Ah! La Dolce Vita! I can think of no other words to describe our final Pure Joy dinner of the summer! And I once again think I’m the luckiest sister friend ever! Take a look at these amazing snippets and snapshots of our wonderful evening!
And before you mention it…yes. I still have a smidgey bit of a black and eye and swollen face. But it is SOOOOOOO much better!
The weather was so NOT mid-August in Chicago! We had no humidity, great temps (bordering on cool for an August night!), with just a touch of a breeze (I said that just for you, Annie!)! Marcie’s backyard was truly transformed into an Italian al fresco wonderland!
We shared so many stories about things that we LOVE about being at home, coming home, “creating” home, and celebrating home. The food was phenomenal (I’m still stuffed!), the décor was amazing, and the company, well – the company warmed my heart to its very core! And we asked for prayers and blessings on our dear sister, Jill, who is headed to Ethiopia this very weekend to bring her daughter, Tinsu, HOME!!!!
It was perfectly fitting to me that this dinner was held at the very place where Stringing Pearls with Wendie was born just one year ago – Marcie’s house! I took a few quiet moments before the crowd arrived to thank God for all He’s done since last fall. We’ve expanded from a small, core group of women to a healthy group of over 50 ladies (AND GROWING!) who participate in Bible study on a regular basis! This blog has been viewed over 5500 times by people in 20 countries just since January – I think that’s amazing! Women all over the globe followed our spring study, and then celebrated a summer of Pure Joy with us!
I honestly don’t tell you all this to be all braggy (is that a word?!) because it isn’t about me.
All of this is GOD.
Not me, not the ministry team. But God.
Yes, as a team and individually, we’re learning to listen to Him, go where He calls, and trust His voice to guide us to our sweet spot.
When we get into that sweet spot, that place where God has always intended us to be, we soar! And when we soar, we basically get the privilege of riding shotgun next to an amazing Creator who has a big time flight plan for each of us! I keep looking to my left (since He’s the pilot and all…!) and I continue to be amazed at where He’s taking us, which, apparently, is exactly where He planned all along.
Only God could do such things! We thank and praise You, sweet Lord!
Overall, here’s what I’ve learned over the last year: God doesn’t have a Plan B for you or for me. (It’s the “For such a time and place as this…” Esther 4:14 thing…!) Plan A is where it’s at and it’s always been that way, ever since the moment we chose (or choose…!) to follow Jesus. We can try to avoid Him for a little while, acting like we don’t know He’s waiting patiently for us to acknowledge His beautiful, holy, loving presence and get on board. But sooner or later, His will WILL be done! Don’t you want to be a part of that?!
Thy will be done, Lord!
Don’t let ANYONE or anything steer you off course. Because I’m learning that “Plan A” is a crazy cool trip with a lot of fun stops (and okay, sometimes challenging ones) along the way. And just when you think you’ve reached your destination, another intriguing leg of the journey unfolds. The world just keeps getting bigger and bigger – along with His mind-blowing love for you!
Here’s the bottom line: God created you. Everything God creates is glorious. So. What does that make you?
Yes, sweet friend. It makes you glorious!
Which, OF COURSE, brings me to the announcement I’ve been dying to unveil! The Stringing Pearls with Wendie Fall Bible Study 2013!!!
Um, puh-lease. How cool is that?! A little “back to school” chalkboard mixed in with a little old fashioned “love story” postcard! Because girls, I gotta tell ya, He is head over heels in love with you!
Don’t you just basically YEARN for someone to tell you that you are gloriously amazing? Admit it, you do. And so do I.
And you know what? I personally think you’re pretty amazing!
But better yet, He KNOWS you are because that’s the way He made you.
So with that in mind, let me announce our book for the Fall 2013 series!!!
Holley Gerth wrote this super cool book (You’re Already Amazing) which is all about discovering and accepting the perfect, unique, amazing, and GLORIOUS self that God created you to be, and I am SOOOOOOOO excited to do this study alongside each of you!
Stringing Pearls with Wendie is so excited to announce that we will be leading three local (in Glen Ellyn, Illinois), in-home Bible studies for women this fall! Details on these studies will be emailed out this week to all who have either participated in or requested info on our Bible studies over the last year! Studies begin the week of September 16th and continue through the week of November 18th!
If you are not local, or cannot fit daytime Bible study into your schedule, you can easily follow along with us here on the blog! I am also offering to send information via email to anyone interested in hosting their OWN local study with their OWN sister friends on how to host, how to create all the goodies we give out for study, etc.! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
I’ll be doing a more “formal” introduction to the series at the beginning of September! But in the meantime, get your books (click here to order from Amazon.com), and get ready to discover just how amazing you already are – all because He lives in you!!!
This summer, we’ve delved into Joy and discovered so much about the power and strength of joy in all things. This fall, we go full-on GLORIOUS. And I’m beyond giddy about it. Can you even stand it?!
So, with a joyful heart, I thank you for all your support, prayers, fellowship, friendship, giggles, and love this past year since we started this adventure together, and for all the FUN we have had this summer! And in glorious hope, I pray you will keep walking this amazing life journey with God as your pilot and me as your wingman (well, wingwoman…)!
Up Monday: The Back to School Blues (and reds, greens, yellows, oranges…!)
Have a GLORIOUS weekend (yep – that’s our new buzz word…)!!!
Peace, love and JOY!