I have always been really hard to buy gifts for. I like simple things, but they are specific things. This fact means I don’t love to get things that don’t fit the exact need I have because then I just have more things. (Have I lost you yet?) This used to drive my very loving and very doting husband crazy because on top of me being a challenge to buy for, he hates shopping – and gift giving is a struggle. So our first years of marriage were a hysterical dance of us trying to be excited about giving and receiving weird things. (We have now settled into the “Let’s just adventure together” gift territory) So when I say today that I have received an amazing gift by getting to know a fantastic group of women, you now know the weight behind what those words mean for me. And I want to share that gift with you!
I feel like someone with a very exciting secret who gets to open the door and make a special introduction; a little like a reverse surprise party! I am walking through the front door to a living room full of my community; my surprise tucked neatly behind me, for you! This week is about introducing you to some amazing Velvet Ashes people, all visible to you in some way by their writing, posts or responses to your questions. I get to introduce you, however, to those whose fingerprints are all over this community but whose faces are less visible – our Velvet Ashes Board. Kim Nease, Jayna Gallagher, Kimberly Todd, and Lisa Zeshonski (See those faces on our “Meet the Team” page!) are the women who have linked arms in their love for YOU! They follow Paul’s example in 1 Corinthians 4:1 of being servants of Christ.
In fact, when I knew I was going to get to write this post, the first thought that popped into my head was “Oh of course! They are our under rowers!” Paul’s use of that word so describes this group of women that I need you to understand what the literal translation of that word “servant” (actually translated under rower) meant to Paul. The under rowers were the rows of slaves in the galley of the Roman war ships of his day. The captain couldn’t rely on the unpredictable winds; he relied on the obedience of the under rowers to steer the ship. They were servants for life. They sat linked together. They focused only on the beat of their master.
Somewhere behind all of the great blogs, the themes planned with exactly you in mind, each detail of our amazing Velvet Ashes Retreat, the books we join together in, and the community we find through our Connection Groups, there sits a row of women. They are mothers and wives and friends and aunts. They will give you a toothbrush if you forget yours (I may know this from personal experience). They have had feet on foreign soil and they have felt the longing for relationship as they expanded the Kingdom. Their passion for making Jesus famous didn’t change when their continent did. They now work behind the scenes to empower you, an army on the front lines. They are looking toward the Master and not being tossed by the waves.
They are guiding this organization to be a blessing to you. They encourage us. They pray for us. They dream with us. So to my imaginary living room full of you my community, I introduce to you, these amazing women. What a blessing. What a kindness from our Father. What a gift.
Would you take a moment to say thanks to these women who make up our board of directors?