Last Thursday a group of women took an evening and redeemed the time… we turned an evening on the calendar into something that mattered for eternity.

I am keenly aware that when a group of quality, empowering, inspiring women get together in one room, amazing things are bound to happen. That’s why I’m always trying to get women together in one place! And last Thursday’s event at my home was no exception.

Some of the initial things that warmed my heart:

Many women’s responses reminded me of why I think women are so amazing and encouraging: “I have to be with someone for surgery and then work and feed my family but I’ll still try to come!” “My baby is sick and my husband is having a meeting at my house, but I’ll come after I get my baby to bed!” “I am cancelling plans with someone so I can come with some family members!” “I’m bringing along a few friends!” “I have to drive really far so I may be late but I’m coming!” “I would love to be around some Christian women – can I come?” Even if I had the event just to hear these inspiring responses it would have been worth it!

Then everyone started to come: friends I don’t get to see often enough, my beautiful young nieces; my daughters; my second cousin who is a junior in high school that had to meet me in Rochester early and get dropped off late but still wanted to be there; my mom and mentor-moms Katie and Mary; friends near and dear and those driving from far away; people with their daughters, friends, and family.

I was hit hard with the amazing fact that I am beyond blessed to be surrounded with so much love and so many empowering women. I realized that so much of who I am is because of the people that surround me. I realized that each and every person in the room has busy busy lives and each had every excuse NOT to be there but choose a moment in time to make the efforts and invest the time to get together. This created an atmosphere of electric excitement and an expectation that something incredible was about to happen.

When Jessica Joy Hutchens (, a beautiful 19-year old angel, shared her testimony she captured everyone’s attention and everyone’s hearts. She candidly bare her heart to us, telling us her story. (She has been ill with Chronic Lyme Disease since 2012.) She shared how God’s promise in Romans 8.28 to orchestrate everything into something good and beautiful for those who love Him showed her that God does not waste any hurt in His children. Thus came the inspiration behind her recently released CD, Nothing Wasted.

Through her music and words she offered the same hope to anyone facing painful trials, reminding us that everything is a season, and that Jesus can bring beauty through ashes. We were reminded that life can change in an instant, and many could identify with painful circumstances of our own. We were reminded that others carry pain that is often not seen from the outside. We were reminded that sometimes the answer hasn’t come yet and we were encouraged on how to live and have faith when we haven’t yet received a healing and are dealing with unbelievable pain. We were reminded to be real with each other.

Then Falicia shared her story of how in a moment her life was changed by Lymes Disease too. After a season of being confined to bed because her body was racked with pain, in one instant, while at a Church service where Daniel shared a word, someone prayed with Falicia and without even expecting it she was 100% totally and completely healed.

Here were two young beautiful girls who were testifying to the goodness of God: one through her pain and one through a healing. It reminded us that God is worthy of praise in both times of our lives. Our faith was recharged.

When we split into small groups to pray and encourage each other, we were “real” – and we were able to encourage or be encouraged. What an amazing time we had!

As I saw the interactions taking place and women baring hearts and souls to each other, inspiring and being inspired, just being a part… I was so blessed. The walls of my home are filled with yet another precious time of beautiful people being in my home.

I encourage all ladies to make opportunities like this in your own circles:

*Extending and expanding your group to take and make the time to get together for real nights of holding each other up and encouraging each other.

*Invite some people over and go deeper than the “fluff” – get raw and real and encourage and inspire each other with faith building conversation! (I have great ideas for this if you need some!)

*Make time to be with others face to face. It beats “facebook highlight reel relationships” out of the park!

I am hoping to have a few more get-togethers this summer. In the meantime, I am going to bask in the afterglow of this beautiful event! Thanks to all who were here and who even told me you wanted to be but couldn’t! I celebrate all of you!