I prefer the phrase “Life Plan for 2011” instead of “New Year’s Resolution.” I think it sounds more grown up, more mature, more “in stone.”

Anyway, one item I had listed was to “attend a learning opportunity, at least monthly, with a girlfriend with whom I can laugh my head off.” Being the overachiever I can’t seem to shake, January has been filled with several of these learning opportunities.

CPC with Kate, Diane, Lauren, Lisa, and Pat (Nate was there, a cool dude, indeed) was learning-overload and filled my brain and heart that still has me reeling from early January. I returned with a burden for a more intentional presence of a conference-wide priority for reclaiming the professionalism of those who serve in Children’s & Family Ministry. Momentum is beginning and the stage is prayerfully being set . . . aka: I’m talking about it all the time with whomever will listen. A path was set before me at a conference called QUEST 6 years ago that changed my life. I want to help prepare a similar path for those who are coming up behind me. Will post more about this another day.

Then, I had the honor of sharing a luncheon with the North Ga Christian Educator’s Fellowship at the UMC Children’s Home. The lovely Rev Ellen Shepherd led a teaching on the ancient paths of self care. She read from a poem penned by Lynn Ungar (Blessing the Bread) . . . “And you – what of your rushed and useful life? Imagine setting it all down – papers, plans, appointments, everything – leaving only an note: ‘Gone to the fields to be lovely. Be back when I’m through blooming.'”

This is a great way to translate my life plan for 2011 – I’m going to the fields to be lovely this year. But the fields are much more plush when I can share them with girlfriends who make me laugh my head off. As a dear one shared at the precious bridal luncheon she and her friends prepared for my baby girl just last July, “there are bridesmaids who walk down the aisle with you, then there are bridesmaids who walk down the path of life with you.”

Yep, I’ll be sharing 2011 with the bridesmaids of my life and we’ll be going to the fields to be lovely.  Got your bridesmaids of life?  Invite them to go to the fields to be lovely with you.