Granky's girls getaway weekend
August 4, 2018
"Granky. Now that's a funny word."
I'm sure that's what you're all thinking reading the title of this blog post. I have to admit, I realize it sounds like cranky, or spanky, or hanky panky. So before I get any further, you'll need me to explain what, or rather, WHO Granky is.
Granky was my great grandmother. Her real name was Zola Glenn Bristow, but when my Daddy was just a wee little tot, he couldn't say Grandma. It came out, "Granky"- and that just stuck. Though I have few memories of her, I know Granky was an incredible woman of God without an ounce of fear in her bones. She trusted the Lord with all her might, and loved people with the kind of love only Jesus can bestow in you. She left a powerful legacy and handprint on all the lives who knew her and generations who didn't have the opportunity. Granky is the reason these women I'm about to write about, are all here.
Every year all the women descendants of Granky get together for a getaway weekend. We call it... the "Granky's Girls Getaway Weekend."
There are usually about 15-20 of us who travel from various places in Texas, and as far as California to come to this incredible reuinion. This is a time for all of us to reconnect, catch up on life, escape and renew. The weekend assures we stay in one others lives even though distance and life make it hard to see each other on a regular basis. We covet the time together and always keep our heritage at the center of the weekend.
Whoever hosts, chooses the the location, and comes up with all the activities with the weekends budget. The other ladies who come don't know a thing that's going to happen and everything is a complete surprise. This year was the 11th anniversary of our girls weekend and it was our side of the family's turn to host. So my Grammy, aunt Faith, sister Ellie, and aunt Jen all rallied together all year to come up with unique ways to make it different and memorable for each of the ladies.
We all had our own contributions and little touches on the weekend. My aunt cooked all the delicious food and planned all the meals and hors d'oeuvres, my sister did calligraphy signs, designed the shirts we do each year, and embossed wine tumblers for each of the women as a gift. My aunt Jen planned all the signature drinks, worked her butt off preparing, keeping us on track, sending out emails and making sure all the big and small details would come together perfectly. My Grammy prayed over the weekend, the weather, and offered her advice, help and encouragement; but really allowed us to bring to life whatever it was we were dreaming.
This part of the story is where this blog post comes in. This is the part where my contribution to the weekend is presented.
Now before you just go look through the photos and think "wow, great. It's just a fancy dinner setting." Let me tell you something. The Lord had his hand on this garden dinner party more than I can really ever express through words. BUT... I'm going to try and use words to convey the feeling and presence of God we all felt because of this "little ole garden party."
Let me start out by saying, though I had a part in this, and that it was my idea... I fully believe I was just used as a vessel to facilitate something far greater than what I even had in mind in my wildest dreams. I knew I wanted a beautiful dinner for Saturday night, something out of a magazine. I wanted each woman to feel like this table was set for them and to be in awe of the beauty that surrounded them. That's about the gist of what I had in mind.
Friday came and went with all it's fun, and then Saturday arrived and I was so giddy with excitement for it to finally be my turn to show the ladies how I helped and planned the weekend with what was in store for that evening! I hired Jessica Ormond Events and she showed up while the girls were all in the house getting ready, and she began setting up in secret in the front yard. As she set up, my aunts prepared the hors d'oeuvres and drinks we would be having for cocktail hour before dinner. Once all the women in our family were ready and came downstairs, we sat around and began chatting and catching up on life as we snacked away. Meanwhile, I'm anxious with anticipation to reveal to them what was happening next.
As soon as my associate arrived (she was photographing for me so I could be present during the moments, and edit later lol) she texted me that she was done photographing details and was ready for us.
I stood up at the table and announced we were ready for the next event of the evening and if everyone could take a bathroom break and meet at the front door. As they all scattered to do this before the big reveal, I suddenly began to feel the Lord impress words on my heart that I was to speak before I opened the door and lead them out. All of the sudden nerves consumed me. I hadn't planned to say anything, I was just going to make sure we were all together and open the door and say "surprise! This is where we will be dining tonight." Or something simple like that.
But the Lord had other plans.
As soon as everyone was done refilling drinks, and going to the bathroom we all came to the front door.
I had my hand on the door knob, about to ignore what the spirit had asked me to say and walk right out... but I stopped, caught my breath, turned around, and said "Excuse me ladies...really quick before we go out there... I feel like I have something on my heart." Everyone quieted down and looked at me as I nervously opened my mouth and just began to speak what God laid on my heart.
"For awhile no one understood why I wanted to do this, and why it was so important to me for this to be part of our weekend.
But I think there is something to be said about being a woman and our need to see beauty.
We are wired to want to behold something beautiful... It's how God made us as women.
And so with that being said...
my heart for you tonight is that you would feel loved. That you would feel seen... And that you would feel cherished."
And I opened the door.
(Press play... because music changes everything.)
After I said those words, and opened the door, and lead them out... there wasn't a dry eye in the yard. (As you can see)
I was crying, my aunts were crying, cousins and their moms were crying. It was probably the most estrogen filled moment of my life (hahaha) but seriously--- it was more than I could have hoped for.
I lead them to the table and told them that each place setting had a flower crown and their name written on a place card where they were to sit. Each woman put on their flower crowns and everyone transformed not only into looking like the daughters of the King they are, but really feeling and believing it. - For some, maybe for the first time.
I still to this day, remember in detail the first time I saw my name written at a place setting. And after that day, something in me changed and I have always wanted every woman to experience what that feels like. Something so intentionally for them.
As a woman, there is just something unexplainable about seeing your name written on something; and something beautiful at that. I think it does something to our soul when we see our names written beautifully at a table that I just cannot describe. It is like God whispers to your heart that you belong, you are His, and He has a place for you at His table for you to feel loved, seen & cherished. He calls you by name and says, "I long for relationship with you."
Even after writing this I don't think I can really ever explain what the Holy Spirit came and did that night for me and these precious women in my family.
What I can say is this:
There is a King who desires to have you sit at His table and call you His. There is a beauty He wants to behold... and it's not strategically coordinated flowers, or strung cafe lights, or even mountains or sunsets... It's you.
He wants your heart and he wants to romance, love and heal you in ways you didn't think could happen for a broken & wounded woman like you.
You are a beauty to behold. You are loved. You are seen. & You are cherished.
Oh Daughter, I hope you know that.
Special thanks to Jessica for bringing my vision for this to life with her incredible talent.