This weekend I hopped into a big white vehicle, so appropriately named “Eddie”, with four girlfriends. We ventured on over to Morro Bay, known for the huge Morro Rock. The four of us represented four different decades- the 30s (for one more year, you know who you are), the 40s, the 50s, and the 60s. What I originally dreamt of being a “bonding”, of sorts, weekend get-away for us four ordinary gals, turned out to be so much more. My prayer for this weekend was for rest, relaxation, solitude (if needed), and food for the soul (whether that was actual food, conversation, laughs, tears, or just plain ole fellowship). The four of us are going to be going on a ministry adventure together in a couple months, each one of us, chosen by God, to serve in his kingdom. I kinda labeled this as a “retreat” in preparation for the trip, even though we really didn’t talk about the deets of said trip much.
You know that verse in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us?”I studied this passage some time ago. Word for word. Over the years it has been in the back of my mind and God has certainly proven a few times in my life that he can and does exactly what he promises here. God had a much bigger picture in mind for the four of us in beautiful Morro Bay this weekend; although, the happenings of this weekend could have taken place in one of our homes back in Fresno, in a “not-so-nice” restaurant, or at a table at the local Starbucks. No, the location wasn’t what made this weekend so special. It wasn’t about geography. It wasn’t the cool air (although, I was so excited to wear a sweater), the clean air for our lungs, or the place where we laid our heads.
There was not a TV on in the house, although we did watch one of my faves (Steel Magnolias). There was the occasional check-in on the phone. We didn’t play the game we brought. Although we didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, chopping up veggies or hovering over the stove; there was something definitely cooking at the kitchen table. Four ordinary, beautiful souls, gathered at the table. This was a “hair all crazy” or up in a messier-than-messy bun, no make-up, unbrushed teeth (well, me anyway), no bra, in our jammies until Noon, coffee mug in hand, gathering around the table kinda weekend.
one who listens,
doesn’t judge, and somehow
makes everything all right.
There were stories of how we grew up, what we knew or learned about our parents, our relationships, how we met our spouses, our losses, our wins, our passions, our hearts, and everything in between, such as the occasional singing of random lyrics or the shake of the booty, to said song lyrics. There were tears and lots of laughs (one or all of us may or may not have peed our pants, just a little). Who knew the simplicity of a kitchen table and four coffee mugs could bring something so special? This “just what we needed”, “can’t even put into words” weekend? Have you experienced that with your tribe?
I am grateful for the friends in my life and
the life in my friends. ~ Rock Cowles
I may have been one of the quieter ones; however, I observed everything. I wanted to collect every tear rolling down each cheek. I wanted to hand out the Kleenex rather than seeing my friend using the sleeve of her robe (oh wait, that was me). My heart broke with every hurt felt and shared. I was so moved by these women. My soul was filled in ways I could never imagine this weekend. It made my heart soar every time one of these gals would say “Y’all, this is exactly what I needed this weekend” on the way home. My heart could do nothing but praise my Father in Heaven for orchestrating this trip, for putting the four of us together to be ministers for his kingdom, starting back in February, and for this little weekend away at the coast. I don’t dare take any credit for this. All glory to God. It’s for him alone.
Friends, I encourage you to get your tribe together. Whether it be a day trip, a weekend, or if you’re lucky enough to get away for a week, do it! Pray for your peeps before you get together. Try not to have a big agenda or busy itinerary sight-seeing or being sure you hit all the cool restaurants or coffee houses. Pray for the Holy Spirit to just be present, so you and your sister chicks can just “be”. As I shared earlier from Ephesians 3:20, his Spirit or power is already working in each and every one of you. God’s got something up his sleeves for you. He has already gone ahead of you and mapped out something spectacular. Something beyond your expectations. Something above and beyond what you ask or imagine. Something infinitely more than you might even ask or think.
I encourage you to ask the hard questions of your gal pals. Ask the “why” and “how”. Dive into the conversations that go beyond a simple “yes” or “no” response. These are the conversations that open hearts, soften hearts, mend hearts, and bring hearts together as one body in Christ. One sisterhood. My heart is beyond blessed by the “get-to-know-you” questions that surpassed the usual “my favorite color, my favorite band, or my favorite snack” questions. My heart felt like it grew bigger in my chest when I talked through the hard and difficult in my life and seeing the eyes across the table, looking at me me with such love and acceptance, as if they were gonna jump over the table to give a me a big hug or to hold my hand. Ok, now the water works are turned on. I pray that my three gal pals felt the same way. Although we saw the beauty of Morro Rock, I learned that these women were becoming a rock in my life. Seeing their strength. Their passions. Their devotion. Their “solid-ness” (not sure that’s a word, but you get it). I am forever for these three fantabulous women and all the sister chicks in my life. Gals, you rock!
God brings people in our life at just the right time and place, you know? Embrace them. Get to know them. Give them that beauty you have within you, even if you think it ain’t too pretty. Pray for them. Just mention their name out loud. God does some pretty amazing stuff and can do that through you and the people he brings before you.
Be intentional. Ask the hard questions. Make no schedule. Have no expectations. Listen. Observe. Leave room for simple love, simple conversation, simple coffee, and the simple kitchen table. There will be extraordinary in the ordinary. Let it happen friends.
Hugging you so tight,