Saturday, February 09, 2008

Minnesota, part 2 - The Rest of the Story

OK. So, where were we?
Ahhh, yes. In the snow bank. Jessica was on her way to get me, and Kati was on the phone with AAA.
When Jessica arrived, Kati was still talking to AAA so I loaded my things into Jessica's vehicle, waved goodbye to Kati (I would be seeing her again the next day.) and we were on our way once more.
In just a minute or two we were at Jessica's house, I went in and quickly changed my clothes, brushed my teeth and just wished I had time to fix my make-up. Nah. Not tonight! I grabbed my jewelry box, left my other stuff in a heap (I am usually a better house-guest than this, but time was of the essence! LOL) and we were on our way. Once more.
As we drove to the church I asked Jessica how we were doing for time. She told me the meeting was supposed to start at 6:30 and she had told the other coordinator we would probably be there by 7:00. It was already after 7:00, but Jessica was calm and that helped me. She did say the people taking care of children were willing to stay late, and the tension within me eased a little more.
As we drove to the church I was also putting on untangling my jewelry. Note to self: When traveling, never put two necklaces in the same box! Literally, as we pulled into the church parking lot, I got the last knot out of my necklace and put it on.

I was really hoping that was the last fire I was going to need to put out while on this trip.

We were greeted at the door by the MOPS coordinator. I walked in, took off my coat and gave my CDs to the young man who was running the sound and power point. At that point the coordinator told the women, "She's here!" and we got started.
Before I started speaking, I apologized for missing dinner and asked the women I was supposed to meet if they went out to dinner without me, anyway. They did. And I was glad. I think we moms need to grab those opportunities to get away whenever we can, and I was hoping my delay had not ruined this opportunity for them. *relieved sigh*
With that matter settled, I began my talk and thoroughly enjoyed the time I had with these women. I love getting them to laugh - sometimes with me, other times at me - and it always encourages me when I look out and see women nodding their heads in agreement. When I see that, I know they are hearing me, and they are "getting it." And when I see tears, I know a woman's heart is being reached and I thank God for loving her and speaking to her.
When I finished that night, most of the women had to grab their children and scoot out pretty quickly but I was so glad everyone was able to stay to the end and I thanked God for His faithfulness in bringing it all together.
In His time.

Wednesday morning I spoke for another MOPS group and, again, had a delightful time with the women. (I even had a yummy peanutbutter rice crispy treat with chocolate on top, that someone had brought for the breakfast buffet. Shhhhhh. Don't tell my kids!!!)
When I speak I try to make a lot of direct eye contact with the women in the room. I have noticed that some women get uncomfortable and look down or away, but there was one woman in particular on Wednesday morning who held my gaze whenever I looked at her. I felt like God was drawing me to her.
There is one part in my presentation where I share about a time when God told me He loved me and I always ask Him, "Who do You want me to look at when I say those words of Yours, I love you.?" Wednesday I knew without question who I was supposed to look at. When the time came, I found her eyes and spoke to her the words God spoke to me, "I want you to know that I love you." It was a tender moment and I really felt like God was loving her through me.
After I spoke, during discussion time, I found out this woman (I'm guessing her to be in her early 20s) is a working mom to a 17 month old little boy. She is going through a divorce and is caring for her mother, who is ill. She is not a member of this MOPS group, but was invited by a friend to come and hear me speak. She was in tears as she shared about the things going on in her life and I was so glad to be able to love her for God. Would you pause a moment right now and pray for her?

Wednesday afternoon I was taken to Kati's house, (BTW, she waited for the AAA rescue for over an hour Tuesday night...) and Thursday morning I spoke for her MOPS group. This was another wonderful group of women, and - Wow! - do they ever put out a spread for breakfast! I walked along the table, practically drooling, telling myself, Jessica (my trainer) would frown on me eating this, and this, and this...I was a good girl. But I did enjoy one of the treats after lunch. *grin*
Again, I enjoyed laughing with this group of moms, I prayed for them as I spoke, and I searched for the woman at whom I would look when I said, "I love you." I absolutely love speaking for women, but one of my favorite parts is after the meeting - just talking one-on-one. And I enjoyed some good discussion with women from this group, too. I commiserated with one mom about potty training, talked discipline with another, and enjoyed lunch with the leaders of the group where we talked about mentoring and spiritual growth.

I have been so blessed to be able to go on this trip to speak with and for all these precious women. The trip home was even more delayed than the trip to Minnesota, but I would do it all again in a heart beat, if only to be used by God to bring hope and encouragement to these precious women whom He loves so much.

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Karen said...

I was so glad to read part II, oh Karen I could just feel your unselfish love pouring out for these ladies. It was oozing out, you are letting God work through you and I was very moved and aware of what a selfish what-not I am, but am being honed (if you know what I mean). I will pray for the lady going through the divorce that you mentioned. What a wonderful family you have, their blessing over your ministry, God's anointing and grace over your life. Thank you for sharing.

The Redouteys said...

I'm so glad that your trip went well in spite of the rocky start. :) It's nice to know God knew it was going to happen. Yeah! God spoke through you to so many women on this trip. You are serving God and enjoying it!

annie said...

So glad to hear it all worked out so well! I had a woman who came to our church as a guest speaker kinda pick me out of the group and speak directly to my heart. IT was a rare occurrence and I felt the spirit of God in a profound way. I love how God uses people to love each other. I just wish you were in Oklahoma! I'd love to sit down with a cup of tea and chat for hours!

Happyhome said...

Prayed for that young mom and was overwhelmed by God's care for her. Thank you for being used to pour His incredible love into her young, troubled life.

I love reading about how the Lord is using you this year!

Prayers and hugs,


Wendy said...

Allowing God to speak through you to comfort that young mother was beautiful. Bless you for letting the Spirit work through you to reach out to these women, and thank you for sharing the story with us, that we may be blessed in seeing God at work. Praising Him that it was a wonderful time, despite the delays. :)

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

thank you so much for reaching out to so many at any time and at any cost - blessings are to come!! I just know it!! He is so good!! Love, Leigh

kreed said...

What an adventure! It sounds like you touched lots of hearts - way to go!

freetofly said...

Karen, your love ALWAYS shows in your posts! You are a Living Valentine!

I was so blessed to come over and catch up on your ministry activities. I LOVED that you prompted us to stop and pray for the young mother & I did and am praying for her.

Thank you for all you are doing!

God bless!

Shawna said...

That is such a wonderful ending to the story. It's just amazing how God works. What a wonderful thing to be able to see Him working right in front of you with the women you speak to.