We attend a large church. A very large church. Consequently, our Sunday school class is also very large. In fact, it is larger than most of the churches we have attended! Our class is led by our church's executive pastor (one of 9 pastors on staff!). One of the ways that connection happens in our Sunday school class is through bi-monthly Ladies Nights. These usually involve desserts in someone's home. Our pastor's wife always attends, but you never know who else will be there.
Now, I am the type of girl who likes to curl up with a cup of tea and a good friend for a nice chat. Walking into a room full of people and trying to connect in a meaningful way... well... it sort of terrifies me! In a group, I am usually the quiet observer. Small talk is definitely not my gift!
I have been in this Sunday school class for almost 3 years... I finally attended a Ladies night over a year ago. It seemed like there were 40 women there! It was very overwhelming. It was nearly a year before I tried again. But then I attended one that only had about 10 women who showed up. It was so much nicer, and I did feel more able to connect with the other women.
One of the greatest blessings of attending these nights is getting to know Kim, our pastor's wife, better. She is just hilarious and I laugh so much when I am around her. She is real, approachable, and down to earth. I have gotten to know some other women better, too.
So, even though it requires great effort on my part, I am committed to attend these events. But truly, up to the last minute, I am ready to back out. I know I need friends. I need time with other women. I crave that so much. But I really have to fight with myself to go to these Ladies Nights.
One of my strategies to make sure I will go is to volunteer to make a dessert. Well, last night we were having a Ladies Night, so I made Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars. By 4pm, I was really wishing I didn't have to go. I was wondering if there was a way to show up, drop off my dessert, and flee! At 6:45 when it was time to leave, it was raining! I really didn't want to go out in that. But I was committed. As I kissed Gil goodbye, I told him I wouldn't be staying long.
At last night's Ladies Night, only 8 of us were there! We enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen, drinking tea, and drooling over the desserts. I knew 4 of the women, and met 3 new ladies. We all had a really nice time! I was glad I went! And I didn't even leave early.
People think I am organized... but I'm not. I always say, "I am start-up not maintenance" because while I like to organize, I have a hard time keeping things that way! Moving a lot throughout my life has probably contributed to that particular characteristic. I feel most alive when I am being creative... whether it is on the computer, scrapbooking, sewing, deccorating, cooking, or with my kids. I love my family, friends, and the Lord. I am thankful for my fabulous husband. My life is very blessed... definitely not perfect... but absolutely blessed!