Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Girlfriends In God

“Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value.”
Proverbs 31:10

Who can find a woman of worth? Let me tell you, holy women are alive and well in the Diocese of Green Bay.  I was honored to spend the morning with 100+ of these holy women this past weekend at Girlfriends in God – A Women’s Day of Reflection.
It was my privilege to serve on the core team for the first of what may just be an annual event here in my home diocese.

We were blessed to start our morning with mass offered by a young and prophetic priest. He took the time to tailor his homily to women and the theme of our event. Listening to the symphony of women lift their voices heavenward in our beautiful cathedral was stirring. It was as if I could feel our collective, feminine heart unfolding for the blessings of the day.

I left my last speaking engagement with one great tip: bring tissues when speaking to women! As an afterthought I threw them into the bags I had prepared for each table and am I ever glad I did.
The day was full of laughter, tears, new and renewed friendships with one another and our faith. I was inspired by the diverse group of women who came to spend the morning together and honored to have the opportunity to speak.

As women, we tend to flock to those who we can relate to. This often means those in a similar life stage. There is nothing wrong with this; women need someone else who “gets it” in order to share our hearts. However, we can get really caught up in our life stage and lose sight of the importance of shared vocation and giftedness as woman.

It was this that truly touched me about the Girlfriends in God event. Yes, the food was fabulous, we avoided too many time and technology crises and the talks went well (thank goodness, I was a bit nervous for this one!) but the most inspiring aspect of the event for myself was the teenager and 75 year old grandma I witnessed introducing themselves to each other at a pink donned table.
It was a diverse group of women in every aspect, from age to place on the faith journey. This, I believe, is what made the event a blessing for all the women in attendance. 
We’ve got so much to learn from one another. From the wisdom to gain from those more advanced in age and life experience than we are to the fresh face of hope in the young woman that can spark a renewal in our own lives.

Ok, and the top notch gift bags didn’t hurt the experience either. Pink pajama pants, CDs, chocolate roses? There was a haul in those gift bags!
I’m overjoyed the day was inspiring for myself and others but must admit, after crashing for 13 hours to sleep when I got home, I was a little sad to cross it off my calendar.

All that is left to do for this year is to file away the papers and memories and wait for the seeds planted to bear fruits in my heart. Serving on the core team and preparing to speak was that crazy kind of wonderful stress. The kind that makes you pull your hair out and then not only ask for more, but look forward to it.

I had the privilege of working with three professionals in ministry who I learned so much from, and more importantly, grew in friendship with. I’ll miss our hopeful and entertaining brainstorming sessions and of course, the fabulous desserts we ate while dreaming up an event that would build women up and bring them together. Whoever said dessert is bad for you hasn’t met these women. We truly became “Girlfriends in God,” and I am so thankful.
Girlfriends in God Core Team

2 comments:

Kim said...

Wow, it sounds like a great conference, Holly, and it sounds like a wonderful experience for you! I've served on a core team for a retreat in college, and it was an amazing experience. It sounds like it was similar for you. Perhaps if you do this again next year, I can talk my hubby into letting me get away for the day! :) Glad you enjoyed it so much!

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