Friday was a really good day for me. I encountered a few frustrations with work and traffic, but overall all day went really well. By 2 PM, I was leaving my last assignment and had “Shake” by Mercy Me blasting in the speakers. I was in an incredible mood
Then I was almost in a multi car pile up. Jesus had to have taken the wheel because there is no explanation other than divine intervention that we did not have a massive accident on 79 South. A vehicle up ahead was smoking from the exhaust. The vehicles in front of me slammed on brakes, one went off on the left side of the road. I swerved to avoid clipping him while hitting my brakes to avoid the other vehicles suddenly stopped. The highway was busy. There was a truck at my right toward the back of the Jeep. No one made contact. Highway 79 in the afternoon is crowded and people fly passed you. It is a miracle and trust me I praised God a little louder once I stopped shaking.
I was invited to a “Ladies Night Out” with various ladies from my church. A good friend of mine and another lady I am becoming close too were going so I figured I would at least go to dinner. They were bowling after and that is an embarrassing event for a sad, sad bowler like me. I had my plan and I was headed out. I left my house a little late, one again playing “Shake” by Mercy Me. (That is the equivalent of “Happy” in Christian music for me.) I got to the restaurant and quickly fell in step with my friend. We grabbed our food and joined the other ladies. (Sidebar: what restaurant runs out of chicken by 6PM on a Friday night??? Really?) We talked a little, some talked a lot. Most of these ladies I had only seen in passing at church. We did not “know” each other. I was a little more quiet than usual. Not sure if it comes from my Father or from being an officer, I tend to hang back and observe till I am comfortable with people. Then WATCH OUT…I talk to you pretty much like I write my blog. No holds barred and straight from the hip. (I did not get quite than casual tonight…it won’t be long.)
Before I knew it we were at the bowling alley. (So much for avoiding rented shoes.) I have not been bowling in years, at least 10 I would guess, maybe more. My score was pathetic, but I had more fun than I have had in a very long time. I was secretly hoping for a “Mom’s Night Out” moment with crazy music and a dance cam…but the bowling ball cartoon was pretty entertaining too. We laughed with and at each other. (Who doesn’t laugh at people when they bowl?) We shared stories and each let our guard down a bit…some much more than others. We sat around and talked for about an hour after we finished bowling. Then a few of us went for late night dessert at a local coffee and dessert shop. It was a great night.
You are wondering why I feel the need to tell you about girls night out and my happy, silly near-miss day. It took me pleasantly by surprise. I was expecting a hectic crazy week and it has been relatively mild. Today was a breeze, even with having to switch out equipment for work. The near catastrophe on the highway reminded me just how close God is and how he looks out for us.
The cherry on my day was the evening with the ladies…something I almost ditched going too. In the past, girls night was babysitting the person who drinks too much and makes bad decisions, lots of gossip and typically a movie or event that my Mother would not necessarily approve of. (Yes, I am 41 and still worried I’ll do something that Mom won’t approve of. Don’t we all resort to a Mom standard at some point.) Don’t get me wrong, my closest friends and I have hung out at one of our houses, ate junk food and watched movies…but going out always seemed to invite an element of drama. Not tonight. These were ladies from my church. They relaxed, let their hair down and shared elements of their lives with one another. It was relaxing, enjoyable and I can’t wait to do it again. (My friend had to take a Benadryl so we still had to watch out for someone driving, but not like I did in the past.)
We talked about real things. Our husbands, children, family and friends were all parts of conversation. Some of the stories were embarrassing and silly. Still other stories were very deep and vulnerable. We were bonding in rented shoes with some of the worst bowling scores I have ever seen.
Some people think if they do not gossip, they have nothing to talk about. Others believe if they don’t drink and party, they cannot have fun. As some one who has had girls night out on both sides of the coin, let me tell you – this night was one of the best. I am so glad I went. As you grow spiritually, you have to step out of your comfort zone. You need to socialize with others from your church. You need to try some different things. I promise if you engage you will have fun. Fun you don’t have to hide from others or worry about backlash on social media. After all, what happens at the bowling alley, stays at the bowling alley. (Don’t post pictures of me bowling…no one needs to see that.)