Friday, October 14, 2011

The Crossing

It's official - I've crossed over!

Paul (New Testament writer) identified the importance of older women teaching younger women how to live well. I've always been in the ranks of the younger women. Asking questions. Learning. Watching. Listening.

But this past week, what I've suspected for quite sometime, became abundantly clear. I've crossed over from the ranks of "younger" to the position of "older". Ready or not - I'm there!

But marking the passage actually came with such great delight that I didn't have time to deliberate or even bemoan the facts of aging and passage and time and such.

Frank and I traveled to Ohio for the purpose of ministering during the A/G ladies fall conference. And before the conference began, I had the privilege of spending two days teaching and praying with the pastor's wives that came early.

Very few of those precious ladies were my age. And only one or two were older. So the contrast was stark. More evident than usual.

But the excitement and joy were completely contagious. These Wonderful Ohio Women (W.O.W. - the state director, Lisa Page, aptly named them) are courageous in their call as pastoral helpmates. They asked questions that revealed their deep compassion and sensitivity to their role.

I found myself challenged to share messages of true substance.

No fluff needed in their world. Not one shed tears of self-pity. They wept for the people they serve. They wept over the lost of their city. They wept longing to be more. It was truly amazing to be with them.

One young woman that I met is a missionary who facilitates missions experiences for college age people. She planned and executed more than 70 different trips last summer alone for teams headed to some 35 countries! WOW!

Katrina and I spent some time sharing and praying together after one of the evening services. What an honor to listen to her heart. Nod with affirmation about the things God is telling her. Wrap my arms around her for encouragement.

We decided that we're both okay with occasional tears and crying - it's the snot that's a real bother. (Ah, youth!)

My heart leaped when she looked straight into my eyes and said, "You're such a Mama!"

Without the slightest hesitation I answered, "Yes, I am. Guess that's what I do best!"

Katrina spent her second summer (of five she's committed to) running camps in Alaska for children others have forgotten. She will help change lives I'll never encounter. But I have a part in their transformation.

Because I'm the older who encouraged the younger to live well!

Not even a good face-lift could give me this feeling of joy.

Thanks, Wonderful Ohio Women! My crossing will always be marked by my time with you.

PS - Today Frank tackles a dream!

He has trained for several months and is right this minute participating in the first leg of a 200 mile bike trip. (I don't mean a Harley kind of bike. I mean the Pedal kind!)

He, John and fifteen other riders left the hotel parking lot at 7:00 AM. A bit nervous; majorly excited!

Thankfully, a cool breeze is blowing here. We're hoping for some light cloud cover for the afternoon portion.

They do 100 miles today and 100 tomorrow. I think that's when they'll really need extra prayer! Smile.

Steve Arnold, one of the dear men of our church, left Winter Haven at 4:00 this morning in order to cover the place where the riders get sandwiches and Gatorade. Our congregation have given almost $3,000.00 toward missions for the sponsorship. Joy and I are here to cheer them on and rub their aching backs when they return.

Dreams dreamed are good. Dreams lived to the full are FANTASTIC!!

Hope your day is blessed!