Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Memories and Sisterhood

I'm sure the first memory triggered all this...but I have had a few flash backs this past week and have found that if I take each one out and examine it...I can remeber SO much more than I originally thought..so I think I'll do this...sprinkle a memory here and there along the way through the 25th ...who knows...maybe it'll revive some of your long lost ones too....

We used to live in Pennslyvania...I was a young mother...my hubby was a young pastor...and we were trying to do something completley different as far as "church" was concerned....we had begun having "sisters" meetings as well as "brothers" meetings....this was apparently a foreign concept to the congregation but everyone took to it like ducks take to water...it appears to be natural for the sexes to congregate...humans love to hang out with those of like gender...
We had what I suppose could be called a core group...made up of what most churches would see as their front row people...the die hards who were very serious and very committed to Christ and the church...this Christian life was their life....these became the leaders of the sisters and brothers meetings...
There were 4 sisters in this core group...by that I mean spiritual sisters not biological ones...one of which was myself...(of course, being the pastor's wife I would be included...the Church was obviously my life...:)) Hey, not that I didn't deserve the spot...I did...LOL
It became the norm for the 4 of us to get together often...for planning, for prayer, for dinner :)...and being like minded in Christ, we became friends as well....
One of these girls was very much an artsy adventurer...she went to strange foreign films and out of the way art shows...she wore dangly earrings and flowing skirts ( i know, what's the point of that comment...so you can picture her...:))...any way...to say the least she was always seeking out interesting and low cost entertainment for her family....that talent naturally extended to us as a foursome....
When the holidays were nearing, she suggested that we, the four of us, do something together...besides the annual cookie swap or gift exchange...
She had heard of a Holiday Tour of Homes... if you know Philly you know that the place is full of historic homes that deck out at Christmastime, so we agreed, bought our tickets and made our plans....
We dressed the part, wearing our holiday garb and went out to dinner first, then we boarded the bus that would drive us around to the homes....
The tour was lovely...each home dressed in its finest....lights all around, music playing on the bus....bone chilling temperatures and hot cider or cocoa at every door....we rode from house to house laughing, singing and acting the silly way only girls can act when they get together without men...:) It was fabulous!

Though I didn't realize it at the time, something special, even spiritual was happening...the outing contained an element I had never experienced before and my spirit was being opened to something new...as we laughed, ate, sang, and shared life together I was catching a glimpse of something more... the realization came to me of a depth of kinship I had never even imagined existed...a peek, if you will, into the fellowship within the Godhead between the Father and the Son, or like that between Christ and His Church.

Here we were...4 women of varying backgrounds and varying ages...all deeply in love with our Lord ...and falling head over heels in love with one another...laughing together, eating together, sharing the Lord together in such a free way....all with the backdrop of Christmas time....it was a beautiful incredible thing...

This was my very first taste of "sisterhood"....I had experienced many relationships in the context of church in my life, but the bonding together of women with other women around the Lord Jesus...that I had never known to this depth...it was glorious....through those women, I saw Him in a whole new light....He suddenly became touchable, findable...full of expression and joy and variety,...like a diamond with many facets... I saw Him, I mean really saw Him, in their faces....
and perhaps, if I squinted my eyes...He might even be wearing dangly earrings and a flowing skirt....
A light came on in my spirit that has never gone out.

We have long since gone our seperate ways.... walking different paths...I am happy to report that each of these sisters still holds to that same Lord.
I will always treasure the time we had together...It was the opening of a door in my experience with the Lord that I have since explored to a much greater extent...I have found that the Church of Jesus Christ is strong and powerful...She is radiant and encompassing, full of light and joy and endless variety....and much of Her strength lies with in the sisterhood....I am blessed beyond measure to have sisters in the Lord...

as s song from one of our churches reflects...

How pleasant and how good it is
When sisters in the Lord
In one another's joy delight
And dwell in one accord

Such fragrance like anointing oil
From head to body poured
Such oneness like the morning dew
With sweet refreshment stored



15 comments:

KayMac said...

This was a beautiful post and gave me goose bumps...until God in the dangly earrings and flowery skirt...lol, well maybe on Halloween. JK

Tammy said...

what an awesome post!!!
You may think me silly but I think this is happening for me in the blog atmosphere...
I desperately needed fellowship and here you all are!!
Thanks!!
Love & Hugs,
:-D

Tammy said...

What a beautiful memory...I didn't know you were a Pastor's wife? God bless you for being in that position...I think Pastor's wives sometimes have to put up with an awful lot and still expected to have a smile...Lord bless ya!

Janet Rubin said...

What a lovely memory. Sisterhood is such a gift. There's something our sisters offer- a special understanding- that our husbands never could. God knew that and gave us each other.

everydayRANDOM said...

One of the reasons that I still go to church is the sisters that have come my way. Your post is FABulous and reminds me again of how He brings Himself to us in such unusual ways. Ways we learn and grow. You rock, my friend...

Sissy B. said...

I so long for that type of sisterhood her in my little community...however, I certainly don't think it silly what Tammy 1 has posted....I too am finding a wonderful sisterhood in the blogosphere that I have been unable to find her on The Hill. Thanks for being a part of it and providing the understanding that goes along with being sisters in Christ.

Birmingham Girl said...

Love this post, it's got me all misty eyed. I've lost that sister-hood thing over they years by churches splitting and people going separate ways. I agree with Tammy 1..blogging does help provide the fellowship and fill in some of those gaps. I'm so thankful for all of you sisters in the Lord!
Hey, like Tammy 2,I didn't know you were a pastors wife either!

An Ordinary Christian said...

I so enjoyed that! I used to live in Philly in the last 80's for 4 years.

Kim said...

I thank God everyday for my sisters in Christ!!! It is no small thing that we are sooooo connected to one another by Him. He is glorious! And you look just like Him sister!

jayjay said...

Ah, when I read this post, such a yearning began in me. . .and tears. . .that I cannot explain. Thanks for capturing it so perfectly. Sigh.

Hattigrace said...

Thanks for your visit and just know I feel like a very terrible friend. I cannot tell you how much I have been running. I just cleaned out my office today, so now I will feel more like getting online again.

Much is brewing, so I will have more to say later! You and yours have a blessed ChristMass.

Belizegial said...

The memories you shared with us are wonderful. Being with sisters is special.

I have found this to be the same in the blog atmosphere as well where I have met some very special people.

Have a Blessed and Wonderful Christmas.

Enid~

Jada's Gigi said...

Hey now, don't hold that pastor's wife thing against me...its not something i'm proud of but it did happen :)....that was then and this is now...I won't bring up your skeletons if you don't bring up mine...LOL

Vicki said...

Oh, what a wonderful post! You are such a special sister in Christ to me and I'm thankful that our paths crossed. All these memories made me a bit homesick for my old little church and the small group of ladies who sheltered me with their love and friendship. I didn't realize 20 years ago what a gift they were....but when the Lord gives us a heart-to-heart connection like that--it IS precious. We've all moved far away from each other, but try to meet up every now and then.

Cherly, have a beautiful Christmas. That little Jada is the most gorgeous child! Love those sweet eyes.

Warmest sisterly hugs,
Vicki

Vicki said...

Well, I don't spell too good late at night:-) I meant to write "Cheryl." LOL...