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Yesterday I attended the funeral of a woman I had never met in person.  Valerie was introduced to me by a mutual friend, because it seemed we had similar stories (at the time).  She had lost her husband just 10 years prior and was left with two young children.  Although Valerie and I only spoke a few times over messenger, it was obvious that her love for loving on others was a gift from God. 

I sat in the very back of the church.

I’m not sure why, but it just felt like the place for me to sit. 

I don’t know her children, or her surviving family members – but I do know that her legacy will love on in the hearts of so many people. 

I enjoyed hearing stories of this amazing woman who I just ‘met’, but honestly, I am really feeling a deep sadness for her children.  I wept for them yesterday and had a really hard time turning off the tears.  (it is what it is these days)

That was the third funeral I have attended this year.  The first of course being Joe’s.  The second was for the husband of a sweet friend of mine, and then a funeral for a woman I didn’t know. 

Weird.  I cannot remember the last funeral I went to before this year. 

In God’s divine timing, I left the funeral and headed straight to ladies night at our church.  All our church campuses had one, but they were all on different nights and ours just happened to be last night. 

The theme: BREATH.

Take a breath.

Allow God’s breath to fill you.

Relax, sit back, and allow yourself breath.


I was unsure on this theme and how it would translate into our evening, but as it unfolded, I couldn’t help but smile at God’s ever perfect timing.

I landed inside the sanctuary frazzled from the funeral, puffy and red eyed from crying, and honestly exhausted.  My mom joined me, along with several ladies from my current and previous small groups.  Seeing other women you have such a close relationship with just does something magical for the soul.  These ladies volunteered at Joe’s funeral, provided us with meal after meal and all the love directly after his passing, and have continually prayed for our family.  What a blessing each of them are in my life. 

The church had a gorgeous charcuterie board set out for all of us.  I have never seen anything like it!  It must have been 30’ long and it fed all of us with ease.  They coupled that with the most delicious juices and flavored waters.  To have a church that pours into you outside of the Sunday service is a real blessing, and this evening was just what my heart needed. 

We were sectioned off into smaller groups and it just so happens that Andrew’s girlfriend’s mom was in our group.  ‘Just so happens’.  Andrew has been drawing closer to a young lady and as a mom I just want to surround my kids in a cocoon.  On the heels of another date with her, I was able to sit with her mom and see just how this young lady has been raised and the faith that has fed into her life.  It sets a momma heart at ease to know my son has picked such a special young lady to invest his time in. 

We were poured into by the female staff of the church, and the teachings they offered were spot on.  Gentle and loving reminders to slow down, embrace where we are, take time for ourselves and breathe. 

I absolutely loved chatting with the ladies in my group.  We were prompted to share three things:

  1. What is one thing you’re celebrating today?
  2. What is one thing you’re carrying with you today?
  3. What is the thing God is speaking to you about today?

I think hearing these things shared was a great reminder that everyone is going through something, but that it’s OK to celebrate in the midst of all of that too.  It’s ok to say, I’m having a rough moment, but hey this is a reason to smile and when we slow down long enough to catch our breath, we can hear God’s voice as well. 

I left the evening refreshed, and with a renewed heart of just how precious every soul is, how we all need to learn to love ourselves a little more, and to love on others in our lives too.  You never know what someone is dealing with, so be kind.  Treasure each day because it could be the day God decides to call you home.  Love, live and find breath in moments.