Adopted by the Princesses!
The Lord does provide. I had all of bumper to bumper traffic on Rt. 80 and then a string of 2 lane county roads to get my mind off the bumpy ride and on to the Daughters of the King, Bethlehem chapter. Friends had told me some of the Daughters could be conservative, so nothing too out in left field. I chose doing a modified personality indicator, coupling that with different saintly prayer styles (Ignatian, Augustinian, etc). Some singing, some down time and lots of prayer.
Holy mu-lowly, these women are prayer pros! I'm wet behind the ears in comparison. That being said, they were gracious, vivacious, chatty and up for almost anything. Something came to mind mid-retreat. I could see Deborah Kerr in her 'The King and I' costume in the classroom scene before me. The prologue to the song was quite clear:
"It's a true and honest saying and a good and honest thought
That if you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught..."
These wonderful women gave so much, taught so much, cared so much that I felt quite swept up in their maternal instincts. I felt adopted!! I just had to be me and I was accepted and adopted! I know that in Baptism I had been adopted, but that is not as concrete as someone saying "Honey, let me make your bed for you..". 'Though not one of them ever pinched my cheek, I had the impression they had somehow.
What a wonderful gift! Me starting out, hitting the floor running this month, doing solo retreats for people who I did not know at first, but left knowing fondly.
There can be much said about ministry being a lonely and solitary place. This began my venture into interactive ministry as never before. Some of me, some of you, all of God.
This experience was followed by the loving witness of the women of St. Peter's, Freehold with their extended band of women family and friends, another blessing from them and the Community of St. John Baptist.
My backyard STILL needs work and the leaves STILL need to be raked, the fertilizer and seed down. And I can do it because I have been renewed and feel a connection with others again. Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!