A huge daisy, 20+ inches across, sprouted out of a large bright blue tin pail. Tickets stacked up, clipboard out, pens at the ready and four women standing around the table...we were ready. As service ended and people walked into the cafeteria there were butterflies in my stomach. We were prepared for the stampede of women who couldn't wait to purchase their tickets for women's ministry launch event.
Well, what's less than a stampede...a trickle?
Almost an house later as I carried the bright pink daisy and our other things out to our car I was doing my best to keep on a happy face. But inside there was a storm a-brewing!
I have been eating, sleeping, and dreaming about this launch -- planning meetings, asking friends and merchants for donations of door prizes (and can I just tell you there are some awesome ones!!), and praying that we can bless the socks off the women God gives us. But yesterday I got caught up in my own ego and the numbers of it all. Won't it be awesome if we sell out on the first day. And all sorts of other thoughts of how many tickets we'd sell.
As I laid in bed this morning I began to talk to God. Father, please help me get my heart right for these meetings today. I know you have placed two more opportunities in front me with your daughters in mind. Allow me to hear what you are bringing us to and say only that which needs to be planned or imparted. And, (sigh) what about these tickets Father?
And as I laid in bed watching the wind in the trees outside something occurred to me. I've been praying from the very first glimmer of an idea for this "launch" that we are able to bless the women God sends to us -- great food, a warm friendship inspiring atmosphere, a dynamic speaker who will stir women's hearts for God and their sisters and to have prizes that will surprise and delight them.
....them...the women God sends us....
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8
I print that verse on the top of every planning meeting agenda so that we remember THAT is what we are here for as women's ministry leaders. That through our planning we might create events that lead women to the feet of Christ; whether it is to come face to face with Him the first time or fall more in love with Him. And while we are kneeling their, together, it is our sincere prayer that women learn how to have real relationships - friendships discovered in worship, grown stronger in prayer and learning, peppered with wisdom and healthy boundaries and filled with laughter and love.
We loved you so much that we were delighted...with you.
With you! It wasn't about the volume of women yesterday or the number of tickets. It was about the women. And I got so caught up in my own head I forgot to delight in the women I've been praying for! I forgot to smile at her and wonder -- what piece of what we're planning did God set up for her?
So here I sit getting ready to start my women's ministry Monday with my ego bruised (the best way for an ego to be!) and my attitude in check.
Father, thank you for driving me to my knees this morning, for the tears and the embarrassment. Thank you for helping me to remember why You touched my heart for this ministry...for "them".... Help me to stay in this place, Lord, as we walk these last couple of weeks toward the launch, that I might see their faces, pray for their hearts and strive to put all the pieces in place for You to bless them and meet them at those tables. Jesus thank you for walking those five women across the cafeteria yesterday to purchase their tickets. I ask you, Father, please be with them prepare their hearts for time with you that night -- not as mom, coworker, wife, etc., but "just" as your daughter invited to the table by her sisters for a night of celebration of our beauty and growth in You.