Last month, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to two different Women’s groups within the same week. My first commitment was on a Thursday night at the Covenant Lutheran Church in Saint Paris, Ohio. The second engagement was with the 1st United Presbyterian Church in Bellefontaine, Ohio at their annual women’s weekend retreat. The Relax and Reclaim retreat was held at a lovely lodge close to Bellefontaine called Kirtmont Center. I fell in love with the warmth and friendliness of the ladies in attendance at both events.
These events were the first time I had accepted a speaking engagement in over a year because of my daughter’s cancer battle. I was honored to speak to the ladies of both groups; their wonderful hospitality made me feel right at home and I left feeling like I had known them all for years.
Both groups requested the same talk; my signature talk called Life is a Balancing Act. The talk tells how God helped me to redesign my life; a life that was so overwhelmed with stress that I had nothing (no energy or time) left over for me. Finding a healthy balance was the key to finding peace in my life.
Both events had a common bond. They were attended by women of different ages and backgrounds coming together to take time away from the pressures and responsibilities of everyday life. The events were filled with music, worship, prayer, inspiration, laughter and great food. The best part was seeing women unwinding, relaxing and simply taking time to enjoy a little healthy Girl Talk.
I love helping women define a healthy approach to living in today’s busy and chaotic world; to encourage them to simplify and recapture the quality of their lives.
An important way to maintain balance is to spend time with women friends, just talking. Talking about your thoughts and feelings can help you deal with times when you feel troubled about something. If you hold a worry inside, the worry will usually grow. But talking about it can help you work out what is really bothering you and explore what you could do about it.
Talking is an important part of any relationship, but listening is of equal importance. Most women understand that talking (and listening) can strengthen their ties with other people and help one stay in good mental health.
So imagine how much I enjoyed sitting around the fireplace on Friday night at the weekend retreat with the other women? Talking, laughing and getting to know one another; in our PJs’ enjoying freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I had never met these ladies, so what did we talk about? We talked about our lives, our families, our kids and grandkids, happy times and sad times. As we shared with one another, we found common ground and recognized that there are times when we feel alone, at if no one understands, or no one cares.
But, there is someone who always understands and cares. By taking time to relax, refresh and have a little Girl Talk, we went home with a comfort and a confidence that God is always with us.
Ending on a Positive Note: It was an honor to have been a small part of these special events filled with beautiful community and connection, not just with the other women, but with God.