For the past 2 years, I have done a small group for women. Two years ago, it started as part of Beth Moore's Summer Siestas. Beth is a hoot and a half. She picks another author's book and then does several videos over the summer to help facilitate the groups and she posts them on her blog. You can read when we did that two years ago here. Last year we didn't do that...we did Captivating by Staci and John Eldrige.
This year I was all ready to go back to Beth's Summer Siestas and she was NOT going to do one!!!! booooo :( I cried. But then I just "happened" to spy on my shelf a book by her called To Live is Christ. I purchased it 2 summers ago and the book itself was published back in 2000. This fit quite nicely with some other things I have been studying including Jewish culture. God is good.
This book has DVDs and a study that goes along with it but mostly we are reading, and discussing. It is a very easy read and yet meaty.
But what I LOVE about these summer sessions is the way God brings women together..at just the right time. I have a story from last year and you can read that here. We all have expectations of how things should be... on everything.. and when we give them to God then He can do it exceedingly abundantly. And I had thoughts on how God would bring together certain people at this first session. I was pretty sure I knew who would show up and who wouldn't. God had other plans and put the perfect people right next to each other.
About an hour into conversation, one of the women realized that all last year she was going by the room of the other woman who happens to be a special ed teacher in the public schools. It was just one small whisper from God on how he brings it all together. Last year he brought a single gal to our gathering amongst 3 women with young children. This year he brought a woman whose children are out of the home and she is an empty nester looking forward to what God's plan is next. I don't know what these connections will end up meaning at the end of the day, but I just love thinking about the possibilities.
When we start out I always feel a bit tentative and scared...will it work out? will the ladies gel? Why do I concern myself with these things?? (Even if it didn't go well- giving it to God means it isn't up to us anyway.. but I still pray it goes well!)
Other weeks may look different as there are four other women who may join us from time to time. But I was reminded how God truly does about work all things for good! He knows who needs to be where at what time and if we listen and keep in step with the Spirit, it is good. Very good.
One last final funny note. We were discussing that Barnabas was Paul's encourager at the beginning of his ministry. And so we wondered..what is the plural of Barnabas? Barnabi?