Today I am Thankful for The Grace Church book club.
I didn't write about this yesterday. I wanted to actually attend book club and then write. As usual, God showed up and we had an awesome time of fellowship. Rejoicing in what God had done in our lives, sharing the struggles that we face and just basically loving each other as only God's children can do.
Last May (2009), on a Wednesday night, Melanie Fields, Tonya Marks and I were discussing books that we were reading. Tonya jokingly (well maybe not too jokingly) said that I should start a book club. I kinda blew her off, but I did like the idea. Anyway, I sent her an email and everything was set in motion. On July 9, we had our first meeting at Kat Hunter's house - there were 4 of us there, strangely enough - Tonya and Melanie weren't even able to be there that night! Anyway word spread and over the next year and a half we have met every month. Different books, different topics, different people present. One common thread . . .love. Love for reading, love for books, love for God....love for each other.
It has been great. Recently, we had a shower for Kat and Derek to celebrate the blessings that God has given them. Most of the hostesses were members of the book club, so we decided to give "C" and "B" books! It was exciting, to show love to our sister and friend. To share in the future of bedtime stories with those precious angels and to think about how all of our lives have changed because of book club.
We have expanded our reading. I have expanded my friendships. We have all bonded through prayer and concern for one another.
So as I think back over all the books that have been read . . .for this group I am truly thankful!
Since July 2009, we have read the following: (at first we met every 6 weeks and took last December off)
July 2009 - Yada Yada Prayer Group - Neta Jackson
September 2009 - Double Minds - Terri Blackstock
November 2009 - Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
January 2010 - cancelled meeting due to weather
February 2010 - Same kind of Different as Me - Denver Moore and Ron Hall
March 2010 - When Crickets Cry - Charles Martin
April 2010 - The Debt - The Story of a Past Redeemed - Angela Hunt
May 2010 - The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis
June 2010 - Have a Little Faith - Mitch Albom
July 2010 - Boundaries - Cloud and Townsend
August 2010 - House - Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti
September 2010 - Confronting Jezebel - Steve Sampson
October 2010 - Through the Gates of Splendor - Elisabeth Elliott
November 2010 - The Shack - Wm Paul Young
December we will have a celebration and recount the books we've read
Scheduled for January 2011 - Hinds Feet and High Places - Hannah Hurnard
11/9/10 - Today I am thankful for Debbie, Rachel and Kimberly
There are SO MANY things that I could say here. These three woman have been there though so many things. We have been through, weddings, funerals, births, deaths. Ups, downs. Good, Bad. Our friendship has never wavered. We all started out in Michigan. We are all now in Tennessee. Talk about God ordaining a friendship!
I met Debbie first, then Kimberly, then Rachel. They are all cousins, but they have adopted me along the way as the "4th one".
We have traveled together, laughed together (LOTS I MIGHT ADD) cried together. Rejoiced together. Kimberly and I have both adopted children into our families and shared the joys and challenges that come with that path. Rachel has birthed 3 beautiful children. Debbie was blessed with a Step-daughter and I have the boys. We are all like one big happy family.
Most of all we share our faith in the God who has not only sustained our friendship . . .but has sustained us. We have all had trials . . .and continue in some of them. We have experienced hurt and disappointment, but also found healing and strength in the love of a friend.
Right now as I sit with tears in my eyes and a swelling in my heart, I know that I have been blessed beyond measure. Many live their whole life without finding that one true friend....I have found three. I must also add that I am blessed with other friends who God sent along right when I needed them. For that I am also thankful.
But today I am thankful for Debbie, Rachel and Kimberly. I cannot imagine my life, the ups, downs and all arounds without you . . .I pray everyday that I never will!!!! I love you all!!!!!!!!