Last week I was a part of the presentation at our church's annual Christmas luncheon. When we started planning this event, way back in August, I had no idea how the experience would eventually touch me, and how it would effect changes in my life. It always amazes me they ways that God finds to communicate with me, and this Christmas luncheon was no different.
The theme of the luncheon was "Vintage Christmas", our vision for the day was to have women take time, during this busy season, and slow down. We wanted to make time for them to reminisce on holiday’s past and reflect on God’s love and faithfulness as we focus on Christ’s birth, and our holidays present and future. It seemed simple enough, a group of women sitting together sharing food and stories.
If you have ever prepared a talk, soirée or special event you know how much time and energy goes into the planning. I am very blessed to have two very special faith centered partners who make our planning exciting and energizing. Every time we get together to plan, the Holy Spirit fills us in the most unbelievable ways, and ideas flow with an energy all their own. We decided on the different discussion topics and how to divide them between us. Then we were off on our own to develop how we wanted to lead the discussions. This was His first message to me, focus on Him and I will receive inspiration in ways that I never could imagine.
I volunteered to create the handout, a small memory book, that we would give to every woman. I wanted it to look like vintage holiday postcards. Lynne and Henrieta had some wonderful input on the contents. From all of this insight, creativity and a lot of time printing and collating, our Vintage Memory Book was born. It could not have been done without the help of friends taking time to help print, and bind. This was the next message for me, a reminder of how blessed I am by those in my life who are so willing to help me when I need it.
As the day was coming closer the number of people started increasing. Thanks to those inspired to invite friends and family, by the day of the event we had over 80 people coming! The women in charge of the food and table decorations rose to the last minute challenge! Everyone involved helped meet the needs of having more people with grace and enthusiasm. The message for me here comes from “Field of Dreams”, build it and they will come. He will lead who needs to be there, and He helped ensure that there was more than enough space, food, and memory books for all.
As we were about to begin, my partners and I went off to pray and center. As we prayed I felt an energy and a peace at the same time. All is well, this was good, I was not alone. The event started. A welcome. Pastor Kyle’s devotion and blessing. Wonderful food. Women laughing and talking, in an unbelievable Christ centered community. Women were able to make time for themselves, time to reminisce on holidays past and reflect on God’s love and faithfulness as we focus on Christ’s birth and our holidays present and future. (remember, that was our vision!) Next message for me, all of the time and energy it takes to create an event like this is more than worth it in the lives they touch.
One of the lives I know was touched, was mine. Seeing the people who were there and being able to share my memories was wonderful. Listening to what others shared and thinking of how to do the same things with my family and in my life was priceless. I want to make kiss filled ornaments and also have a special ornament for each loved one who is now living with God. I feel affirmed to not be the only family with a multiple pickle tradition! (ask me for an explanation!) The very personal experience of eating my mom’s favorite peppermint ice cream and the memories that came with it were touching.(I had two servings!) Seeing my partners share their most amazing gifts and stories brought me closer to them in a very special way. All of these experiences brought the best message to me. The message that, I am a very special child of God in an amazing community of women, full of the most wonderful gifts that they are willing to share, with a love beyond measure.
Blessing on each one of you this holiday season, may you keep your eyes, ears and hearts open to God’s special messages, just for you.