I had promised the ladies of our church the best retreat ever, and I was determined to deliver.
My bulletin insert was the most unique ever. I had a friend of mine-that designer, Jean Le Pierre, hand paint a princess with a rose in her teeth onto two hundred pieces of silk. We burnt the edges and then sewed them onto soft leather, with this printed underneath:
She stood upon the balcony,
a rose between her teeth.
She threw him down the rose
and he threw her back her teeth.
to represent the theme of the weekend- we are all God’s princesses who need to get our teeth into the Word. There was a tear-off paper on the back asking for a rally round of assistance with the work that needed to be done.
Everyone wanted to help. My coup de grace was getting Sylvia Nutmeg to do all of the catering for free. Once she knew she could get away from her six screaming children for three days with a first-rate justification, she was all for it. I must admit, I would have felt the same way. I’ve met her little darlings…from a distance.
We were to meet at the Sledge Hammer Farm for dinner between six and seven. I made sure it was at least a one hour drive from the church so that no silly moms would be running home to check on their hapless husbands. Honestly, you’d think they would understand that the world did not fall apart when the men ruled everything.
Once everyone had eaten we moved on to the meeting room, where I graciously acknowledged my taste in picking Delattia Chia to do the room deco. She had arranged a duo blend of gold and purple chairs and tables. A chic box, with her own modern art painted on all sides, was on each table. She said they represented the six sides of a woman. Personally, I can’t see how the modern art corresponded to anything, but all of the women oohed and aaahed satisfactorily and her payment was complete.
Once they had been seated with their non-fat double shot caramel macchiatos, our speaker began. She was so smooth! Every word, every slide shown, every song played swept around the room like leaves whirling in an autumn breeze. A few ladies came up afterward to thank me for such an excellent start to our weekend. Needless to say, I slept well that night, once I had removed the chocolate strawberries from my down pillow.
It was during the next morning’s talk that things began to disintegrate. Mona, one of our lesser known ladies, arrived in the middle of it, distracting my listening ladies. Worse still, hardly was she seated when she began to cry. I hauled her out of her seat instantaneously as she was causing a few heads to turn, but when we got to the kitchen she howled!! A few of the table leaders rushed in. Maria gave her one of her buxomly hugs, and held her head…in there…for quite some time. It made me most uncomfortable. Joan, our resident counselor, began to give her some advice on choosing the best times to display emotion. Then Elaine joined in the blubbering as Mona narrated her tale of woe.
I was counting on the speaker, Angelina Glory, to keep the rest of the group occupied, but inexplicably, the microphone went out on her with a POP, along with all of the other electrical equipment we had. She stormed into the kitchen, told me what she thought of my preparation skills, and left! In her wake she left 200 women all gossiping in the tiny kitchen about Mona’s personal problems, and coming up with possibilities as to what Elaine’s problems might be if they were in any way similar.
They had just started on their thoughts on how to fix it all when I retreated, and here I am, hiding on my bed under the blanket. It’s just Jesus and me in here. He’s telling me that I did everything right, I just forgot the most important thing-I never prayed.
It feels like I’ve been sleeping on a water mattress for a long time and someone’s let the water out. Now my apartment is flooded and I have to clean up the mess.
Funny thing is, even though it’s pitch black in here, I could swear I saw a glint in Jesus’ eye when I told him about the electricity going out….
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