Saturday, April 12, 2008


"Sometimes it is hard to find a little inspiration. But inspiration is never far away, sometimes we just need to know where to look for it." --Author Unknown.

This morning I helped my friend, Debbie, with a "Women's Retreat" for ladies who participate in the Lighthouse program here in Shreveport. These are ladies who find their lives in transition right now---maybe from a bad marriage, an abusive relationship, troubles with the law or just plain poverty. Most are moms who are struggling to get their lives back on track and provide for their children in the best ways they know how.

Today was about reminding them that they are loved by God--even when life is tough and when they feel unloved by those aroun
d them. And I'd say it was a success. Although, that had seemed doubtful when we first arrived.

I'd agreed to help Debbie with leading a craft project. She'd asked for something that could be used to hold a photo, whether it be a frame or whatever, that they could take with them. When planning began, we expected about 30 people to attend. However, the count on Wednesday evening was for 62!!!! Wow!! And I'd hardly even begun to put the things together. I had an idea, but up until then, it was just that--an idea in my head and nothing concrete.

I've been on "paperwork overload" this week and had scheduled my retreat preparation time for Friday night. Of course, the addition of 32 more people meant a REAALLLLYYYY late night for me last night.
I measured and cut and punched and folded and printed and counted and. . . finally about 1:00 a.m., I had all the packets bagged and ready to go for the retreat.

I arrived at the center about 30 minutes early to help set up--then we
waited for the ladies to arrive. By 10:30 (the appointed start time), there were only 3 ladies there. So we waited a while longer while the social workers began to make phone calls. By 11:00, we started the retreat with only about 10 people there. A disappointing turnout, but we were determined to make this a meaningful time for those who had shown up. Slowly, people began to trickle in and by 12:00, we finally had about 25-30 ladies. I took pictures of the ladies as they arrived and ran to Walgreens to get them developed so that they would be completed by the time the retreat was over (of course, they lost the order making another snag in our well-planned event).

We ended up staying longer than the appointed time since we'd adjusted our program to fit the delays. And while it was not nearly the 62 we were expecting, those that came seemed to have needed this time to share and forget the grind of everyday responsibilities. They sang and they shared and as we made the craft---a folded "scrapbook"---we found that we, too had been blessed: inspired by the perseverance of these ladies and reminded that we are all loved by the same God. All in all, it was a good time----another blessing in a long, long list!
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