Act One is over, but the conversation goes on

The curtain is falling on Act One, and our weekend retreat is over. Women who didn’t know each other before are leaving as friends. Women who were scared to face each other have made the first tentative forays into understanding and supporting each other. And women who are mostly alone will return to being mostly alone.

In Ruth's garden at the close of Act One. (Left to right, standing in rear): Carla, Mim, Elnora, Ruth, and Louella. (l. to r., seated and kneeling): Sabrina, Dot, Lynette, Naomi, Rosie, Martha, Phyllis.

Our players will resume their busy lives, occasionally wondering why they said some of the things they said while they were  here. At night, when they’re awake and trying to go to sleep, they will think of other things they wished they had said.

Here’s the good news: they’ll have their chance to do that, through this blog, and also during the next two retreats: Act Two (January in Ohio — oh, my! So cold and gray!), and Act Three (April in Indiana). In the winter retreat, they’ll talk more about how God speaks to the joys and challenges of their spheres, and in the spring, they’ll discuss how the church can support them and enhance the ministry of their spheres.

But for now, let’s talk about what you’ve read here. Please dive in with your comments and questions. We’ll do our best to keep up with them. We really want to hear from you! And please spread the word to your friends, co-workers, colleagues and families — to anyone you think might want to join the conversation.

This was supposedly the silly shot. Not to name names, Phyllis, but some among us apparently didn't get that concept.

Saying goodbye and thank you.

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7 Responses to Act One is over, but the conversation goes on

  1. Kris says:

    This is great! I hope more women find out about it…I’m not sure the word is getting out there very well. Also, you all are amazing women…don’t forget to be for real. (I’m not a big fan of “pretty and put-together.”) 🙂

  2. Bethany says:

    I’m with Kris! I’m loving this!! Thanks for your honesty and openness.

  3. Sabrina says:

    Thanks Kristin and Bethany for your input. There were a lot of tears this weekend. “Pretty and put-together” pretty much washed away with the tears. 🙂

    Kristin, I’m still thinking about your question from a previous post. I’ll be back soon to respond…

  4. Debbie says:

    Ladies thanks so much for sharing so openly with each other and with us! I’ve enjoyed reading this account and look forward to more. I wonder sometimes how to live out this “real” and “raw” way of interacting without stumbling into things that hurt my sisters. I’m afraid that I’m being hurtful just because I don’t understand where they are coming from-not intentionally. I’ll be checking back–looking forward to more!

  5. Rosemary Shirk says:

    Wow! Almost feel like I was there with you. Thanks, Vicki, for your work in putting this blog together. Thanks, everyone, for being so transparent. Sounds like God is at work.

  6. Lynette Showalter says:

    Kris, loved your comment about “pretty and put-together”. Not a fan, either.

    I want to tell you that this “social work-y facilitator” came to the weekend with not much to give. I was discouraged. I was reeling from some depressing circumstances. My confidence was tattered from some recent criticism. And I’m supposed give structure and leadership to these precious moments together? God, have mercy on me. And He did! He took my measly efforts and created something of beauty, so much more than all of us combined. I like that about God. I give what I have in my hand, and He does the rest.

    Thanks for your encouragement to be real. Many people, including our children, will learn more from our weaknesses and failures as they will our strengths. That’s humbling.

  7. Jen Bontrager says:

    I love this blog. So real. I love that I know a high percentage of the women involved either personally or through someone I know personally. God bless all of you!

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