Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Power to Lift Up

What an amazing Women's Retreat!

JoyDad deserves a great big hug and shout-out for this. Despite severe sleep deprivation and a way-late gig on Halloween night, he sent me up to the northwoods anyway. Another big hug and shout-out to our pumpkin-patch friends (they really need aliases!), who not only provided playdate for Rose for most of Saturday, but then came over and helped JoyDad make dinner that evening.

But I didn't know about the dinner till later. Too busy being uplifted up in the north woods, with twenty-some other church ladies. Each participant got one of these greeting cards -- would you believe, the artwork is called "Dancing for Joy"!

The power to lift upYou can buy these greeting cards online at Fellowship of Reconciliation.

The weather was stunning. I went out by myself and walked/jogged the third session of my first week of Couch to 5K training in the woods. Then on the way back I fell in with a party of walkers from our group, and walked and talked with a friend... who turned out to be looking to start a 5K training program herself but hadn't found one yet! And, her goal definitely had to do with actual race-running, something that Auntie RatM was encouraging me to do but I hadn't quite committed to yet. Well, now I've got a racing partner. Talk about your just-in-time blessings!

I got back from the run/walk just in time to do the uplifting craft project. If you weren't curious enough to click on the link last time, I'll just say it right out -- we were making purses out of brassieres! I had bought a fun polka-dotted padded confection at a thrift store, but then found out that the organizers had brought along a bunch of extra bras for anyone who needed one to work on. There among the extras was a much smaller bra, with smaller polka-dots in the same color palette as the one I'd brought. The coincidence simply cried out for a mother-daughter set of purses. So I made one for Rose. (She loved it, and proudly took it to church on Sunday, carrying a teeny-beanie-bear in it!!)

Uplifting Purses
So many uplifting words, both in conversations and in our more formal time together. I'll share three quotes here. First, the words to a song from Sweet Honey in the Rock, inspired by a Chinese proverb and performed by a trio from our group:

Where there is light in the soul
there will be beauty in the person.
Where there is beauty in the person
there will be harmony in the home.
Where there is harmony in the home
there will be honor in the nation.
Where there is honor in the nation
there will be peace in the world.

Then, from a translation of Psalm 91, from a book called Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill:

Those who dwell in the shelter of
Infinite Light,
who abide in the wings of
Infinite Love,
Will raise their voices in praise:
"My refuge and my strength:
In You along will I trust."

And finally, our sending hymn. The song is called Benediction, composed by Patty Shelly, who happens to be a friend of our family. She led this song herself as the sending at my mother's memorial service three years ago... I'll leave you with these words today.

The Lord lift you up,
The Lord take your hand,
The Lord lead you forth
And cause you to stand
Secure in God's word,
Seeking God's face,
Abounding in love,
Abiding in grace.


Barbara said...

Thank you, JM! And thanks to JD for providing you opportunity to share your uplifting with us - uplifting us also.

Hopefully no two are left hanging by the many conversions to purses.

Auntie RatM said...

I think we might be in almost the exact same spot in the Couch to 5K. Tomorrow I do the 2nd run in the second week.

It looks like Fleet Feet has a good list of events, if you haven't picked your 5K yet:


Madison must have a good sized running community. I found several running stores. If you haven't gotten running shoes yet, you should think about it. They make running MUCH more comfortable, and they reduce the chances of injury. A good running store will take a look at the wear patterns on your current shoes, watch you run, and then fit you with appropriate shoes.

Besides Fleet Feet, there's Movin' Shoes http://www.movinshoesmadison.com/ and Berkeley Running Company http://www.berkeleyrunningcompany.com/

We will probably get me new running shoes for X-mas. I only have 130 miles on my current shoes, but I'm worried that my knee problem might be a shoe problem, since it developed shortly after I got my new shoes.

Mama Mara said...

What exactly does one carry around in a brassiere purse? Do you stuff them with lots of kleenex, perhaps?

Bravo on freeing your "girls" and letting them hang loose for the weekend. (I meant your inner Marzan/Towanda, of course, not your, erm, girls).

Anonymous said...

ok, the bras are cracking me up ..

i'm so glad you had such a wonderful time!

JoyDad said...


The problem with letting her, erm, girls run wild would have been that I was back at home... and dead tired.

That was a rough one. Got woke up at 3:00 on Friday morning and then couldn't get back to sleep, and I didn't get back home after the big Halloween gig until 3:00 on Saturday morning. But I know this retreat is important to JoyMama, so I gritted my teeth and dealt with it. Managed to grab a nap on the couch for about an hour on Saturday afternoon, which made a huge difference. Between that and our friends taking Rose for most of the day, I made it through.

JoyMama said...

You guys are crackin' me up! Kleenex -- snicker! Left hanging -- chortle! Hanging loose -- smirk!

If things were really that, erm, free and easy... I would not be able to survive my training runs...

Speaking of which, Auntie RatM, thank you for the links. You're absolutely right, I need some good shoes. I'm not quite doing the 6mph at which you view the world -- more like 5.0 for treadmill jogging, 3.8 for walking at this point -- but I've discovered that several Radiators songs have a perfect beat for that 3.8 mph stride!

AuntieS said...

I'm just wondering if Rose really understands what her purse is made of??? LOL!
I'm glad you had a great time on your retreat.
It is a little scary to hear all of the family talk of walking, running, and 5Ks. I might have to start thinking about considering the possibility of maybe preparing to try to study the chance of perhaps starting to find a time to look at the practical aspects of analyzing the benefits of mulling over the thought of someday attempting to begin to gradually attempt a preparation for a 5K, so I am not the only family member who has not joined the walk/run bandwagon! Or, maybe I'll just make an "uplifting" purse instead!!!!

Niksmom said...

So glad you had a wonderful time!

RatM said...

AuntieS - You should definitely do the running thing. All the cool people are doing it.

K- floortime lite mama said...

OMG I am LOVING this
Glad you had a fab time
And the pics of the bra-purse are adorable
here from Blog gems

Risa said...

Very therapeutic recycling! ;)

Lavender Luz said...

Love that Chinese proverb, and the bra-purses!

BlogGems #39

JoyMama said...

K - my tribe of church-ladies are an amazing bunch of women!

Risa - therapeutic indeed. If you've got any leftovers in the frilly drawer, I recommend this form of recycling whole-heartedly!

Lavendar Luz - I love the proverb too. It was good to come back and be reminded of it for the Blog Gems.