Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Esther

I stepped out of my comfort zone this morning and attended my first Women's Bible Study at our church.

I say that I stepped out of our comfort zone because I only knew one person who would be there (the leader). This is a stretch for me. I like to be in control of the situation. I like to know who will be there and I like to have someone walk in with me. I need someone to "hold my hand."

But not today...

I was running late and when I arrived in the nursery I realized there were a TON of kids there. The two workers probably had 10-12 children. Most of them were older preschoolers, but there were a few babies. I handed James over and ran across the street to where the Bible Study was taking place.

Thankfully, I knew the faces of almost everyone in the room. Since I helped out with VBS earlier this summer I knew a handful of the women there, even if I didn't know their names. I am the youngest and I have the youngest child, but the average age is probably 32 or 34.

I have prayed and prayed and prayed that we would make "church friends." We have made a few "work friends" and a few "neighborhood friends," but we needed some "church friends." Finally, at the beginning of the summer I realized I was going to have to do more than go to church on Sunday morning. (As a sidenote, I've been told a LOT that I would meet more people because of James and that is TRUE. For whatever reason, when you have a baby you suddenly get noticed. Maybe it's all the cuteness and the fat rolls {his, not mine...} but we did meet a lot of people just in and out of the nursery.)

Eddie has been begging me to go to Sunday School. For whatever reason, I have horrible Sunday School memories (and I can't even think of what they are, really...I just have Sunday School anxiety) and that has held me back. Y'all pray for me because I feel like in the next Sunday or two I'm going to have to break down and give in!

Anyway, we're doing Esther, a Beth Moore study, and on her video today she made the comment that it was for a reason that we were all doing this. God is not mentioned at all in the book of Esther, but it is for a specific purpose, so that we will seek Him out. I have been seeking a lot recently. I actually ordered the Esther book this time last year and have filled in the entire first week already. When I saw that Esther was one of the morning studies for the fall, I immediately knew I had to sign up if it was for women my age. Lo and behold, it was. I truly, truly think that God did that to me on purpose. He is making me step out of my comfort zone. And you know what? It wasn't that bad today! Ha! I didn't even have those "first day of school" butterflies or anything! I felt comfortable! (Now, let's not get crazy here and say that I was comfortable enough to pray in front of those women, but I was comfortable nevertheless!)

Afterwards, I walked across to the nursery with one of the other women and thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. (I taught one of her boys in VBS this summer so I already "knew" her.) She was very sweet and friendly! She didn't bite! Ha!

To add to the humor that I'm getting out of this whole God-orchestrated study, the subtitle of the study is "It's Tough Being a Woman." We were asked to write out three reasons why being a woman is tough. Mine?

1. We have lots and lots and lots of things to juggle.
2. We are hard on ourselves. (We give ourselves lots and lots and lots of things to juggle.)
3. We are hard on each other.

That third one is the one that is speaking to me today. Maybe the problem is that I think that women are going to be hard on me. Don't misunderstand me; I think that we are terribly hard on one another. What I mean is, maybe they don't care about the things I spend all my time being worried that they'll care about! Am I making any sense?

For example, a few months ago Eddie and I went to a baseball game here at one of the high schools. It was the local school versus Tift County so I knew I'd know people from both sides. I must have put on five different outfits before we finally walked out the door because I was so consumed with what people would think of me. (It sounds VERY ridiculous, not to mention vain now.) It occurred to me on the way that no one else cared what I had on. They were going to watch a baseball game, for Pete's sake! And yet, I still worry all the time about outward appearance! Bleh!

I am hoping to get lots and lots and LOTS out of this study. New friends, good conversation, and some perspective! Maybe I'm the one being too hard...on myself and others!!!

2 comments:

Anna Catherine said...

I know how you feel! There are times when I get so frustrated and feel like I never have anything appropriate to wear! I always feel that everyone else will be cuter than me and I'll feel left out unless I look perfect. Then, there are times when I just completely dress for comfort and have the best time ever!

If it makes you feel any better, I always think you dress very cute casual. You always have cute accessories to go with all your outfits. Funny, I remember thinking that same thing about you when we were 5 and 7. I could never wait until I was 7 so I could wear cute dangling dolphin earings or seashell bracelets.

pendy said...

Love how you are focused on intentional growth.