Blessed To Be A Blessing

I wanted to share with you one of the great joys in my life, the blessing of 8 sweet women who are so dear to me.  They are the wives of the other Pastors at Grace and they are precious to me in every sense of the word.  I realize what a gift it is to have other women to walk alongside of, especially in a staff role.  We haven't always had that privilege, but at Grace we have been so blessed to love and respect the people we serve with.  From day one, these women have been so kind to me and have welcomed me with open arms.  

Our group has changed over these last few years as the Lord moved, but with every new addition and loss, I have praised Him for allowing me the great privilege of knowing so many dear women, whom I have LOTS to learn from and admire.  Just when I want to complain and argue with the Lord about some of the sacrifices of being married to a Pastor, I see one of my friends so graciously serving and allowing her husband to be freed up to serve as well.  I love the diversity of this group and the bond that brings us together.  I was so caught up by that today as I sat among them at our Women's Brunch at Church.  The Lord didn't have to pour His blessings out in this way, but he did and Travis and I are so grateful and so thankful to be where He's called us.  Our fellow staff friends are often the source of encouragement we need when the days are tough and the challenges many.  

I know this season won't last forever, but for right now, I am LOVING it and I am GRATEFUL for each of my sweet friends.  We got a picture of our group today, which is always a challenge with a bunch of women!!  We had such a great morning together with 400+ ladies, eating, talking, listening to some beautiful music and hearing our Senior Pastor's wife Cheri, speak about Immanuel, God with us.  She so beautifully reminded me of why as Christ followers, our Christmas is indeed "merry."  Christ has come, to us, our salvation is here...Is there any greater reason to celebrate than that??  

You'll appreciate the following shots while you understand what it takes to get 9 women ready for a picture at the same time :)  

Perfect!  It only took us 5 tries to get this shot :)  At least we kept trying!!

One of the 58 tables.  I was able to use some of the inventory we already had at Church and just "spruce it up" a little bit.  I like doing that because it's good to remember that we don't always have to have something new!  You can bring new life to old things with just a little creativity :) 

Centerpiece #1-A hurricane with a candle and various berry garlands.  Simple.

Centerpiece #2 -SO easy and inexpensive for your table!  One floating candle (although 3 are even better), fresh holly leaves (although any Christmas green would do), and some berries (cranberries are best).  It's easy and pretty while it's lit!

Centerpiece #3- A wreath with a hurricane and candle.  Most of the stuff in that wreath is silk, so I did them days ago.  I just added a few stems of fresh flowers to enhance them :) 

I sat with the Pastors wives and friends....Lisa and Holly, and Holly's Mom Joyce.

This is Carol, Greta and I...Greta is ready to give birth ANY minute!!!  We are praying that little girl out before Christmas!!  Maybe sooner???

And two more sweet friends, Cathy and Deb.  Deb is our nursery coordinator, don't you think Ava will be in great hands?? 

And here I am in my one and only holiday maternity shirt!  My necklace makes me match the tree!!  

Ava and I had a great time today :)  She is moving like crazy and within the last few days, I've felt her almost constantly now.  Travis even got to feel her for the first time on Thursday! She's growing, tomorrow we'll be at 23 weeks already :)  I love it!  Christmas is just a little sweeter this year with Miss Ava in the picture!   


Rebecca said...

All the centerpieces are beautiful! You do such a great job!
You look just too cute as always! I know Travis was excited to feel her move! Jeremy has only felt this little one move once and I'm 31 weeks! Because she moves WAY too fast he always misses it! Tate was much slower, and moved a lot, he just took his time. He's like that outside the womb too, so I am thinking I'm gonna have a hyperactive little girl on my hands when she arrives!! hehe!
Merry Christmas!!

petrii said...

WOW those centerpieces are fantastic. I am always looking for new ideas for centerpieces, I may have to try one of these.

You look so cute ~~ love the holiday shirt and the necklace.

Have a Blessed week,

Faith said...

What a special group of ladies the Lord has blessed you with. Looks like a great time of fellowship, and the centerpieces are beautiful!!

cheri dobbs said...

thank you for sharing us with your friends... what you said resonated with me... i truly loved being with all of you for those few minutes... it was a sweet gift... so enjoy you stephanie... thank your for your transparency...
much grace

oh.. and i loved the centerpieces too!!!