By Thursday night, I had decided to take 10-year-old Natalie with me to Women of Faith. I knew she might not fully comprehend the words from the stage, but I was confident that the Jesus-loving environment and some precious one-on-one time with my oldest girl would be the real prize.
Then came Saturday morning. My husband was racing to get some work done outside, before a landscaping crew arrives next week. It wasn’t going well. Tree roots appeared where they weren’t thought to be. A project that was already overwhelming grew more so. Corey was frustrated.
And then the kids started bickering. Connor bossed Teyla. Teyla yelled back. Kieran fussed about everything, thanks to an early morning wake-up of 6:00. And Natalie tried her best to block it all out by planting herself in front of the TV.
For my part, I was feeling refreshed and excited. Not only did I have an afternoon at Women of Faith ahead of me, but Corey had let me sleep in until 10:30. It was a much-needed boost for my mental and emotional state. I was dressed for a girls day out, and I was ready to go soak in the Imagine line-up.
But I didn’t have peace.
I tried my best to ignore the meltdown around me. A huge part of me wanted to say, “Have a great afternoon with the cranky kids and the huge project, Corey. I’m off to enjoy Natalie and God. Tootles!”
And many times in the past, I’ve done that. I’ve plugged my ears against the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper and plowed ahead with Making Kelly Happy.
Funny thing, though. It rarely works. If I want to stay in step with the Spirit, I cannot ignore His leadings and pursue my own way without repercussions. When I chose that route, I lose peace. Joy. Fellowship. (Please note: I’ve learned this hard way.)
So I decided to skip Women of Faith and be a woman of faith. I set aside my own desires and told Corey I would take charge of the whiny, cranky, hungry masses which would enable him to focus the rest of the afternoon on prepping the yard for next week. I loaded the kids into the minivan and grabbed some Subway and a peppermint mocha from McDonald’s (who knew?!?) and drove around admiring the trees until both Teyla and Kieran fell asleep.
And I traded my selfishness and disappointment and pity for God’s peace and joy and fellowship.
In the end, isn’t that what a Women of Faith weekend is all about?