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Friday, September 23, 2011

Ladies' Night Out - Hollis, OK

Pictured from left to right: My 2nd cousin, Myra; her mom and my great-aunt, Therol; Me, my mom, Donna; my grandma's two sisters/my great aunts: Geraldine and Wanda Faye

Last night was a special evening for me.  It was a happy and sad evening....all at the same time for several reasons.

A few months ago, the Hollis church contacted me about being the speaker for their annual Ladies' Night Out (LNO).  I said yes....excited to have the opportunity to share God's Word with Christian sisters, but also because I was going to be going to Hollis.

Hollis has a very special place in my heart because my maternal grandparents lived there.  Every summer I would spend two weeks there, plus go up for days and weekends at other times of the year.  My grandparents owned a grocery store (Francis Food Town) there and that was fun for a young girl. (They sold it before I was really old enough to work there for real, though!).

I especially liked helping my grandpa deliver food to the hospital and shut-ins in his El Camino.  He would roll down the windows and turn the radio to a song in a language neither of us could understand - blaring it loudly through town.  He would just look over at me and laugh....trying to see if I was embarrassed (which I was!).   I loved help my grandma make little goody baskets for the sick in the Sunshine Room at the church building.  I also helped her get ready for extension club meetings when she would be getting ready for them. 

But my very favorite part of being with my grandparents, was worshipping with them and the church in Hollis.  I loved the singing and loved communion!  My grandparents sat in front of a couple and the lady (June) had the most beautiful alto voice.  I was able to share that memory with June at the LNO last night. 

And that's where the sad part comes in.....
My grandma passed away in May, 1990.  I miss her so much, and wished she could have been there....sitting among so many of her friends that I remember as a child.  And then, the last time I was at the Hollis fellowship building was after my grandpa's funeral in March 2006.  The very first thing one of the ladies said to me last night when I got there was, "Your grandpa baptized me."  Another one afterward quickly said, "Your grandpa was a special man."  I could feel my eyes welling up with tears quickly!  "Yes. He was," I said.....then quickly went to the ladies' room to cry for a little bit!

And now more happy parts....
A very special part of the "welcome", was that one of my great aunts, Therol, spoke.  I actually had three great aunts in attendance (How special!), plus my mom came and a second cousin, Myra, was visiting from out of town.   told about how that evening's LNO marked the 40th one that had been hosted by the Hollis ladies. (How neat!)  But, the most special part to me, was that my grandma and one of her friends (who was also there last night) spear-headed the very first LNO that Hollis ever had! (How amazing!  (No wonder I've always felt like I'm so much like her....organizing....planning....events.....and little bossy at times!).  I had no idea about those special facts!

I was okay during the delicious meal, but the beautiful singing kind of "got" me.  I knew if I went up to speak already crying, it wouldn't be good and I would have a hard time getting started.  So.....I just listened ever so oven and regained composure!

But then, one of my great aunts, Wanda Faye, introduced me.  I teased that she had more written on her pages than I did on my notes, but she said she wrote it in a large font :).  She told a sweet story about a bracelet that she/I have shared throughout the years.  I will have to share that story with you soon.  I tried to not "think" too much during her story, so that I wouldn't get all teary.

As soon as it was time for my lesson, I just told the ladies I would need to wait until after the lesson to say anything too personal about being there.  It worked and God helped me make it through the lesson...sharing with the ladies "God's Makeover Plan for the Christian Woman".  A lesson where we focused on inward beauty, rather than outward beauty.  And then I got to the sentimental part of being there and shared that with them tearfully and quickly. 

Yes....it was a special evening in may ways for me, and I thank the Hollis ladies for inviting me to be with them for the evening.  But more than that, I pray that the ladies' were blessed by being there, and that, above all, God was glorified.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

That is really neat...glad so many of your relatives could be there! No pics?

 
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