One of my favorite things to do on weekends is lead women's retreats. Over the past seven or eight years, I've had the privilege to lead retreats for quite a number of churches in Idaho as well as in several other states. I've spoken to many non-denominational churches, to Baptists and Methodists and Pentecostals, to Church of the Brethren and Lutherans and more.
When my sweet mom was living with me, she would worry about me going off to be with groups where I didn't know anyone. (Mom liked to worry about me.) It bothered her that I wouldn't have at least one friend with me among 30 to 100 strangers. "Mom," I'd say. "I won't be with strangers. I'm going to be with sisters."
That's what I did this past weekend, and I was so blessed. The women's retreat organizers for this church in western Idaho first contacted me through my web site this past summer. In fact, the first email arrived, I believe, while I was still in the hospital after breaking my ankle. The next time we exchanged emails was not long after my mom died.
When I loaded my car with books on Friday, I thought how just two months ago, I couldn't have done it myself. When I stood at the podium on Friday evening, then again for four different sessions on Saturday, I remembered that it was only three Sundays ago when I was able to stand for the entire 25 minutes of worship in song that we do at the start of our services. On prior Sundays, I always faded before the singing was done.
Praise God for allowing me to be with these beautiful women, for blessing me with new friends and sisters. Praise God for healing my ankle and my body a little more every day so that I can be about His work, including standing before a group like this and sharing some of the lessons He has taught me.
It's always good to get home, of course, but I will treasure the memories of this weekend in my heart.