Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Month: July 2010 (page 1 of 5)

Hold the fluff

A friend recently asked me to help her with a retreat that the church is hosting in November. My task is relatively simple, mostly because I’ve done it before (prayer stations), so I readily agreed. Plus, it’s nice to do something, to have a goal and work with others to accomplish it. Plus, I just love thinking on these things. She showed me her leaders guide and I nearly piddled on the floor. With my love of “curriculum” I should have been a teacher.

So, in typical me-fashion, I’ve over-thought the whole stinkin’ thing. Well, not my part. I haven’t given too much consideration to it… that’ll come the week before. But the big picture thinking. That’s what I love most. The what-ifing.

This morning I read through the lesson with which I’ll be affiliated. Bread of life = Jesus. Check. The program is designed (and it’s probably a big selling point) so that it doesn’t require *too* much prep on the part of the presenters – it provides main points, questions to think on and scripture. Presenters pretty much just fill in the gap. Presto. Insta-retreat.

And honestly, for a group of women-folk, that’s probably all that is needed. We’re all there for the brownies and the chatter, right? I mean, the music and the messages are good and fortifying, but a bulk of the “spirit moving” generally comes around dinner and in the late night. The sessions catalyze those conversations. So, these thoughts aren’t a critique of the curriculum. It is meeting it’s intended purpose.

But.

With me, there’s always a big but. Like I said, I like playing the what if game. What if… the retreat was focused on the real issues that women face? What if the questions we asked were more relative to day-to-day life? I mean, I do need to focus on Jesus as Bread of Life; however, I have a bigger struggle with the bread of sourdough than of life. I mean, there’s a real connection between women, food and God. There’s even a book about it (I’m 299 in the queue to read it). Perhaps diving into discussion about that bread would illicit an authentic conversation about what it means to be the Bread of Life. But then again, maybe I’ve just been to too many Revolve tours.

So after pondering this, I wondered… (like I said, what-ifing): What are the topics that seem specific to women and their spiritual life? Not just how to squeeze in a prayer time (though topics of that nature have their place). I started thinking… what if when a bunch of women got together they talked about their real struggles and then focused on steering that conversation toward the spiritual. You know, Given A [what I experience in life] and Given B [what I know to be true about God], Then C [what does that mean for my life choices, future experience and, specifically for women – my emotion about them].

So I’m compiling a list. If I were to sell a Woman’s Retreat in a Box, what would make my table of contents? 

1. If you wish to eat that last blueberry cake donut you’ll have to pry it from my dead fingers because I need this to make my day a bit brighter
2. Mom jeans, minivans and spitup on my shoulder: how to accept your place in life without giving up completely
3. To quote an ultimate girl-fest (SITC 2): “Yes, I love my children dearly, but I need to be more than a mom.”
4. Whoa, Bitchfest 2010. Let’s bring it down a notch, k? (I’m not sure Zondervan would go for my vernacular, but anyone who has seen me in my element knows that it’s probably the most accurate terminology).
5. When everything’s not “fine”. And how to communicate that.
6. It’s more than a paycheck, but less than “my life”.
7. The value of a good hobby. 

I haven’t thought on this enough, but it’s getting a bit too late, so I’ll open the floor for suggestions. 

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Blessed is she

Blessed is she who has a husband like mine
She enjoys their days at home
She gets to enjoy a work out or writing or the things that bring her life
For he is quick to offer to put the babies to bed.

Blessed is she who has a husband like mine
Their dwelling increases in value
In the heat of the day, all summer long he paints and tends
Complaints never escape from his mouth.

Blessed is she who has a husband like mine
Their table fills to the brim with friends
So many love spending time with him
A generous host, he makes them feel at home.

Blessed is she who has a husband like mine
Her children cackle and shriek with laughter
He sings funny songs and tickles their tummies
Doubt of his love can find no room to grow in their hearts.

Blessed is she who has a husband like mine
Ice cream is never out of reach
He knows that simple pleasures make a rich life
And celebrating another day becomes reason enough to enjoy.

Blessed is she who has a husband like mine
A smile never leaves her face
Her days fill with moments that bring her heart peace
And she knows that she is truly blessed.

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these are the days

In general, I’m glad I’m not a millionaire. While it would be nice to just not have money worries (and perhaps dress a bit nicer), I think I would find it incredibly boring. While everyone is at work, what would you do? That being said, yesterday made me glad that I come from a family of entrepreneurs who dictate their own work schedules and thus realize the importance of a good swim.

Earlier in the week I had called my cousin RAB to see when she was putting in that pond. What pond? Oh, the one I would like her to install for my own recreational pleasure. She’s got the perfect setup and she’s the cousin who lives nearest in proximity to me. Win and win. She wasn’t really quick to agree, something about bugs.

So, in hearing it would be a sweltering 90+ degree day on Friday, I called up the folks and invited myself out to Don & Jeanne’s pond (these were my second parents growing up that lived just across the corn field). They happened to be on vacation and don’t really mind our indulgences. So post-nap time we packed up the beach bags and headed south.

In typical Wingfield fashion, where 2 or 3 are gathered, more must be invited to make it An Event. So a few others came along and before you knew it, Don and Jeanne were having a party and didn’t know it. We sent them a text photo as to inform them of the fun we were having. Tom offered to leave the empties as proof of a good time.

We swam and floated, Will went down the slide, Henry went under (I’m not sure of his intentions of doing so?), Molly took a nap, Erica and I gossiped, the boys cooled off with a ML and no one got sunburned. We followed up such festivities with burgers on the grill, corn on the cob and fresh peaches. After arriving home waaayyyy past bedtimes, the kids were so exaustedly happy that they slept in until nearly 8am. Which made a happy mommy. Daddy took off early for a round of golf with buddies, which made him pretty chipper as well.

Subtract the skunk attack on our dog and I may have described a perfect day.

We’re blessed on so many levels. We have a wonderful family and generous friends with whom we can enjoy days like yesterday. And that my kids are growing up watching that? I think it speaks more loudly than all my mothering failures. No afternoon nap? At least the little guy knows that “fun” isn’t a video game or a tv show, but a group of people enjoying one another and God’s creation.

File this memory away under “reasons I love my life.”

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