November 8, 2010

Wonderful Women In My Life-Day #7 of Thanksgiving

Don't you just love daylight savings time?
Having lived far from our parents, brothers, and other extended family members for nearly all of our married life, I know we've missed a lot. 
We raised our own family with just us to celebrate
all of the stuff of family life
that needs to be celebrated:
birthdays, holidays, piano recitals, well-played tennis matches, soccer games, track meets, baseball games, family dinners on [whatever] night of the week, 
3 generation girls-only tea parties & guys-only golfing.
You get the picture.
It was just us 5.

What helped me find joy in life without extended family living nearby?
The wonderful women
of my church family!

They've invited me to be part of their lives for 17 years now. 
I've had the priviledge of watching their marriages mature, their children be born and grow up, go to college or other pursuits, get married, and become parents themselves!  We've walked together through the valley of the shadow of deaths and illnesses.  We've prayed each other through our shtuff [no, that's not a typo, it's a euphemism], sharing our joys and sorrows along the way.

I'm so thankful for them. 
I truly don't know where I or my family would be
if it weren't for those relationships!

But the Lord knew I needed to be in fellowship with other Christian women.
He provided me
with a large, available, salt-of-the-earth-precious network of them at my church.
As much as I often thought to the contrary [hehe],
He knew I didn't know it all!
But there's ALWAYS at least 1 girlfriend,
more likely several,
willing to give me Godly guidance and pray with and for me
to find the answers to my questions about life.

Have I taken these women for granted?
But they show me grace
and always take me back,
no questions asked.
Only genuine concerns expressed.

Thank You, Lord. for these dear ones!

Today I want to share the fun afternoon I spent with about 15 of them.

Sunday morning was bright with promise.
What better to do than can apple pie filling with girlfriends?
So after worship that's just what we did.

'Course a girl's gotta have fuel for that. 
Robin fired up her crockpots and blessed us with her Dad's homemade chili.
And just for good measure, she brought brownies, too.

We are all still married to the husbands of our youth.

Below, Susan is teaching us the order of worship
[*giggle*we Lutherans love our liturgy]
what we need to do before we can can [couldn't resist] the apple pie filling mix.
Hint:  It involves knives and lots of crispy Jonagold apples .
Sherryl's son and my daughter, both 30, have been friends since middle school.

Nan and I worked together on the Women's Retreat committee this spring.
I'm so thankful I got to serve with her and the others. 
I was blessed by their willingness to share openly about themselves.
Jennifer and I have connected at Women's events several times over the years.
Sarah & I used to sing in the choir together.
I want to get to know Ruby better.
I love her quiet, gentle spirit.
In the last several photos, have you noticed these women's hands?
They have always used their hands,
as well as other gifts, in service to others.
Here's the game plan:
Here are the usual suspects:
Here's what gives the pie filling it's juicy yumminess:

30 jars, stuffed to capacity, awaiting their fateful hotwater baths.
Slavin' over a hot stove with smiles.
Multitasking-21st century homemaker style.
And lookin' good while she does it!
Mary decided this tool could be used for
more than lifting jars out of the canner.
Mary makes me smile
and her Bible studies help me grow in my faith. 
 Cutting the fabric for the fussy lid covers.
 Robin and I needed photos of each other.
I've been priviledged to work on many fun, girly events with her.
 Fussy labels for each jar.
 Installing the fussy lid covers and labels.
Don't the fussy lid covers, labels, and twine
look pretty on our finished product?
We will sell them at our Craft & Bake Sale
the weekend before Thanksgiveing.
The proceeds go to bring the Good News of Jesus
to missions around the world.
Yes, raising money for missions is a good, Godly endeavor.
But God also blesses the fellowship we shared this afternoon.
Cost: $0
Value:  Priceless 
Thank You, all you dear women,
for the richness you add to my life.
God bless you!
Love, Karen

Linking with
Dr. Laura for
and Alissa


Patti said...

Thank you so much for sharing that! I too love the woman from my church. I've always lived away from family too!! Our church is our extended family. we call them our church family. Loved your pictures too! I recently quit my job and started working at my church. It's the greatest job I've ever had. I'm the coordinator for all of our 'Hospitality'...aka....fellowship. I love it!!! It is such an amazingly important part of our walk with Christ. He wants us to walk with each other too!! =)

Have a great day!
Patti =)

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

How amaing to have found a community where you feel so completely accepted and loved.

Lucky you!


Dawn Lopez said...

That looks like so much fun! What a great idea and they fussing was well worth it for the joys of great company and fantastic pie filling! Yum!

I am stopping by from the Hump Day Hop and following your blog! I hope you will come and visit our blog in return. It is Just Married with Coupons

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Victoria Lewy said...

Amazing pie filling! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I glad you found a community where you are feeling yourself so wonderful.

alissa {33shadesofgreen} said...

Hi Karen -
Thanks so much for linking up with Tasty Tuesdays. It looks like you had a lot of fun with all the wonderful women in your life!


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