Within the last 36 months, I have invested more time in my female relationships than ordinary. I have visited 6 college friends that are literally scattered across the East Coast (From Rochester and Chicago to Orlando, Florida). I literally moved in with my beloved friend during the time of transition when I lost one job and acquired another. I coordinated several women’s luncheons and gatherings as well as a few girly get-away trips to the mountains. And, I made one monumental visit (in the Fall of 2010 and after 25 years apart) to visit my dearest and silliest elementary school friend, in Boston.
In spite of my heart-wrenching decline in health that came to a halt by the fall of 2012 (which resulted in my early retirement from the career I loved), God blessed me with an unexpected answer to prayer and the precious gift of time to spend with my female, power-house companions.
Many of these women have noticed something different going on with me. I guess it began somewhat recently, around the same time that I felt like my body was shutting down. And while I didn’t even understand the magnitude of my insatiable need for female companionship; what most likely stood out to me (and probably, to them) was that I was investing more time in my relationships; by saying “yes” and/or coordinating face-to-face interactions. It’s as if I had this hunger to understand more about my own feminine heart. And by the way, this cannot only occur through technology.
Anyway, this all got me thinking. A lot. As you can most likely relate, it seems like whenever we are completely overwhelmed with life in general…whether it be work, bills, kids, trying to have kids, the house, dealing with loved ones, losing loved ones, battling illnesses, taking care of loved ones with illnesses, etc… the first thing that gets crossed off our list is “time for ME”. Time to rest. Time to heal. Time to grow. Time to connect.
Now think about this for a second. What if you were given a gift card in the mailbox that said: “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU JUST WON AN EXTRA DAY ADDED TO YOUR LIFE IN WHICH EVERY OBLIGATION AROUND YOU WILL FREEZE AND YOU CAN DO WHATEVER THE HECK YOU WANT!” I bet you’d stop, relax, read, or do something fun…hopefully, with a female companion!
Well, as it so happens, my gift card came in the mail a short time ago. But, it said something more like this: “Although you may think that you are losing your momentum and livelihood…you, in fact, have just hit the JACKPOT, as you have just been given the gift of TIME – time to rest, time to read, time to grow, and time to spend with your loved ones.”
Coincidently, this card arrived when I was not in any mood for God’s sense of humor for I was in fact 100% tired, depressed, and actually quite comfortable on my island of solitude and feeling sorry for myself. And, I think it was originally written in some native tongue because I could not interpret what the heck the card was saying. These were not common, ordinary things. However, something inside me sparked just enough motivation to start initiating a change.
As it turned out, it was during these monumental occasions with my female powerhouse friends that I gained so much insight about women in general, the feminine heart, and how detrimental it is to make time for ourselves and one-another. I desperately needed to rest, to laugh, and to speak candidly about girly things. I desperately needed to share my story and all about this insatiable hunger for more. I needed the support, and I needed to see God’s beauty in the world outside of my circumstances. Little by little, I began to see and hear God. And little by little, these women – these angels – comforted me, listened to me, validated me, opened up their hearts to me, and gave me rest, love, encouragement, support, and laughs.
I believe God sometimes speaks to us through His creation, mainly in other people’s words and actions. These are just a few things that my friends reminded me, that my parents instilled in me, and that I believe God tells us, daily.
- “I love you.”
- “I love you unconditionally.
- “I don’t care about your past.
- “You are blessed.”
- “You are beautiful.”
- “Have faith.”
- “I’m so glad you made time for me.”
- “It’s ok to be vulnerable, I love the real you.”
- “Never lose your silly, little-girl ways!”
- “I am always here for you.”
I learned so much from accepting my circumstances, and choosing to redeem the blessings that came from them. It was a process, but it started with a choice (a reluctant one for me).
I decided to live an Extraordinary life. I began to love myself more. I began to love my life more. And, I began to love others more. And, this would soon become the foundation of the LE Woman.
In closing, every woman has a story, a need, and a purpose in life. LE Woman has a vision and a mission. First, to challenge women across the globe to CHOOSE to live an EXTRAordinary life no matter what their circumstances are. Second, to provide information and resources to validate, help, and support women wherever they are to make this happen.
Do you have something to share to help or encourage others…perhaps a story, an idea, a recipe, or a resource? Do you feel that there is something missing for you to live an extraordinary life? Ask God to reveal His love and His answers for you, today.