Today was the first "last....". For the last four years, Tuesday morning has meant going to the women's Bible study. (I really don't like the Women in the Church or WIC term. We need another name!)
At first, I was a bit reluctant to join this group. The first week I walked in, 8 months prego with the girl, Hilda yelled out my name and a "You're here!!" thoroughly embarrassing me. Already a sad that all my friends were back at school teaching and I was starting a new phase of stay-at-home mom, I didn't know what to do with myself in this group of ladies in the middle of the day in the middle of the week.
Since that first day though, WIC has grown into a central part of my life. It's been a primary means of social connection (pastries and coffee in the morning, Chick-Fil-A nuggets afterward), a respite in a busy morning with munchkins, a time of learning and growth through Bible study that keeps me in the Word and accountable, and a rich time of interacting with women of all ages and stages.
In the past year or so, Women's Ministry has been the primary avenue for service in the church as I joined the board as a communications person and then gradually elbowed my way into a role in the Bible study and teaching part. This semester, I even taught a few weeks--YIKES! Incredibly intimidating teaching to a room of women all older and much wiser than I but I also enjoyed it and thought maybe I may have even made sense a time or two. I got a reminder of myself in a role that I used to do (every day even) and a glimpse of what I may get to do later on.
So today, while I cut ribbons and punched out name tags for our upcoming VBS, I was grateful for the friendships and the connections that this ministry has meant to me. And, after dropping not-so-subtle hints to our Children's Ministry Director, she presented me with the beautiful quilt of God's promises that two fabulous, incredibly talented ladies make for new moms. I really wanted one for this little guy and even more so once I knew we were leaving. I know the picture is hard to see, but each square represents a promise of God. In the corners are depictions of what God ordained--His Word, the family, community, and the Church. Between those are pictures of His gifts--food, creation, music, and "you," the soon-to-be here baby. In the middle, represented by the lamb, is His Son, Jesus. I'm blessed to have a memento to take to Houston of God's covenantal love for his children and for the covenantal love of the Church.