there ahead after 2 hours of driving through a lot of darkness, I saw a candle in the window of one house amidst a street of darkness--it was the candle my friend had lit for me! So I eased into her driveway. I actually knocked countless ice cycles off the bushes as I climbed out of the car. It was a winter wonderland even in the dark. When I went to the door, there was my sweet friend, with candles aglow everywhere. She had found out i was coming through a very short cell phone call that had finally, after 2 days, gone through, and had waiting for me some chips and cheese--the last fresh package of cold food.
What a fun memory we made eating in candle-light, storing up one more memory of adventure. How thankful I was to be of encouragement to her in the midst of feeling alone in the dark--as she has helped me through years and years of crisis in my own home and she adopted my children when there was no other family to love them. So I owed her in a big way and was so blessed to sit in our gowns, cuddled under piles of blankets and enjoying the candlelight and life.
Now, to a favorite meal Sarah and Joy and I have been eating since we got home from the Charlotte, NC conference. My friend Cindy was the inspiration for these. We sautee veggies--onions, carrots, chopped broccoli, mushrooms and some times peppers. We heat up wraps (lots of flavors and types at the store) and then smooth a bottom layer of humus (or mashed pinto or black beans) then cover it with mashed avocado with lime or salsa, and spread our veggies over this and put chopped cabbage on top as our salad finish and wrap it up! Very yummie to us!
Books I am reading: Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry--to Joy--what a great book about the depression and the racial conflict--building a lot of compassion into her; she is reading "A Lantern in her Hand," and I am loving Eugene Peterson's new book.
Sorry, but we are having to close the California conference as we have a full house. So looking forward to it. The February winners of the drawing are: The winners are Stephanie Praytor from Rockwall TX and Jennifer Fitzgerald. congratulations, girls!
Thanks to everyone for your great help. Blessings to you all today! Sally