There's just something about getting together with other women, isn't there? Whether for lunch, a gab session over coffee or a craft night, there's just something rejuvinating that happens when we get together with those girlfriends who know us best.
I've recently found this to be true with a women's Bible study at our church. There are always a variety of small group options at our church and I told you awhile back that we'd joined one -- Bartley and I together -- and have loved really connecting with and getting to know other couples and their kiddos, that we go to church with. And some of those people, we consider practically family now!
But as for a women's Bible study, I hadn't ever joined one because when I worked in an office, they weren't offered at times that worked with my work schedule. And then I got laid off four years ago and have worked from home ever since. And when that happened, I still didn't join the women's Bible study because even though I work from home and have a somewhat flexible schedule, I do still WORK from home. As in, I have a job to do and I have felt like I needed to maintain a pretty routine work schedule just like I did when I was working in an office. However, lots of my friends attend this women's Bible study and I've been hearing them talk about it for years. They meet for a semester and then take a break and each semester, the study is different. So they were gearing up for the summer semester.....just a short 6 week study and no homework with this one! Hooray! Everyone said I should go! Could I go? I thought about it and decided to make the time to go. It's still not the most convenient for me to be there, what with specific work responsibilities I have at certain times, but I decided to just try it. I'll just tryyyyy it. :) Well you know what's coming next, don't you....
I loved it!! Of course, there are the benefits of being a part of a Bible study in general. You're learning and growing and strengthening your walk with the Lord and that's always a good thing. But the thing that struck me most is how much I enjoy that time with my girlfriends every week! Of course we see each other at church on Sundays, but usually everyone's running to pick up their kiddos from their classes, or someone's heading off to work in the church cafe between services, or I'm singing on the worship team and need to head back into the sanctuary for the next service. And we see some of those same girls at our small group during the week, but then there are husbands and kiddos everywhere and we're eating dinner together and sometimes it's noisy and crazy (and fun!). My point is that there isn't always a lot of time to talk. To REALLY talk. To get to know each other on a deeper level. To pray with each other. But at Bible study, we get to do all of that.
There's just something about spending time together on a weekly basis and really 'doing' life together, and not only that, but we're all sharing in the same Bible study so we're learning together....I just love it. Whether young or old, single or married, mamas or not, there was a pretty broad range of ladies that met this summer and I miss seeing them each week. I don't know them all, but I miss their faces. :)
We're on a break again until the fall. Our weather has been unseasonably cool and that is making me think about fall and it's making me get excited for all of my fall favorites coming up (knitting and cozy Starbucks drinks, sweaters and snuggly socks (though I'm not ready to give up my flip flops just yet!), and now a new favorite -- women's Bible study. I've been missing seeing everyone's smiling faces each week. I've been missing sharing breakfast while we watch the video from that week's study. I've been missing the discussion time after the video when we share what's been going on that week and what we need to pray about. I've been missing holding babies, to give mamas a break during the study (SO unselfish of me, right?!). I've been missing the bonding and connecting that happens each week.
But it's coming again soon and I can't wait! And in the meantime, I'm so, so grateful for each woman in that group. I can pray for them all right now and I can pray for all those that might choose to sign up for the fall Bible study. I can pray that it might be as much of a blessing to each of them as it's been to me. I can tell you that my trial period is over (ha!) and I'll definitely be sighing up again in the fall. Who knows what God might have in store for us in the coming semester!
There's just something about getting together for a Bible study with girlfriends that know you inside and out....
Have you ever been a part of a women's group like this at your church? Was it a blessing to you or did it maybe help you to get through a particularly tough time in your life? I'd love to hear your stories!