Friday, September 22, 2006

beyond me

Yesterday I went to the first of a women's Bible study group in which we are doing Beth Moore's study, "Living Beyond Yourself". How I even found these ladies in my own backyard is a miracle of God's grace to me and timing, because I don't know any of them and none go to my church. They are normal gals, not a peacock in the bunch, and I feel drawn toward our leader, Kathy. Her husband was native American and an artist, and his unique works fill the room where we meet. My achy throat protested against leaving the house last night, but I so wanted to get started right from the get go and see everyone. Our study is on DVD with a companion book, so we watched this little blonde lady with big hair and a bigger voice, Texan and charismatic from the top of her bouffant to the bottom of her three inch high- heeled boots for an hour. I cringe when someone shouts at me for a moment, even a positive message. Still, I tried to pay careful attention to what she had to say, no matter how windblown it was. The girls hurried home after we were done to catch the season opener of CSI and William Peterson, hunkiest middle-aged geek on TV. (I love these women!)

When I got settled in front of the tube at home and waited for our collective McDreamy to come on, my older daughter walked in from having coffee with her sister, I thought. We were chatting a little, and I noticed her mascara was smeared under her glasses. I asked her what was going on, and she told me she broke up with her boyfriend, someone she has known since high school and is very close to even on a friendship level. But she felt she needed room and time to sort out what is going on in her life-it's a long distance relationship in many ways, and my daughter is growing away from her home. I tried to think as she spilled and cried some more, how to share my own heart to her at this time in my life and how the big-haired Texan's message is relevant. I love my daughter's creativity and both my girls have followed after their crazy artist mom, hearing that muse that makes a body want to paint for hours, sew clothes until your fingers ache, love fabric and art supply stores more than Macy's or Walmart. The imprint of their mother is on my girls. The thing I want for them to know is that the imprint of God is on their lives so much more-how do I connect "can I say amen" with fashion runways, city life and a modern girl's struggle in relationships and career?

Well, I decided one thing-this all means a visit to La Fratte's today, our absolute favorite diner in the world. I'm springing my younger girl out of school to be with her sister, and we are doing lunch. Then, I'll will take it from there. Beth Moore talked about doing things that are "beyond ourselves", things that require more wisdom, more love, more grace than we have within us-more God! I have to say, walking children through life and being a woman in this day and age is certainly that. One thing I explained to my daughter is that married or single, in a woman's life come times when she needs to strike out beyond the roles society expects and into what God longs for for us. I sense a period in life like that now for myself, where the path is rocky and high, and only one pair of hiking shoes fits on it. We need to strain and struggle-the easy way is seldom, if ever, the way of growth. I'm proud of her for realizing she needs to carry on alone now, risking a relationship she has come to depend on, even though the hope is that they do remain friends. I know what I need to do is be true to myself as well and throw her a rope.


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