Conversation, Divine Appointments, Encouragement

TALK TO ME

Meet some of my high school posse.
I’m always up for a conversation with this crew.
We share tons of history.
They’re among my biggest encouragers.
Kisses, Girlfriends!



As you probably already know, I’ve been hard at work finishing a novel–my first and maybe last and haven’t been posting here as often. I finished that first draft last night! Because I want to stay in touch while I grind away on revisions, I’m sharing something I wrote for FaithHappenings, an online devotional I contribute to on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy it.



BLAH BLAH BLAH


In the name of conversation, we’ve all been held captive by people who love to talk without any expectation or desire for a response. If they aren’t airing their current worry or complaint, they’re bragging about their successes or the latest exploits of their perfect offspring. Whether they’re just bores or lonely individuals in need of a social outlet, the reaction is the same. What a relief to get out of their clutches.


LEARNING TO CONVERSE


Then there’s the introvert, who finds chitchat excruciating. One of my grandsons fell into this group during high school. Even though I’m sure he talked to his friends, he never spoke at family gatherings. We joked that you needed to be a lawyer to get the latest news through cross examination. We were thrilled when he returned from his first semester of college with newfound conversational skills.

ACKWARD MOMENTS


I confess there’ve been times, even as an adult, when I’ve felt inadequate in making small talk at social gatherings. Usually, it happens when I find myself among strangers with knowledge and interests so far out of my experience that I can’t even form an intelligent question. What I’d give at such moments for a know-it-all to enlighten me.


EASY LISTENING


I’ve come to understand that true conversation is a give-and-take endeavor, involving genuine interest in another person. It also requires good listening skills and the willingness to share something of ourselves. Who hasn’t felt invigorated by a lively discussion with colleagues and friends who enjoy common interests? Both the challenge and camaraderie of such exchanges enrich our lives and strengthen relationships.


UNFORGETTABLE ENCOUNTERS


But, for me, the most rewarding conversations are what I’ve come to refer to as Divine Appointments. I’m thinking of encounters with individuals who share a life-defining experience—good or bad, a belief or an interest in a cause that leads to a heart connection so strong we find ourselves opening up to one another. Somewhere in the process, we come to know that person on a deeper level. Such interactions seem to be orchestrated by God Himself and often bring healing to one or both parties while strengthening our faith. Lifelong friendships have been forged from such moments.

My hope is that you have experienced such joy, and my prayer is that we will always be open to God’s blessed encounters.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Col. 4: 5-6


Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved
Cat Rescues, Divine Appointments, Grandchildren

LIFE LESSONS FROM LOLA III


  GRAN GOES TO ATLANTA

This is the third installment of Life Lessons from Lola, a series about an adorable kitten who’s traveled lots of miles and stolen lots of hearts in her journey home to Terry and me. Thursday I told you how Emily’s cousin, Brady, came to adopt Lola. Today I’m sharing about what took me to Atlanta and my first meeting with her.

A God Thing

Have you ever had an experience that seemed to be orchestrated by an unseen hand? You know—a chance meeting or a set of circumstances that changed your life, brought resolution to a problem, gave you a new friend or opened an important door. And in looking back, you felt it was just meant to be. Some people call such an occurrence  A God Thing or A Divine Appointment


I’ve had them. My most recent experience began in August when I saw a Facebook announcement for a one-day women’s conference sponsored by Church4Chicks.com in Georgia. The founder of the group is my new online friend, Shelley Hendrix, and my connection to FaithHappenings.com where I contribute devotionals.


Hmmm


Maria back when

Two things caught my eye. 

It was in the Atlanta area, probably close to where my daughter lives. And it was scheduled for Saturday, November 8, which is her birthday. 

Maria and I haven’t spent her birthday together in a long time because it’s so close to Thanksgiving, when they come to Arkansas. And it’s a long way to Atlanta. 


 

Every time I saw that Church4Chicks ad, the desire to go grew stronger. I found myself thinking what if this is meant to be? So I did what lots Bible-reading folks do. I put out a fleece. You know, take one step to test the waters and see if details begin to fall into place. You know what happened next.  

I texted Maria.


Me:      Is Woodstock anywhere near U?


Maria: 45 minutes w/o traffic. Do you know someone there?


Me:      There’s a conference on your birthday. I’m just exploring possibilities. Do U have
            plans for the weekend? No pressure. It’s a long shot.


Maria:  I have curriculum training for work on Sat. 


Hmm. Maybe I could go to the conference while she in training. 


Atlanta Here I Come
 
After talking further with Maria and Terry, I called my friend Ginger, whose daughter also lives near Atlanta, and invited her to go with me. Long story short, she jumped at the chance to be with her grandchildren. And she wanted to attend the conference. 

So Ginger and I made our plans to drive to Atlanta on Thursday and come back on Sunday. 


I was thrilled because

·         I didn’t have to drive 10 hours alone.

·         Ginger and I are very compatible and we’d have lots of time to yak.

·         I wouldn’t have to go to the conference alone.

·         I’d see Maria, Brad, Caroline and Brady. (Emily is at U of Alabama)

·         I could bake Maria a birthday cake.  

·         I could take Brady to lunch.

·         And maybe I’d get to say hello to Shelley.

·         Oh, yeah. And I’d get to see little Lola.

I had no plans on getting another cat—especially a female cat. 

Was I in for a surprise.  


Thought for the Day:  When you’re attracted to a idea, take the first step. It might be the beginning of some important connection. It was for me, and I’m glad I did


Lesson I Was Soon to Learn:  Sometimes, we make our plans for one reason, when God has an entirely different agenda in mind. 



Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21


Next time: Lola Goes to Arkansas

 Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved.