I've just returned from a wonderful morning spent with some women who desire to know God more, are crazy in love with their families, and desire to be visible women of faith in our little part of the world. None of us are perfect. No one has all the answers to life questions or understands completely what it means to be a "proverbs 31 women" in today's culture. However, the desire to be constantly striving for that goal is evident in faces of those women sitting next to me at Paradise Cafe and Bakery this morning.
It is a fitting place to meet for our "Mom's Bible Study Group" don't ya think! This is a group of women that in one form or another has been meeting for almost 8 years. What started as a small group of women with children at our public school neighborhood elementary has grown to a group of moms with kids from Preschool to College at private and public schools across our city.
We've done Bible study on topics ranging from Friendship, Prayer, and Women of the Bible to Topical Studies on individual books of the Bible. Our discussions range from deep and meaningful to totally off topic tangents. We are doing life together. Sometimes that means we are talking about parenting or marriage issues, school choices and life choices and all the gunk in between.
We pray together and for each other. We lift up our schools, our teachers, and our kids. We do a "service project" every Christmas for families in our school that gives us as much joy and pleasure as the recipient, and maybe more. We stand up with our kids on See You at the Pole Day and pray. We celebrate Christmas each year with a Happy Birthday Jesus Party that's wild and crazy.
What I love the most about these women is that, while we don't always agree on issues of politics, parenting, or life, we do all agree about Jesus. Really isn't that all that matters. We accept each other, care for each other and, in essence, live as One Body of Believers. Our hearts are safe in this group. We don't all go to the same church or worship in the same way, but we all worship the same God. We leave our denominational differences at the door. We act like the "Church" is suppose to act.
I know that "church ladies" are not always this way. Churches and women's Bible studies too often have a culture of personalities where cliques form or it's all about the "act" and looking and acting the part of the perfect Christian lady. I know women who use to be great friends who no longer speak because of what has happened at church. Church can be a place of great belonging, but it can also be a place of quiet loneliness if you are on the outside. While I love my church, I know that it's not perfect because it's filled with imperfect people who just need Jesus.
That's why I love my Friday Ladies. That's why this morning with a horrendous headache and list of chores I wanted to do before the weekend, I dragged my little sweet body to Bible Study to be with these women and get started on another great year together.
To see the "church" like this. No wonder we meet at Paradise!