I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a surprise, but I sure didn't know about the plans.
At the annual Hillside Community Church Women's Retreat in May, I looked forward to a relaxing, uplifting time of fellowship with friends. The women at Hillside are among Stanton SoCal's biggest supporters, and I am thankful for all the ladies who have contributed so much to our ministry from its beginning.
As usual for a Hillside retreat, the entire group of women was split into three smaller groups to rotate through workshop sessions. I made a fun friendship bracelet with girlfriends in one workshop, sculpted a tiny woman out of clay in the next, and walked excitedly toward the last session ready to be uplifted and encouraged.
When I arrived in the lodge room, I saw glue guns set up on tables alongside boxes filled with every doo-dad imaginable. Buttons, bows, rhinestones - the works. I'm not the buttons and bows kind of gal, so I was a little nervous about working with those items for whatever project was planned.
Then I was handed a little white lace headband, the stretchy kind that fit snugly on newborn baby girls's sweet heads. We were decorating headbands for babies. Specifically, headbands for Stanton babies.
In one fell swoop, I went from nervousness to over-the-moon excitement. I could barely focus on my own work; I was so thrilled to watch a roomful of women tenderly cutting and gluing and praying over sweet little lace headbands that would bless new mothers and their baby girls.
The finished product was slipped over a white card printed with the familiar and beautiful excerpt from Psalm 139:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
A basket of completed headbands now sits in the Stanton Mobile, ready to be emptied by Stanton clients who need a tangible reminder of how precious their sweet baby girl is in the eyes of the Creator. What an honor it was to be a part of that project, and I can't wait until the day when I hand the first beribboned and bejeweled headband to a new mama with the words, "your baby was wonderfully made!"
Thank you, Hillside ladies, for yet another example of love and service to women in our community.