God celebrates women, too–in a holy way. He created woman and He loves women, His precious daughters and the Royal Bride of Christ. When He made the earth and everything in it, He said “It is good.” But it was after He made the woman that He said, “It is very good.” That word very is m@`od, which means “substantive” or “exceedingly.” (Strong’s H3966, BlueLetter Bible).
I’m so very thankful for the women God has brought into my life who have impacted me and inspired me to become a better woman of God:
foremost, our three beautiful daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah;
my sister Maria;
my friends Shelley Valasek, Doreen Penner, Dana Arcuri, Stephanie Carter, Ruth Christian, Liz Zacharias, Diane Bishop, and Kim Weber;
my spiritual moms Suzy Bunton, Betty Spangler, and Blanch Hershberger;
and many other women of God who have influenced me. I love you all!
Today on International Women’s Day, think about the women in your life. Pray for them and maybe send them a note to let them know how they have made such a difference in your life and that you love them.
Also think about how you can impact and inspire others. There is no one else like beautiful you with what you have to offer! Today celebrate yourself and all women whom God made.
“After women, flowers are the most beautiful thing God has given the world.” –Christian Dior
Here is today’s video–International Women’s day: The women who inspire you. Just click on the link below at YouTube:
This past Sunday, October 15, 2017, I had the honor to speak at the Precious Blood Retreat Center in Liberty, MO, for a women’s retreat. I’ve been speaking for over 10 years now, and in all that time, I’ve never received such a generous gift as the event planners and women gave me at this one!
The event planner, Carla, told me that as a small church, they had a tight budget and might not be able to pay me a lot. Not only did they give me twice the amount of speaking fee I was expecting, but they also gave me a bag of chocolates, the goody bags they gave the attendees, a beautiful journal, and an entire cute, white crate filled with new gifts the women had bought me! I was in shock and so touched by this! WOW! What a blessing!
I was just blown away by their generosity!
The women were so sweet and made me feel so welcome. Several ladies came up after I spoke to thank me for sharing my testimony and said that it blessed them. Their theme for this retreat was A Chocolate Life Devotional by Deb Burma. I tailored my presentation to this, sharing my story and talking about God’s sweet grace.
Here in the pictures below, the women are writing their thank you cards to Jesus for the blessings He has given them in their lives. The event planners, Carla and Kathy, put so much work, planning, and organization into this; I was so impressed! The ladies went through all of the devotionals in the book on Friday night and Saturday. It was a full weekend of teaching from Carla. And of course, there was LOTS of chocolate! (I brought some Dove chocolates for them, too.)
This beautiful lady, Jennifer, is the mom of two beautiful twin girls. Jennifer is a nurse at Saint Luke’s hospital in Overland Park, KS. I enjoyed talking with her and am so glad there were all ages there, including youth! They have a powerful testimony, almost dying at birth.
This cute, little older lady is Fran. She chose to be my partner when we worked on the scavenger hunt. She was so sweet!
I always give away a gift bag when I speak at events, including a free copy of one of my books. In this gift bag I included my memoir, a pumpkin scented candle, and a cute orange notepad with a cat on the front, which read “Meow! Meow! Meow!” I asked God to help me pick the right woman to receive it and asked, “Who loves cats?”
I chose Paula, who is in the pic below with me. She was so happy; she’d never won anything before. She has an orange cat named Garfield! God knew!
She blessed me so much, giving me a big hug. She also hand-made one of the beautiful blankets in the white crate gift!
The night before, it had stormed badly and there was even a tornado watch there at the retreat center, with the power going out a couple of times. But Sunday was a gorgeous fall day. The sunshine and cool weather were exhilirating!
At the end of the retreat, each woman could choose a beautiful journal to take home.
I chose the one which had the scripture on love.
The Precious Blood Retreat Center is by a beautiful lake with a walking trail. It was so peaceful there. I was very impressed with the center, and contacted the staff today about possibly hosting my own ladies’ retreat there next spring or fall 2018. It has a building with a meeting room, a big kitchen and a dining room, numerous bedrooms upstairs and downstairs, bathrooms (including showers), and a washer and dryer room. BIG PLUS: it has a Keurig coffee maker and cups in the dining room, and Wi-fi!
I had a perfect ending to this event; I had chips and salsa and soft chicken tacos at a nearby Mexican restaurant!
It was such a blessing and privilege to meet Carla and all the ladies at this event and to speak there. If you are an event planner or know someone who needs a speaker for their women’s conference, retreat, or event, you can contact me here.