I don't have any real plan or vision for these events or for where I think they should necessarily go. I just invite and pray that the Holy Spirit works in women's lives and that they come away with a challenge or an encouragement or a new thought or a new friendship or just a bit of reprieve from the dailiness.
Our culture is so busy and fragmented and distracted, and there are few spaces where women can gather for food and focused conversation and to be heard and to be loved. I believe that God made us as women to be inviters. Why aren't we doing that more? Why aren't we creating space in our homes and in our schedules and in our hearts to gather? I know that for each of us there are differing lists of obstacles that we face, but most of those can be overcome.
Women are lonely. Women need friendship. Women need nurturing as they are nurturers to so many in their lives. Women need to be listened to and offered encouragement and hope. Women need to eat a slow meal without interruption and to enjoy a glass of wine coupled with laughter. Women need to share their real life stories and listen to other's stories. Women need to be seen and noticed. Women need to be affirmed that you are not alone.
Why do we wait for other women to make the first move? Why do we sit alone at home or make ourselves over-busy to compensate for that ache of aloneness? Why do we keep hoping that good friendships will just happen to us?
I believe that we can move past our fears and insecurities and issues, and seek to learn how to love other women in even the smallest of ways. May I encourage you to begin to take steps to create of lifestyle of loving and pursuing women?
Text a woman today and ask her how she is doing.
Find out who has an upcoming birthday and buy her a card.
Take a friend some flowers this week.
Private Message someone on Facebook that you want to get to know and tell her that.
Invite a few women over for coffee and muffins.
Host a Book Club. Discuss the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.
Take a woman a meal when you find out she is feeling under the weather.
Consider hosting an IF:Table with five other women. Make it a potluck.
Begin a Growth Group: meet with three other women once a month to discuss the growth in your lives intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, relationally...books you have read, movies you have seen, podcasts listened to, music that encourages.
Ask good questions.
Be the friend that you want to have.
Pray and ask God to give you names of women to reach out and to give love to. Do it freely without expecting anything in return. Do any of these suggestions as an overflow of love...seeking to be Jesus to others without demanding a response of gratitude or reciprocation or friendship. Give because Jesus made you to give and to offer and to invite. Check pride and insecurity and comparison at the door and walk in your identity in Christ which is to be a woman who is deeply loved, forgiven, accepted and complete in Him. As we walk in our God-given identities, we are then FREE to walk in love and service without hindrance.
We weren't made to go at life alone. We weren't made for isolation and comparison and insecurity. We were made for intimacy and connection and authenticity and sacrificial love. Women at their best are intimate and relational and honest and nurturing...let's humbly reclaim all the best about ourselves and offer that to the women God places in our lives and paths every day.