“The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal.” C.S. Lewis
Two nights ago, I started an activity I hope continues on for many, many years… a Girls Night Out group.
Our son, Andy, and his wife, Megan, have lived in two places in their two years of marriage: Alexandria, Virginia, and Denver, Colorado. In both cities, Megan has been part of a “Girls Night Out.” In Virginia, she was welcomed into a group her sister was already a part of. That time together with women meant so much to Megan, she started her own GNO when she and Andy moved to Denver. I wanted to start my own.
To help me out, Megan shared all the information she could about her group — and it was exactly what I wanted: women, food and talking — lots and lots of talking with no agenda. I love Bible studies. I’m even a part of a women’s “share” group, that challenges each other by answering questions that really make us reflect on who we are and how God works in our lives. Great women. Great times. But in addition to Bible studies and share groups, I wanted something — different.
Most activities we engage in have a purpose. In my last post, I talked about the importance of having a plan for all things including raising children. But as great as plans and purposes are, I wanted something completely unscripted in my life.
I shared the idea with my good friend, Jen Seger. She was on board before I got all the words out of my mouth! Jen and her husband are currently foster parents to three children under the age of two. A night out with women? Adult conversation for a few hours? It sounded good to her. So we started planning our first “Girls Night Out.” Because Jen and I are from different generations, we chose to invite women my age, her age and maybe somewhere in between. So the praying and the inviting began.
You know, sometimes it’s hard to get a woman to commit to something. Adding one more thing to our plate is not something we tend to get excited about. So, imagine my surprise at the excitement women responded with! An evening of 8 women, good food, talking? They. Were. In! Apparently, intentionally connecting with other women is an unmet need for many of us.
Tuesday night, six of the eight women were at my house. We ate bacon-wrapped stuffed dates around my kitchen counter. Next up was pork roast, roasted potatoes, a spinach salad, and Julie’s amazing mozzarella stuffed bread around the dining room table. We finished the evening (food wise, anyway) with a cheese and fruit tray. And through all of it, we talked and laughed. And laughed. And talked. And listened. And learned more about each other.
We now know how each of us met our husbands. (Every one of those stories was grand.) We know why Julie calls her husband, “Toby,” even though his name is Greg. We know why Belinda’s parents moved to Florida to work, and then retired to Lafayette, Indiana, instead of the other way around. We learned that Kathy actually knows how to age Gouda cheese. (The rest of us just know how to eat it.) We can’t wait to see Angie’s new house when they move into it soon. And all left understanding which of Jen’s foster kids are actually siblings and which aren’t.
And me? Well, I have a few tears in my eyes as I write this thinking of the laughter around the table that night.
This table of ours has been a wonderful place for the family to gather over the years. The after dinner conversations are some of my most precious memories. But Andy and Megan live in Denver, and Caitlyn is in Portland, Oregon. Our dining room table doesn’t see as many dinners and conversations as it used to.
But Tuesday night, laughter filled the room. And my heart spilled over with joy.
Thank you, dear women of the Girls Night Out. See you next month at Julie’s!
P.S. Thank you, Jen, for taking pictures — including the new header for my blog!