Beautiful moments, Beautiful women

I have spent the last few days surrounded by truly beautiful, funny, intelligent and creative women and I feel so blessed!

I guess it really started last Thursday. Two other women joined me for yoga and prayer Thursday morning and we had a great time just working out and being immersed in God’s word together. And then afterwards we sat and talked for a while and just shared little bits of our lives with each other. Both of those women are people who I am just beginning to really get to know and it was so great to just get to know them a little better.

Later in the day on Thursday I meet with a few other women for coffee and some time to just catch up and reconnect with one another. It was actually a bit of an awkward time for me, but mostly because I felt so honored again to be with each of these amazing women and felt self conscious and even maybe ashamed of myself in comparison to them (I have been thinking about self consciousness and social gatherings and some stuff like that and will probably share more about this later).

Then on Friday I drove to Berlin with seven other women for a weekend of shopping, cooking, eating, talking, laughing, resting and exploring together. It was an AMAZING weekend for me. I was really nervous about it going into it, but it was so much better than I could ever have imagined. I often feel awkward and uncomfortable and self conscious in social gatherings and I expected to have a weekend of feeling that way, but I didn’t. I felt so free this weekend, and remarkably comfortable with these wonderful and beautiful women. Berlin itself just has a free and creative and open spirit about it and I think that rubbed off on me (I’ll be writing more about the atmosphere in Berlin soon as well). Plus I went into the weekend with a genuine desire to not focus on my own junk and hang ups and self conscious fears about what others will think about me and instead to just be willing to listen and accept each step of the trip as being exactly what God had for me at that moment – and the result was really beautiful. I felt like I could really be present and myself this weekend, sure there were still some awkward moments for me, but over all I felt like I could allow myself to relax and let myself be known and also allow myself to freely get to know others. I feel so blessed to have been with each of the women who went and so grateful that each of them came.

Then today I went out for drinks with a few girl friends here. I had felt icky all day and I didn’t want to go, but when I quieted myself and really listened I felt like I was suppose to go. So I loaded up on anti-histamines (natural one’s, of course) and headed down town. I am SO glad I did! I had such a wonderful time talking with these friends and hearing their insights and about their lives. And I felt completely comfortable to share my life and insights with them tonight too.

Each of these experiences where so different and the women involved were mixed and varied. But, as I walked home tonight I felt such overwhelming gratitude and thanksgiving for each of these experiences and for each of the beautiful women I got to spend time with this week. There is something powerful and beautiful about women coming together and walking through life with each other.

Thank you, Lord, for my girl friends and the beautiful women you have brought into my life, here in Prague and over the past many years. Lord, thank you for always giving me girl friends to talk and laugh with and learn from. And thank you for providing that for me here in Prague as well.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman

Photograph by Beth Stedman