Posted by: simplyelizabeth | March 12, 2012

The Pilgrimage

This past Friday women from our church went on our yearly trip to Ladies Unity Night in Terre Haute.  It’s an important tradition. Then we went to Outback Steakhouse – it’s an equally important tradition.

We heard Sheila Walsh.  I know that she has been a speaker for quite sometime. I’m familiar enough with her that I knew she would be good.  She was better than that.  Her message was her story.  It was the story of a woman who seemed to have it all together for Jesus on the outside, but was falling apart on the inside.  It was a story that was all hers, yet all ours too.  How many of us walk around acting as if we are OK, better than OK, but are mortally wounded on the inside?  Putting up a facade may fool a lot of people but it doesn’t fool our Heavenly Father one bit. 

She shared her story with humor so we could all relate.  I love humor.  It’s much better to laugh than cry – and better for you too!  I’m sure there were many women that related to what she was saying.  I know I did. 

I could really feel God speaking to me Friday.  The week had been crazy for me. (As if that is an unusual feeling. Ha!)  My hubby left Wednesday to go to training and would return just in time for me to go out with the girls Friday.  This happens twice a year.  I normally don’t sweat it.  I really kind of look at it as a break.  I love my hubby with all my heart, but it’s nice to just go with the flow once in a while and not have to worry about anyone else.  You know what I mean?  You just pack the kids up and do your thing.  It seemed as if this was going to be like the previous times he went to training.  Then AWANA  happened.  AWANA is our normal Wednesday night routine.  This night, routine would be broken.  A very sweet woman, whom I really do like, brought 4 puppies to show and the kids went wild. She shared that the puppies were free to anyone that may want them. My two older boys were in this group and I knew it was a recipe for disaster.  The kids and I want a dog and my hubby doesn’t.  This is a point he is not willing to bend on the boys know it.  There were tears welling up in all our eyes. I know my boys hearts desire a dog so badly and while your husband is gone is not the time to bring a dog home.  We got through AWANA, but then when we got home, they let it all hang out.  To say it was ugly is an understatement.  The oldest has a very passionate personality and decided he wished his dad were in training on Mars – it would be more difficult for him to get back, thus we could get a dog.  There were tears, gnashing of teeth, tantrums and I believe I heard some cries of anguish.  Finally, after an hour of emotional upheaval and discussing why life wasn’t fair, there was sleep. 

The next morning I overslept.  Usually my hubby gets the boys up and gets their breakfast, but as previously stated, he was not there to do so.  Even if I’d gotten up on time, it would have been a rushed morning.  I got the little darlins up and would you believe that their feelings were as fresh first thing in the morning as they had been the night before?  Well, they were.  I had two that decided they were going to boycott breakfast if they couldn’t have a dog.  One of them caved and fixed PopTarts.  The other, I will assume, was extremely hungry come lunch time.  Things seemed to have calmed down when I picked them up Thursday night.  Thank Goodness! 

Thursday night was busy too.  I took my middle son to get his eyes checked.  There seems to be an epidemic in the 3rd grade of kids needing glasses.  Sure enough, he needed a slight correction for distance.  Later that evening he said, “Aren’t you glad you took me to get my eye checked?” I said yes.  I asked why he was so excited about glasses and this was his reply.  “Well, I kind of felt lonely because I’m the only one in the family without glasses.  Glasses are kind of like a family tradition.” 

Really?  Our claim to fame for family traditions is going to be that we all have glasses?  Possibly I should rethink our holidays and birthdays and what we do for other special occasions.  On second thought, we do have Pizza Fridays.  Surely that will redeem our family traditions. Yes?  No?  I’ll take it under advisement.

Then we get to Friday – The Pilgrimage – Ladies Unity Night.  And Outback!  I ran in and out with my boys to give them to the hubby and told him I was happy he was back.  I ran to church and climbed in a van with my church sisters and we were off.  On the way there I shared my sad story about the boys and dog.  Once we got there I was telling one of my friends about how my mom thinks I say yes to too many things and I knew what she meant because I have a “yes” coming up that I forgot about.  When I agreed, it was 2 months out and I thought, “What could possibly come up between now and then?” Ha!  We were all having girl talk.

Then came Sheila.  As I said before, God spoke to me.  I know I can be one who hides behind a smile.  Who can’t?  And sometimes you do just have to suck it up.  But then God spoke to me more directly – Sheila getting a puppy as a girl was an important part of her story.  Aw, c’mon!  I feel as if it’s out of my hands Lord.  And then she touched on how we sometimes say yes to things we then wish we’d said no to.  You’re killing me God.  She also talked about different things we hide behind.  She said for some it may be drugs, for some it’s keeping up appearances and for some food.  I immediately thought about what I was going to have at Outback and how it was going to make me feel.  Yum!  Then I thought, dang it!  God is really hounding me tonight.  I took it under advisement and had a petite filet.  I have said before, in jest, that food is my Golden Calf.  Well, maybe I should take it more seriously. 

It really was a great night and I could certainly feel the Spirit in that place.  The journey was rocky, but so worth it.  Thank you God for respite with friends, sweet sisters in Christ.

See you soon friends!

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth




  1. Awww….I’m really sorry I encouraged Deanna to bring the puppies to church. I thought it would be fun to see the kids all go crazy over them, and I admit that after looking at their pictures on facebook, I was dying to cuddle one myself. I really never expected that I would get sobbing and tears from Abigail that we didn’t bring one home, or that anyone else would either. 😦 I hope you can all get a puppy someday. We can pray that God will soften Bill’s heart, and mine, too. 🙂 I’m glad you got to come on Friday, though I wish I could have seen you more!

    • I don’t blame you, well anymore. LOL Sometimes things sound like a really good idea, and then they’re not. I think I spent too much on the puppies because Shelia was Great! She was a much needed salve to a wounded week – and the puppies weren’t even the half of it. 🙂

  2. I have to say, although Liane wanted to take the little puppy she was holding home, we did not have the same experience afterwards when I told her no. Although, we do already have a little dog at home, who she promptly neglected as soon as we got home….=)

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