Wednesday, April 05, 2006

See? Opening my mouth DOES get me committed


Insanity. That's my defense, and I'm sticking to it.

Back in January, I had been praying for God to show me a way that I could be used to serve Him. And for some reason (read: because I'm insane), I sent my PastorMan's wife an email that said something like this (well, exactly like this)...

"I don't know if you and the women's ministry would ever consider planning a women's retreat, but if you wanted to, I know that getting guest speakers can be costly, and possibly, not likely for the first time. I have had this on my heart for a few weeks now, but have been hesitant to share it, because it would require me to step WAY out of my comfort zone, but if you ever felt like planning a women's event, and, if you felt you had a need, I would be willing to speak on the subject of God's strength, love and compassion through the Power of Prayer."

So, I sent the email off, pretty confident that we (a very small church) would not be planning a women's retreat until we were a little bigger... maybe in a year or so. And here's what she replied...

"Wow! God is definitely speaking to you...and now me. We are planning a Women's Retreat for the weekend after Easter! We're in the process of looking for a facility so we can confirm a date and begin promoting and planning. I would LOVE it if you could speak! ... It sounds like God is leading YOU to answer my prayers as to what I'd like our retreat to be. I'll pass this info on to the other ladies who have agreed to help plan, but I'm sure they will be as excited as I am!"

What? WHAT??? No, no, no, no, no. I don't think I read that right. Let me re-read it. AAAHHHH! I DID READ THAT RIGHT. What have I done? I OPENED MY MOUTH and NOW I'M COMMITTED!!!

Oh, why Lord? WHY??? [Because I laid it on your heart]
I can't DO this. [Yes, my child, you can. I will help you]
What will I say? [I will place it in your mind and on your tongue]
Do I have to? [No. But you will miss a blessing if you don't]
But, I'm scared to get up in front of my friends. [Imagine them naked] Okay, God didn't really say that... but He did remind me that I can do all things with HIM.

So ... 16 days and counting. Joy. Have I started my outline? Yes. How many times have I changed it? 5,000,235. Am I scared? OH YEAH. Am I insane? You answer that. Fortunately, there will only be 12 women there. Phew. So, on top of the 10 hours of homework each night for our LBY Bible Study, and trust me... I AM LIVING BEYOND MYSELF WITH THIS... I have to prepare for our retreat. Thank you Jesus (and Lauren) for this Bible study (which I'm a teensy weensy bit behind on -- shhh -- don't tell the others).

And... did I mention I diarrhearreah of the mouth? Yeah. I do. Because... evidently, while I plead insanity for having done this, I just can't be happy torturing my self by getting up and leading a study at the women's retreat. NOOOO. I have to suggest that I lead the ladies in a craft that is related to my study. Did you notice what I said??? NOT JUST ANY OL' CRAFT... Nooooo ... One that RELATES to my study. Am I CRAZY??? And just so you know ... it's not a "Bible study" -- I'm the "guest speaker." Wooo Hooo. (Balling my eyes out right now.)

So, I'm off to find the right stuff for our craft... preferably on line. We'll be making bracelets like these (am I allowed to do that?) ... Of course, they won't be as beautiful, because I can only afford glass beads, but it will be the same premis. And my topic? Trusting the Shepherd's Heart -- based on Ps. 23. So... I guess I should start doing a little bit of that myself, huh?

So, you see... Tuesday's Toss-up was purely selfish on my part. I needed some encouragement that God continues to answer prayer -- no matter how little or how great. I know He does... that's not really what I mean. I just need to know that I'm not going to get up in front of these women [that know me!] and fall apart. Shake uncontrollably. Cry. Or worse... wet myself.

So, I'm going to use your examples of answered prayer as a method to calm myself. I'll just say... "You can do this, Gi. YOU CAN. God heard your prayers... remember when [insert your name] prayed for [insert your example here] and God answered her? Well, he'll swoop down and wrap you in his arms and give you the strength you need to get through this." (in fact, maybe I'll just print out all the comments and carry them close to my heart as a physical reminder -- although, I might look a little "bumpy" (if you know what I mean) if I carry them close to my heart.)

And, KPJARA ... THIS is why I could NEVER do stand-up... Iscaredycardy-cat. But don't let anyone else know.

Yeah. And next year, I think I'll contact Women of Faith and see if THEY need a guest speaker, too. Why not? Trust me.... I'm just getting my groove on.

Pray for me.


Edited to add: For an extra special blessing today, please go to Shalee's Thoughts -- her post on the Power of Prayer is wonderful, and I promise, will bless your socks off... so read it barefoot! -- Go, go, go, go, GO!!!



owlhaven said...

With God's help you'll do great!


Heather Smith said...

I'm praying for you, girl. I know what you mean. I can sing in front of thousands, but unless it's God appointed (and by God appointed I mean that my heard is gonna beat out of my chest, or I'll die of a heart attack) I will not speak in front of groups. But every time God appoints me, He gives me the strength to say just the right thing. So that's why I KNOW you will do fine because this is something in HIS will. Praying that you'll follow His wisdom on this!!

Morning Glory said...

Do we need to get a muzzle for you, Dear? Seriously, you have so many good things to say on your blog, I can't imagine you not rising to this challenge.

Susanne said...

You're going to do great! Your blogs are so much fun and inspirational and can be totally related to that I'm sure you'll be able to put it to speaking form. Seek God muchly beforehand and when you get up to speak His grace will be with you! Have fun!

Faith said...

I'll be praying too. You will do fine. God put it on your heart, so it is His will for you to do this!! You go girl. I love the bracelets too. Make me one, with lots of pink ,would ya?!! ;D

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Oh my goodness....catching my are......ROFL...hysterical! I think you and God will do just fine! Bless you! Bless you! Bless You.....sorry--another laugh out loud!!!!

Breathing--too funny! Outragously, Perfect!

You have blessed my day..make it my week!

Still laughing out loud!

Susan said...

I will pray for you because I know you are praying for me! :)

HEY! What bracelets? Huh, Huh? I want a bracelet....!!!

Okay, out of whiney kid voice...

Praying for your Prodigal said...

I work as the Director of Care Ministries at our Church; part of my job is to recruit volunteers (such as yourself) for Women's retreats/events/ etc. I so appreciate your willingness to be used of God.

Your humor is delightful, your heart-however--is PERFECT! You can do this!


Stacey said...

I already said a prayer that you would do great and that the Lord would lead you to know exactly what to say!!

If you are anything like this blog makes you out to be, this will be such a wonderful time of looking into God's word and prayer time but with a slightly humorus touch : )

Can't wait to hear all about it!!

Kristen said...

Aww, hey. You'll do great! Each day your blog is like a little
Bible study, so I have faith in you! :-) Just don't go up there with your restraints. That may look a little wierd! :-) LOL at the pictures!!

Mama D said...

You are going to have an absolutely fantastic time I just know it! I will pray anyway that you will have confidence in your ability to do this. I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Heth said...

It will be wonderful and I'm sure the women will be blessed. God laid it on your heart and YOU CAN DO IT!

I know exactly how you feel though. This winter, for the first time, I co-taught a women's bible study at our church. It was such a scary for me, expecially since all but one of the women were older than me. I felt like a total noob. But it has to hurt a little bit when God stretches us. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

Shalee said...

Good night nurse! I named my post Power of Prayer and you're talking about it! Very scary the way we are atuned to each other.

It's your burning bush moment...

You can so do this. Your God is greater than any fear you can name!

If all else fails, ask for your very own Aaron to speak for you. (Two can defend themselves, a cord of three can not be quickly broken...) Personally, I would ask God to forego the staff/snake thing...

I'm here to support you girl!

Anne Glamore said...

You can see into the future, can't you? About the time you left your comment, I got a call from the school to come get Finn who has.... the stomach bug. Porter followed 30 mins later.

Can you tell me if Drew's gonna get it and how long all this will last!!??

flipflop said...

What you don't know is the women of our lby study group will be there. Yes, we've been invited. See you soon!!

flipflop said...

Also, many prayers and don't forget your exclamation points.

kpjara said...

So as we already decided previously we are living parallel lives only a few days apart...not so long ago I spoke (for the 1st time publicly) at a women's group I was attending...I think I did pee my pants, but I stayed in my seat and since I had already vomited..I didn't have to run to the bathroom or even get up for the whole hour or so.

I also bead and just started beading the "Jesus story" bracelet...I LOVE the Psalm 23 bracelet!

Sincerely, you will do awesome! You WILL allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you and it will be wrapped in it will be even better then you can possibly imagine or be freaked about!

God bless your heart for doing this and I KNOW this will be the beginning of a GREAT stand-up Career...if you ever make it to OK or the surrounding...I'm SO there!

Look out Liz Curtis Higgs! Maybe I should email her and let her know you're moving in...

Perri said...

These 12 women will be your friends - who will be praying for you even as you speak to them. You will do great things for God. He won't let you fail at this.

Shalee said...

Wow! I rated an update? That is tooooo cool. Let's hope many others share in this idea!

sarahgrace said...

Having a conversation with my mom, we were talking about the things that God calls us to, small and big, and the old, "Well, He won't give you more than you can handle" thought came out. At which point, my mother pointed out that that just simply isn't true. (Besides the verse that talks about that is actually referring to temptation.) She went on to say that sometimes God gives us more than we can handle so we learn to rely on him. Where we are weak he is strong. So have a good time at your womens retreat and God bless you for allowing him to use you.

Anne Glamore said...

Now a comment on topic-- your writing is great and comes from the heart, so I think sharing your story will be easy once you get to it.

The first time I spoke in a similar situation I was talking about dealing with life's hardships, and I used props, like my sparkly outfit from my dance team days, my lab results from my HepC test, etc-- For me, at least, the props were a good way to hold the audience's interest and to keep me on point while adding a bit of fun to the talk.
I'll be praying for you on yours, and keep us posted (literally) on how it goes.

Sandra said...

Great post :) I'm sure you'll do fine, remember God never gives us more than we can handle, and who knows, this may be a means to another great experience of God's love right?

God Bless.

Jan said...

Okay, LOVE the strait jacket! I just told this LONG story in Blair's comment section, and you're welcome to read. Actually, how her speaking thing went was very similar, you should read it too. I know you'll do fine!

And? Have you considered you may be addicted to volunteering?

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

You kill me girl!!!

Only wish I were going to be there - cause I am sure you are going to be a huge hit and a great blessing!

RANDI said...

That is so exciting! God will give you the words to speak and He will bless the ladies through you--all of this because you were available to Him!

GiBee said...

Oh, my goodness!!! I am so totally overwhelmed by your loving support. I can't get to everyone here... I just have to much to say... see Thursday's post!!!

Peach said...

You are so precious, GiBee girl!! I have so been in your shoes, with the verbal "d" stuff.

The bracelet is darling, and I would love one, too!!!!

Please know you are going to be soaring through this challenge because you've got the prayers of the many around the world who love you and laugh with you to carry you through this time.

I am SO proud of you, and I know those ladies better come barefoot, too, because they will be getting their socks blown off by the likes of you "Living Beyond Yourself."

Carol said...

He never calls us to do something He's not equipped us to do. Look for your confidence in HIM.

Wow. Less than 3 weeks, eh? We plan ours a year in advance and line up our speakers 2 years ahead. I'm totally impressed!

Need a band? Ha!

GiBee said...

Carol - Oh it's been in the works since before Jan, but it's only for 12 women, sooooo ... I don't think they needed a whole year to plan! LOL!

And before the ladies get a band for the women's retreat, they better get one for our regular Sunday worship, if you know what I mean.

Wanna move closer to me? With you on bass, and MomRN2 on piano, we could have an AWESOME worship!

C. H. Green said...

I love how you are letting the Lord use you. When we start praying, things start happening. Isn't God great!!! I wish I could be at your retreat. I know you'll be great.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

I spoke at a women's retreat last year and one of the things that blessed me most was knowing that there were people praying for me as I prepared.

I'll pray for you! If there's anything I can do to help, shoot me an email!

May God glorify Himself in and through you, may your words be both challenging and sweet, and may the women you will be speaking to be changed more and more into the image of Christ.

janna said...

GiBee - You will be so blessed by stepping out to speak to your ladies attending the retreat. Let me give you some encouragement that I tell my women's ministry speakers/and teachers:

The ladies you are speaking to did not come to hear from you, they came to hear from God.

I heard that awhile ago and it was freeing to me when teaching. God will give you the words to say and He will impact your listeners in a mighty way because you said "Here am I, send me."