Inside the Ark - Freshwater Church
The view from my deal of the century hotel room
Orchard Hill Church's brunch
The women dancing along with me.
It’s been a pretty amazing week all round. I was gone so much of November, and prepping for so many things in December (I’m also the music director at my church and Advent is crazy with all the extra/different/awesome music) that I haven’t slowed down much to think about anything but what had to happen next. This week was no different, but now that it’s over, I am praising God for what He’s done because He is awesome!
I had two women’s events this week. I went with my mom this time, and we headed out Thursday afternoon for Wadsworth, OH, just a little south of Cleveland. When we got to Freshwater Church, it was a super cool older building – we met two of the pastors in the lot (it was so icy, and they were both so kind about helping us to get stuff in!) and they said everyone says it looks like they turned Noah’s Ark upside down, and from the inside, it really does! The women there did a phenomenal job with their planning and decorations, and it was gorgeous. It was also at capacity – they were even thinking of pulling in the table they had set out for registration because they weren’t sure they had enough seats and they’d run out of tables! They told me they had prayed for women to really respond and God was certainly listening because they’d had even people calling in all that day to see if they could still get in. It was so fun. But the best part of the night was that we had some of the women meet the Lord at the event. Thank you, God! It was wonderful.
Some old friends came to see us that night, Lani who was a neighbor of my mom’s and also lost her husband about the time my dad died, and her daughter Shannon who went to camp with me for years when we were little. So fun to see them. Lani moved closer to Shannon when her husband died and we got to stay with her that night which is always such a treat and change from hotels. Then we all went out to breakfast in the morning and talked the morning away. It was so fun to catch up with them, and mom and I didn’t have much of a schedule that day, so the luxury of time was wonderful.
Then mom and I went antiquing and I bought a couple of little things for Christmas for the kids. After that we drove up to Pittsburgh. We had such a wonderful surprise too – I had gotten a hotel close to the church, totally forgetting that the event was hosted by the church, but was going to be held in a hotel ballroom. I was feeling like an idiot, and really hoping we weren’t staying an hour from the event, and when I checked the paperwork, we were staying at the actual hotel the event was in. Thank you, Lord! And, to make it better, I’d gotten a ridiculous deal on it online, so it was super cheap and when they found out I was the speaker for the event, they said I could just keep the room until we were all done, so I didn’t even have to pack up crazy early. Bliss.
Saturday morning was the brunch for Orchard Hill Church and it was also planned so wonderfully and looked amazing. I am really blown away sometimes when I get to events and see how much prep and time and prayer have gone into them. They were sold out too, and so excited to see how many women were there who were being specifically prayed for by women from their church. We also had several women meet the Lord there, and I have since heard from some others. I really can’t describe how humbling and wonderful it is to know that God let me be part of that in someone’s life. I am blown away by Him all the time.
We drove home and the next morning I went and did the morning worship service and watched the kids in the pageant, and now, what can I say – it’s Christmas, and all around me are so many reminders of God. He is Emmanuel, God With Us. He is the greatest gift ever given. He is our joy, our strength, our Comforter, our Redeemer, our Friend. He is awesome, and He is the reason I celebrate. Merry Christmas!