Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How To BE A Godly Girlfriend

We've heard you. 
"How can I be a Godly Girlfriend?" 
"I want what you have."
"I need girlfriends."


So, Here it is. 

How to be a Godly Girlfriend:
      1. Go to a Retreat
     2. Wear Matching T-Shirts
     

NOT. NOT. NOT. 
Because you cannot fill out an application,
or pay annual dues,
or join a club.
You have to BE.
You have to BE a godly girlfriend.

The first time I heard anyone use the term, godly girlfriend, was years ago in a message during a retreat. The speaker talked about the importance and yes, even necessity of having godly girlfriends. Even though, I had known her for years and we had been in the same church and taught Sunday School together, I did not consider myself worthy of being considered one of her godly girlfriends. When she asked for her godly girlfriends to please stand, girlfriends all over the room jumped to their feet, but I remained sadly super glued to my chair. I did not see myself as her friend at all.

Today, I can truthfully say that she is one of my closest godly girlfriends. In fact, not too long ago the two of us had a discussion with another girlfriend about how blessed we are that the others even like us, especially when most of the time we don't even like ourselves. Does anybody relate?

So, here are a few thoughts on what it takes to truly be a godly girlfriend:

TIME
Friendships just take time. Time spent together, time doing what you enjoy together, time to grow, time for road trips, time for shopping, time for lunch, or just time to call to check on her. A lot of girlfriends in this ministry have been friends for years and years and a whole lot more are just acquaintances with growing friendships. And truthfully - some of us are probably just starting to like each other. 

TRUST
Seriously - will you want to be friends with me if  you can't trust me because I share your secrets? If I tell another girlfriend's secrets to you, I WILL tell your secrets to someone else. And write this down - gossip disguised as a prayer request is still gossip. Even if you "love her to death" and "bless her heart" when you finish your sweet revelation about her shortcomings, it is still oh so wrong! You know what I mean - it sounds something like this: "That Renee - I love her to death, but she is such an old goofball and she thinks she can write, bless her heart." Don't even go there. Be a friend who can be trusted. 

Truth
Not "What in the world did you do to your HAY-er (southern for hair)?" kind of truth or, "that outfit is so tacky", kind of honesty (although some long time girlfriends can get away with it). Be tackful and kind. A good way to get to know a new girlfriend is to ask her to tell you her story. Everyone has a story and will usually tell it truthfully. The truth that makes for great girlfriends is the one that is transparent with no secrets, no pretense, and no phoniness allowed.

Grace
Have a little grace, because grace is pretty and undeserved. Have some grace and forgive me when something totally stupid and inappropriate slithers out of my mouth before I can catch it. Have a little grace when I disappoint you, or let you down, or offend you. Have a little grace when my bad day spills my attitude all over you. Just have a little grace. And have a little grace with all your girlfriends.

Do these things and you will have girlfriends that stop by for a glass of sweet tea on the front porch. BE the girlfriend who gets followed down the isle at Walmart with the stinking, cute pair of leggings that you need. BE a godly girlfriend and you will hear, "I need to talk". BE a godly girlfriend and you will get an "are you awake?" text at midnight from girlfriend that needs prayer. BE a godly girlfriend and you will get a call to "be at my house in 15 minutes because girlfriend has a crisis." BE a godly girlfriend and you will have someone to call when you have a need. Just BE.

Colossians 3:12 
tells us to

PUT ON:

Compassion
Kindness 
Humility
Meekness
Patience
Forgiveness
Love
Peace
Thankfulness

Wear this outfit and you will BE a godly girlfriend.

Maybe it is about dressing alike.


Enjoy your new godly girlfriends!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Teen Girls Retreat 2016

Third Annual TEEN Godly Girlfriends Retreat
August 19-20, 2016
Ages 13-17
"Weapons of TRUTH"


Grandmas, Mamas, Sisters, and girlfriends some barely older than the teens, planned, gathered and readied for their baby birds to get there. 


Fellowship, Fun and Freedom were definitely welcome guests . They were invited, hoped and planned for and they showed up.  The Fellowship started early as the girls gathered with some leaders and got to know each other. They learned each others' names and character traits circled up in the beauty of Butman Camp, Merkel Texas. They were grouped in little nests and stayed with their designated Mama birds for the entire retreat. They were roommates and table mates and playmates. The mama's stayed with them faithfully .


 And it was Fun by way of swimming,  music, games, crafts and even a black light show complete with glow in the dark food, necklaces and nail polish. Smiles and laughter were everywhere.



The speakers were real and raw and painfully honest. More than once we heard something like, "Y'ALL. Don't do what I did. Make good choices. Make right choices. Choose Jesus."

These 13-17 year olds were fed truth and love and the Word and with it came Freedom. Freedom from the pain in their lives, freedom in their choices, freedom in the choices of others, and freedom to step into the call of God. Freedom to be the girls and women God created them to be.




Just outside the conference room was a nest of baby birds almost ready to leave their home. Had they ventured out too early they would have fallen. These baby birds were dependent on the Mama bird to bring them nourishment. They waited patiently, but goodness did they ever sing when they could see Mama on her way with a tasty morsel.






Our precious little baby birds inside were fed yummy food, encouragement, hugs, love, friendship, truth, and the WORD of God.


Our prayer is that each one went home with bellies full of food, hearts full of Jesus, and FREEDOM to leave the nest and fly successfully into the world ahead of them.

God created those sweet baby birds, but you girlfriend, 
are more valuable
 to God our Father than any bird 
in the nest, on the ground, or in the air. 
You are His precious creation. 
Fly, girlfriend.
FLY.
(Luke 12:24)




Thursday, February 25, 2016

Retreating




















Today is day three after the end of the third annual Godly Girlfriend's first retreat of the year. The weekend's music floats and dances and sways in my head. The tunes weave from song to song: "You're a good, good father...Holy Spirit you are welcome here...I am not alone...Break every chain...Worthy is the lamb. Worthy. Worthy."

This tired old historian, blogger, photographer arrived at the campground with too many rock hard cares in her chest. After a few snaps of the camera, I decided to experience the weekend in a personal way instead of through a camera lens.

Here's the story of the weekend through the lens of mostly other retreaters, with their permission to share:








































The Full Definition of retreat (from Merriam Webster)

  1. 1a (1) :  an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable (2) :  the process of receding from a position or state attained <the retreat of a glacier>b (1) :  the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position(2) :  a signal for retreatingc (1) :  a signal given by bugle at the beginning of a military flag-lowering ceremony (2) :  a military flag-lowering ceremony
  2. 2:  a place of privacy or safety :  refuge
  3. 3:  a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director

That is exactly what we did. We withdrew to a place of privacy and safety to a place free of the difficult, dangerous, and disagreeable.  The retreat focus was really, warfare. We learned to wear our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) with effectiveness and grace and beauty and victory. Deborah from the Book of Judges (Judges 4 and 5)  was our model. 



Once again we did what girlfriends do when we are together. We travelled together. We ate together. We shopped together. We created together. We laughed and cried and encouraged and prayed. We connected with old friends and made new ones. Our cups overflowed and we drank deeply from the well of His love.






Preparations are already in the works for the next retreats:

August 19-20, 2016 Teen Retreat at Butman Camp, in Merkel Texas

October 14-15, 2016 Ladies Retreat at Beulah Beach Camp in Vermillion, Ohio

Come and be refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated in a place of safety.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

God is Your Protector

Today we heard from one of our North Dakota Godly Girlfriends, Heidi, with a story about her five year old warrior princess, Gracie: 

Girls! My 5 yr. old GRACIE told me about her day today - get this!!! 

She said "I played Godly Girlfriends at lunch today!" 

I asked, "How do you play that?"  

"Well, I stand on the slide and yell 'God is my protector' !"

On my gosh!! How precious is that???

My cup runneth over! 

I am constantly reminded of God's love through my girls. 

And to think that when I leave for retreats 

and such, that I think about my girls missing me, and I debate whether or not to go.

I realize that I am impacting 

them in ways I had no idea!!! I was so blown away with Gracie's game!! 

She told me, "The other girls play Monster High, Mom, but not me.

Sometimes I just play alone, but sometimes my friends join me."

Out of the mouth of a 5 year old! Spread the news!!

Godly Girlfriends is working and you are changing hearts!!! Young and old!



 Can't you just imagine Gracie all decked out in her pink armor (that is toboggan, gloves, jacket, and boots) standing firm at the top of the cold, icy slide, shaking her fist in that monster's face.
"I am NOT afraid! GOD is MY Protector. I will not FEAR!"


 What about us? What do we do when we stand at the top of this sometimes slippery slope called life? Can we shake our fist in the face of monsters who have names like fear, and disappointment, and rejection, and pain, and loss, and worry, and choose to play alone exhaling warmth from the bottom of our lungs, and yell as loud as we can, "GOD IS MY PROTECTOR".  And really believe it.

GOD. IS. MY. PROTECTOR.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior: my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18;2)

Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy. (Psalm 98:4)

GOD IS YOUR PROTECTOR!

Thanks, Heidi, for sharing.



Make your plans to attend the next Godly Girlfriends Retreat. It's all about a Warrior Woman named, Deborah. And it's all about empowering us to know without a single doubt that 

God is our Protector


See you soon.







Thursday, February 26, 2015

One Word Testimonies


The KING is ENTHRALLED with your Beauty
(Psalm 45:11)

 Godly Girlfriends Texas Retreat met at Beautiful Camp Butman, Merkel Texas for a Night with THE KING.


We have a few one word testimonies about the retreat.


Reunion


Sacrifice

Freedom



Re-filling



Blessed


Royalty


Enthralled


 Truth


Heartfelt



Moms & Daughters



Sisters








And More Sisters





Surrender
(Signing Class)


Victory



 Laughter









The Wrong King
 & 
The Lost Sister








Crafts


 and Shopping


What more could a girl ask for - 
shopping, crafting, laughing, eating, singing, dancing,  a sleep-over, and playing dress-up!



But more than anything, we heard over and over how our KING is enthralled, delighted, attracted, ravished, by our beauty. We heard and believed that we, like the orphan turned Queen Esther are also chosen for such a time as this. 

We believed that we are HIS princesses. 
We worshipped HIM. 
We spent time in HIS presence. 
And we surrendered to OUR KING.


Who is this KING OF GLORY?
 The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
(Psalm 24:8)

He is enthralled by YOUR beauty, too.