Friday afternoon, our Women's Ministry team gathered to create a beachy area in our very "beige" Fellowship Hall! 50% off summer decorations at Party City helped! Within an hour, every corner was filled with seashells, flip flops, palm trees, beach chairs, shell lamps, paintings, umbrellas (some of these still had the beach sand on them!!), etc.!! Oh, and plastic pink coconuts (Target) in the bathrooms! We were ready. Then, the aroma of southern BBQ filled the air! Oh, my goodness! Y'all, it was delicious!! We added a slew of sides and desserts--pound cake, lemon tarts, brownies, cookies, and the list goes on! We prayed this celebration through and through.
Back in May, we chose 4 different Christian books. Each had a follow-up Bible study in the back. Our plans were to have 4 groups of women discussing the book that they had chosen over the summer after this meal and fellowship.
Do you recall the scripture that I posted last Friday when I had computer issues? I'll refresh your memory! "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21 We had prayed and planned and were hoping for 50 something women. Friday nights, at the end of the summer, are just difficult! We learned some valuable lessons! Many folks are still on vacation. Others were following the Lord's purpose and were needed elsewhere. The numbers were a little less than we had hoped for, but God was there!
One woman caught me at church yesterday and apologized for not being able to come. She had run by the hospital right before the celebration to visit a friend who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. When she needed to leave, the friend begged her to stay. Can you imagine a close friend simply needing your presence to comfort her ? What could she do? She did what Jesus would have done. She stayed and visited with her friend and just loved her. That was God's purpose for her on Friday. Stories like these were shared with my team and myself yesterday. Although we had planned a huge meal and Bible Study, His purpose prevailed. His ways are so much higher than ours.
It was so sweet when a close friend asked me if I was disappointed with the turnout. No way! Every woman there had a divine appointment with God! We had smaller groups in each class, and all of the ladies took part in the discussions. Had the groups been larger, that may not have happened. Each woman there was loved on and made to feel special...because she is!! And, each lady there could go back for seconds and thirds of the delicious baked beans!!