I have a story! That was my recent facebook status. And it was/ is true. I have a story.
I have to start with Thursday evening, that is when I decided I really NEEDED to go to the Scrapbook USA Expo. It started the next morning prompty at 9am. So I asked my hunny for some money, and being the sweet one that he is, brought me twice the amount I requested. This is an important detail....keep that in mind.
So I made arrangements for my mom to watch the kids until it was time for her to leave on her ladies retreat with her church. At which time the kids would occupy themselves for a bit while I was on my way home.
There I was at the scrapbook expo basking in the glow of all the new products out there. (By the way I got some killer deals!!!!) Anyway as I was saying I was shopping. My phone rang and it was my mother she told me that the retreat she was going on had an opening for one person due to a last minute cancellation. I told her that I would really love to go but unfortunately we were really watching the budget this week (now that I was shopping the expo). I would not be able to make it. She then relayed to me that there would be no cost, since the person going was sponsored and that money would be forfeited anyway, also they were looking for a specific count of 200 women and now they would be short. I quickly ended that conversation and called Justin who was so very sweet in telling me that I really needed to go. This retreat was at the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah. Years ago Justin had worked at the Zermatt when it was being built, he did work in some of the rooms that were nearly finished. When I told him where the retreat was at, he told me that he wanted me to go, and that he did not want me to miss out on that kind of experience. However he was working a 10 hr. day so it would be 6 pm before he would be home from work.
I called my mom and told her I was in.
(During which time I inadvertantly shoplifted 30lbs of paper, Don't worry I took it all back and paid for it. And I appologized profusely.) I finished my shopping and decided it was time to head home. On my way out, Justin called me to tell me that he was actually off work. It was only like 1pm, he said they were done for the day, and that he would meet me at home. Wow, it was kind of wiggin' me out how everything was falling into place so quickly and easily.
I got home and packed my bag and kissed everyone goodbye. And here is the amazing part...I drove up Parley's all by myself without any fear!!!! I had never done that before and didn't really have any desire to do it. I got up there and I was perfectly at peace the entire time! I made my way to Midway and the Zermatt and from there I was confused as of where to check in or meet my party and they were not answering their phones. Low and behold as I was driving through one of the parking lots, I heard my mom's friend laughing her very distinct laugh, I looked to my right and there they were coming out of the building. They directed me to the sign in and event registration and waited for me.
Here is where I really thought that it was going to get sketchy for me. I had to share a room with 3 complete strangers! People I had never laid eyes on before AND I was going to have to share a bed with one of them!!!! As I went into the room I thought that I was going to be really freaked out but I had an overwhelming peace. I can't even explain it here but there was not a trace of anxiety. I walked in to find my room empty, my room mates had not arrived yet. so I went to the far end of the room and commandeered the end spot on the farthest bed. I then went exploring for a bit. Found my mother again, called maintenance to come fix the AC in the room that was not working, opened the complimentary shampoo to smell it, and relaxed for a bit.
Ok, remember that money I talked about earlier? I decided that since dinner was not provided I needed to go and get a bite to eat before the evening service. So my mom and I hopped in the car and took a brief tour of Midway, while looking for some dinner. I had just enough spending money left from the scrapbook expo to puchase dinner! We grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the resort.
This time before entering the room, I was accutely aware that those strangers would most likely be there by now. I won't say I had anxiety this time but I did take a deep breath before entering. I was determined to be chipper and upbeat and friendly. The women were very friendly and I introduced myself to them thankfully my mom came in and helped out with the intros also. We only had a short time to change and walk over to another building to get to the conference center, so we were all in a zone. Not much time for getting to know each other.
Any way we all trotted down to the first meeting and service, it was really a great time. After that I was determined to get into a hot tub before it closed for the evening. Let's just say there was alot of walking involved, before we finally got to the hot tub. It was a really cool hot tub as well with a waterfall that felt like a shiatsu massage when you sat under it! We stayed 20 minutes and then headed back up to the room to change and then go to the after party the pastor's wife was hosting in her room. She made and served what was referred to as "christian crack" appropriately named I assure you. They were like those cheese puffs you buy in the bag in the potato chip aisle, however they were coated in carmel instead and they were sooooo good!
At this point I had not seen my roommates since our first meeting and they were not at the party either. Drats, it looked like I was going to have to sleep with a stranger. I was hoping to have had enough time to get to know her a little bit. We bid all of the party goers goodnight and headed back to our rooms. My roommates were there all snug in their PJ's and talking. So I sat on my end of the bed and joined in. Little did I know at this point that I would find such a dear friend. Anika was my bed fellow and we really hit it off. We talked about everything and found out that we loved all of the same things. It was like finding a long lost sister. We discovered that it was getting very late and we needed to get some sleep before the morning workshops, so we turned out the lights to get some rest.
By the end of the next afternoon we had checked out and my mom and I were going into the pastry shop so I could buy the kids a treat. There stood Anika, my new found friend. We started talking again and ended up with me driving her back to Salt Lake at my invitation. Once again this was out of my box.
I found out that Anika wanted to do the very same Bible study that I am starting tomorrow night at my church. Guess what? She is coming with me! Two years ago I never would have agreed to sleep in a room with 3 strangers (sisters in Christ or not)but GOD is changing me and using what used to be my insecurities to teach me and to bring me to a woman who desperately needed a friend in her current church group, of which I don't attend! weird right... She has not felt welcomed at her current church and she has been attending for over a year and she has had some very unfortunate experiences there. I think GOD put us together for very specific reasons. I can't discount that He has a purpose here! I am feeling so very blessed! There are so many details I have had to leave out. I fear if I put it all in here you would be reading for days.
But I will tell you I am astonished in the ways that He moves us, works for us and through us!!!
Thanks for dropping by,
Mittens and Hood
21 hours ago