Recently I joined a new weekly Women’s Bible Study at the Union Gospel Mission. About six ladies come to celebrate God and unite as His daughters. We read Scripture, sing a new Scripture song, pray and tell a bit about our lives. During my first visit, one lady praised God for her new denim skirt, as her old one no longer fit her. She had prayed, and while shuffling through used skirts on a table at the Mission there was one that fit her. Praise God!

The following meeting, we decorated sunflower cupcakes to enjoy with our tea. One member, Susan, talked about how chickadees are attracted to sunflowers. She shared how these small birds are survivors. She brought all of us into her story by asking how we feed ourselves. We discussed the importance of learning to love and take care of ourselves first, so we can then be adaptable to those we meet. We need to care for our bodies by eating good food and taking time to nourish our minds by such things as reading, singing, journaling and writing poetry.

Our next study focused on our hearts as gardens. In my garden heart, what must stay and what must go? How about the rocks in my garden? Some rocks I put there; others perhaps are placed by someone else. Perhaps I need to ask God to forgive those who dumped their rocks in my garden. Once the large and small rocks are gone from my garden, what do I want to plant? This will be our next Bible lesson.

As women, we all need each other. Our Bible study group is building relationships with ladies we might not meet under usual circumstances. Reach out, ladies—and plant flowers, not rocks!

Barbara Olson is a member of the Duluth Church.