At the Hickory Ridge Church of Christ it has been a long standing tradition for the women of the congregation to have monthly devotionals. I have been so blessed over the last few years by meeting with this special group of women. When I came home from college I began attending and I have learned so much from the short time spent among this circle of ladies.
My mom tells stories of times in her life as a young wife and mother when the guidance and advice of the wiser women in this group, many of whom have already left this world, helped her deal with problems and struggles she faced. While the number of ladies that are attending the monthly meetings are down, those that are still participating should know that they are an encouragement to others whether they think so, or not. The devotionals and prayers are no doubt uplifting, but sometimes just the friendly conversation and general concern for each other makes the most difference when you're having a bad day or need a little cheering up.
We also have secret "Prayer Sisters", which is another long time tradition. I think they said last night that they have been doing it for almost 30 years! Throughout the year each lady has a "sister" in the congregation they pray for and remember on special occasions. At the Christmas party we try to guess who our prayer sister is and exchange gifts.
The highlight of the annual Christmas Party is the "Dirty Santa" ornament exchange . For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, you're in the minority. Email me about it and I'll explain it to you! These sweet Christian women you see pictured can get a little aggressive when it comes down to someone taking their ornament away! We had such a good time, as always. Teasing and aggravating, laughing and giggling like a bunch of little girls. We finally wrapped the party up around 9pm.
Since I have moved to Jonesboro, I will not be participating in the prayer sister program this year. But, I hope to occasionally drop in on their monthly devotionals. I will miss the prayer sister program and getting presents for special occasions, but I will miss even more the special ladies that I have come to know so well and love so dearly!!