“dotMom is coming up in a couple of weeks. There are still a few available tickets for anyone who would like to go” are the words I read out loud to Jim as I scrolled through my Facebook Newsfeed. He encouraged me that I ought to go. I was reluctant to go because we have been empty nesters for ten years and I just felt like the weekend may be geared to those who still have children at home. None the less, Jim encouraged me to go because he knows how much I enjoy the fellowship with the ladies at our church.
Last week, as I packed for the trip I kept asking myself and God what was the reason for me going. Needless to say, as I arrived at the event the reasons for me being there as always began to unfold. We were blessed with wonderful speakers (okay name dropping here) like Karen Kingsbury, Sherry Surratt, and Rebekah Lyons. These speakers inspired us, and made us laugh. Yes, we even cried at times (but a good kind of cry).
When we first arrived to the event we were given the cutest little tote bag. This bag contained many things. There was so much in it that I choose to wait about going through mine when I had more time to enjoy looking at the items. I did find the program book that contained the speakers biographies and a place where we could take notes. Other than that, I was oblivious to what was in the bag. Along with the cute tote bags with all kinds of goodies in it there were also vendors that were giving things away. Thus, the “freebies” were added to the cute little tote bag. By the time it was time to leave for home my bag was stuffed and spilling out just a little.
As I said earlier, I was hesitant to sign up for this trip. I questioned why I was going. Then it happened. God once again showed me the results of listening to His voice and obeying His leading. The blessings began to unfold from the moment we left our church parking lot to the moment I arrived back home and dropped my bags in my bedroom.
Each speaker spoke on a topic that was very relevant my season of life at this moment. The underlying theme of the event was answering God’s calling and the fears that go with stepping up to the call. Scriptures and quotes were given about how to let go of the fear and what is holding you back from going full force to answering the very thing God has placed on your heart to do. I was so blessed and encouraged with what these ladies shared at the event. A spark within me was re-ignited.
Along with tables with “freebies” and getting a cute little tote bag, there were vendors. These vendors were mostly Fair Trade vendors. In other words, the products they sold helped others have a better life. Of course, there was one table I could not resist. It was a table of jewelry that was made of recycled aluminum. The neat thing was that if you wanted a piece customized the gentleman would customize it for you. I had picked out a small cross and wanted a blue stone on it. As the gentleman, worked on my cross we had the neatest conversation about our faith and sharing the gospel with others.
There was the blessing of fellowship. We were a group of ladies that were away from our husbands and children for the night. When this happens it means only one thing. We are going to skip the fast food, pizza and such and go for the good stuff. The restaurant we found gave us our own private room. We laughed, shared what we had liked about the weekend thus far and we got to know each other a little better.
Late Saturday evening we arrived back home. As my husband, Jim greeted us at the van assisting ladies getting out and their luggage out, he sees my cute little tote spilling out with all of the items that I had collected in a twenty-four hour time period. He began to ask what was in the bag. My response was telling him the things that I knew that were in the bag that I had put in there myself. I told him I had not gone through the entire bag of goodies that I was waiting until I got home.
Once I got home, I began to pull things out. I was blown away with all that was in the bag. There were Women’s Devotional CD’s, all kinds of reading materials, and the list goes on. I posted on Facebook that I had gone through my bag and felt like I was having Christmas in September. A friend commented that it was like pulling things out of a Christmas stocking. Her statement was so true.
As I pulled out these things, I began to think about the blessings from the weekend. I thought about how I questioned why I was going. Then, I smiled because I knew God had planned those blessings for me to receive even before I knew I would be at that very place to receive those blessings.
In my reflection of the weekend, I thought of the scripture from James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming from the Father of heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
Each day God has blessings planned for us. We have a choice. We can choose not to go through the cute little tote bag and receive His blessings. Or we can choose to open up that cute little tote bag of blessings with anticipation and be in awe of all He has given us, planned for us and plans for us.