“Ring in the Season” was the theme for this year’s annual holiday dinner at First Baptist Amarillo, and I was so blessed to have been the speaker! My talk included a challenge to usher in the Christmas season with three key components. But it was the last 10 words of my encouragement to these 225 Texas women that may have been the most motivating of all.
Texas Women Got Creativity
Texas women love to gather! For every occasion, and they do know how to do it up as big. On this occasion, the Christmas creativity was nothing short of awe-inspiring inspiration, especially to a non-decorator like me.
Some of the women paired up to help each other design a table. Maybe one brought her grandmother’s dishes, while the other took care of the centerpiece and name cards.
I went around and took pictures of every table, my friends. Since I’ll be serving Christmas dinner this year at our apartment in Uptown Dallas, I plan to use some of these ideas myself.
Then, as a party gift, the planning committee gave each guest a copy of my book, The Big Hunker Down. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see them in the chairs and used as part of each table’s decor.
But I’ll try.
It was SOOOOOOOOOO amazing! I felt unbelievably honored – and blessed.
Life, Love and Legacy
When I was thinking and praying about what God might want these women to hear, I began to ask myself a question.
What would I want to hear if I were in their shoes?
If it were me who was seated at one of these beautiful tables, what challenge would inspire me?
As they’re preparing to ring in the Christmas season and the year ahead, was there something a bit new and worthy of their focus? A sort of message that every single woman needed to hear?
That’s when I felt like God was leading me to spur this large group of Texas women into a season of three specific ideas.
Life, love and legacy.
Ring in the Season with More Adventure
Here at Texas Over Fifty, I’m always encouraging people to live with a spirit of intentional adventure.
Because I believe that looking for the adventure in our everyday lives is what keeps you and me focused on ourselves a little, and on every other good thing in life a lot.
Philippians 4:8 says it like this:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So, the first way I encouraged these beautiful Texas women to ring in the season included being more intentional about everyday adventure.
I even gave them a few ideas for December adventures to do right in their own town.
Ring in the Season with Greater Love
For a few years, my own mother was a single mom. These two women in the picture below are friends who have experienced that same challenge.
The one on the right is my daughter, who totally rocks her single motherhood.
But, there’s no doubt that single moms need a lot of support. Especially if they don’t have a family nearby to help.
And, of course, in one way or another, we all need support.
So, what was the second way I encouraged the women at this dinner to ring in the season?
By supporting each other with a greater, more engaged measure of love.
I told some stories and encouraged these Texas women to drill down deep, discover their own spiritual gifts, then become known for them. Make it easy for a woman who needs your help to find you.
Don’t be everywhere doing everything. Just serve other women with your individual gifts and in the ways you genuinely love to help.
Ring in the Season with a Focus on Legacy
If My Little Mama were still here, she would have been in this photo!
But, this is my mom’s best friend, Yvonda, with me and her own daughter. We have a lot of shared history, and I’m grateful for her influence in my life.
After I shared with the women a few ways they could make sure they’re leaving a spiritual legacy, Yvonda told me a sweet story about one way she does exactly that.
Yvonda takes and picks up her grandson from youth group on Wednesday nights. On the drive home, she always asks him what the message was about and what scriptures were included. Apparently, one night her grandson had a friend with him. During the usual conversation, this friend was pretty impressed with Yvonda’s ability to accurately quote a few of the passages the boys had discussed at church.
Later, her grandson said his friend was amazed that Grandma Yvonda had memorized the whole Bible! LOL
Well, Yvonda has definitely not memorized the entire Bible, but she’s for sure a cathedral-thinking Grandma, building a strong legacy that will live well past her days on this earth.
In addition, Yvonda continues to fan into flame the spiritual legacy My Little Mama left behind in me.
The Last 10 Motivating Words
So, how do you wrap up a Christmas challenge to 225 Texas women?
You quote a powerfully motivating song by Steven Curtis Chapman, that’s how!
Like this one:
Saddle up your horses,
We’ve got a trail to blaze!
Really, it all comes down to those 10 words, doesn’t it? No matter our age or our circumstances, we have an adventurous life ahead.
And for legacy-builders like us, there’s always a trail to blaze.
What a Wonderful Night
Not only do Texas women know how to gather, they know how to make lasting memories.
I will never forget the love and excitement that existed through the smiles and hugs of these 225 Texas women. It was a wonderful night!
While I hope to have inspired them with the words and stories God gave me, I may have received the bigger blessing just from being in their midst.
Encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure,
PS: Have you ever been to a dinner where each table was decorated by a different hostess?
PSS: Here’s a video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing The Great Adventure. I love that it’s just him and his guitar. Well, also a full orchestra and a humongous choir. 🙂
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Mary Anne MacMorranDecember 5, 2021 at 6:41 pm
I am so proud of you for your tenacity in encouraging fearless adventure through your blog and speaking engagements. I wish you a bright future!
Brenda McDearmonDecember 12, 2021 at 8:59 pm
Thank you, Mary Anne! I appreciate your encouragement so much.