You’d think after spending the first 22 years of my life in the Baptist Church that Baptist women wouldn’t surprise me. You’d think. Surprise me did they ever. I don’t know what I expected but a gorgeous 75-year old woman in a negligee was definitely not on the list. No, that wasn’t the required attire for the ladies retreat…it was the result of their annual Pajama Parade. And that was just one of the crazy events that had Marcy, Keri and I laughing ourselves silly. I spent even more time crossing my legs. Did I say that out loud? My Friday night “talk” went pretty good. I made it through sharing Chris’ and my entire testimony without even shedding a tear. You could have heard a pin drop as I was talking. Then I had them all take a deep breath so they wouldn’t pass out from the shock of our story. They’re still breathing 🙂 The “talk” I gave on Saturday morning seemed to run a little more smoothly. I didn’t pace back and forth as much. Nor did I snort into the microphone or tug on my shirt to make sure nothing was showing. Yes, yes, I did all three of those things the night before. Dear Lord. As the retreat was coming to a close, I received a lot of “You did so good” comments as well as “thank you for being so vulnerable with your life” remarks, which definitely made me believe that God caught me as I took a step off that cliff. He’s good like that. There was one young lady who shared with me that she’d been carrying a secret for years now and that she’d felt such shame for it. I talked about finding someone with whom you could share your heart. I referenced James 5:16 which says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Apparently, she did that just before I spoke. After hearing what I said, she told me how much she appreciated me. She told me I blessed her. I guess I didn’t suck that bad after all 🙂 Did I mention that my mother was in attendance at the retreat? She was. I may be a 37-year old wife and mom, but I’m still her daughter. Her little girl. And after hearing her tell me that she was proud of me, I was flying high. I needed that encouragement. Who in your life who encourages you? Why don’t you take a turn for a change and encourage them? Your encourager needs encouraging, too.