After several months of hard work, a tiny bit of frustration, and several AWESOME new friendships, the SMBC Gifted event went on without a hitch. Okay. Well, a couple of hitches, but I have heard that we are the only ones who know about them so they are no big deal. :)
The night was such a blessing. We had between 150 and 200 women gathered together for the event. Women with different backgrounds, from different families, from different church bodies, and on different paths in their lives with Christ. It was an awesome picture of outreach and of the body of Christ.
We began the evening with demonstrations and homemade desserts from ladies in the church. Each demonstration came with step by step instructions on how to do the demo at home using inexpensive supplies or supplies you may have lying around your house. Our demonstrations included snowman wreaths, cake pops, ornament wreaths, and peppermint/ hershey kisses trees. Each dessert included a recipe card to try the recipe at home. Several of the wonderful and incredible girls in my Sunday School class volunteered to bake for the event. We had cowgirl cookies, tiger butter, chocolate cake, pound cake, saltine taffee, Reese's peanut butter cookies and cookie dough cupcakes. Yum- I am wishing I had leftovers of pretty much all of it...
Next, we gather in the conference center for the main event. Taryn and Kristi were our speakers for the night. Both ladies spoke from God's Word and talked about how we as women as are gifted not only in crafts and in tangible things we can do, but are gifted to share the news of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection with others and gifted to be some part of the Proverbs 31 woman where we can glorify God through our servanthood and love. I knew both ladies would do a good job, but I was blessed by the Truth they presented and was amazed at their calmness in speaking openly and with love to such a large group of women.
Though she was not a speaker, amazing Beth transitioned into the next part of the evening with a reminder of the opportunities we have to glorify God with how we buy gifts for Christmas. Our event had women from all different age groups selling their crafts. Some were selling international crafts to help believers in impoverished countries, some were using their money to go on a mission trip, some were using the money to pay off debt to become a career missionary, some were stay at home moms saving money to help support their home, and some were ladies who hope to one day be stay at home moms saving money to be better prepared for that day. These women all had one thing in common- they hoped to glorify God with the time they spent preparing and selling, they hoped to bless other women by offering their "gifts", and they hoped to glorify God with the money they earned during the evening. Beth's reminder was to simply be considerate of where you spend your money during the holidays and be mindful of the opportunities we have to give personal gifts that don't just come from a department store, but have thought and heart behind them.
The final event of the evening was shopping! We spent the last 2 hours browsing the tables and tables of wonderful crafts. There were women selling hairbows, knitted items, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, bags, stationary, painted items, children's clothing, picture frames... it was great.
Check out a few websites/ blogs from the event!
Freeset- Wonderful bags for a great cause!
World Crafts- Handmade crafts from all over the world. Wow.. there is so much.
Knit So Simple- Knitted scarves, hats, everything. She is so talented.
A Pig and Paintbrush- Amazing handpainted items.
Adrienne's Custom Canvas- More great handpainted items.
There were SO many more, but because I had a table as well, I didn't get to shop and grab cards as I would have liked.
I left the evening encouraged. God is consistently faithful. He will not give us more than we can handle. And He created the body of Christ to be just that, a body. This event taught me about follow-through and organization and so many other things that will help me in life. But the things I most valued were the sweet women I met along the way and the relationships I was able to build. I was shown once again the value of meeting with women to gain a better view of the world around us and to have a better understanding of who God is. God is faithful indeed.
Have a blessed evening my friends!