Torrential rain falling on the afternoon of Saturday, March 17th did not prevent more than 350 women from attending the Orange County Church of Christ women’s event. The theme, “Extraordinary” transformed a very ordinary day into an extraordinary experience for all who attended. I walked into the lobby of the Orange County Church of Christ and immediately felt the buzz of excitement. From that first moment in the lobby to the last raffle prize that ended the event, I was filled with gratitude that I was able to join so many women in an inspirational and life-changing event.
After I picked up my name tag and started making my way down the hallway to submit my cupcakes in the cupcake contest, I saw tables lined up where vendors displayed beautiful clothes, studded jeans, elegant jewelry, colorful purses, hand-made cards and children’s hair pins. The cupcake holding area was filled with trays of delicately decorated cupcakes from 30 participants. A stand-up picture frame displayed on the front table showed a picture of the four cupcake judges. Several women were busy tagging the cupcakes and preparing them for the judges as well as sorting them for servers to deliver to the tables for dessert.
I walked into the main auditorium and was handed a schedule by my friend’s husband who was dressed in white and black and serving as a waiter along with twenty other men from our congregation. The room was filled with elegantly decorated tables. Each table sat eight women and displayed a beautiful glass vase as a center piece filled with spring flowers surrounded by white tulle and crystal gems. Each table was adorned with a pastel colored table cloth, white china, a tray of delicious scones, a tray of vegetables, a tray of finger sandwiches and eight white tea cups to fill with coffee or tea and to take home as a keepsake of our wonderful day.
The event opened with a prayer by Candice Roditi and Erica Parker performing the song “Legacy”. Next in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day, Deb Eskew, dressed as a sparkly green Leprechaun, led us in a table game. Then the room was filled with laughter and conversation as we enjoyed our delicious food and drink. The large screen above the stage displayed the theme of the event… a women standing in a beautiful meadow wearing a white dress and her arms stretched up to the sky as she held a scarf that blew in the wind and in large print the word “Extraordinary”.
Our guest speaker, Terry Adame from San Diego, gave a heart-felt message from Mark chapter 5 in the Bible about the woman who was subject to bleeding for twelve years and spent all she had for a cure to no avail. This woman had the courage and faith to touch Jesus even though the crowd pressed around him because she believed Jesus was her answer. Terry asked, “Are you willing to reach out to Jesus in faith like this women?” She reminded us how much God loves us and that ordinary women become extraordinary when we push through our fears and reach out to Jesus as this women did.
After the message, Elise Collier played guitar and sang a beautiful song called “High Above”. Elise’s song was followed by the personal sharing of Carla Hasting and Gianina Shay who each shared a brief but very powerful personal testimony with vulnerable and open hearts. I believe all of us in the room felt a connection to their struggles and victories and inspired us to know that we have hope, mercy, grace and forgiveness with Jesus.
The stage served as the setting of a women’s afternoon book club. Six very uninhibited women performed a hilarious skit of women who were trying very hard to keep up an image as they discussed the contents of the book they were reading. Their honorary musical guest confronted them gently about their lack of depth and honesty and the skit ended in a soulful song by four of the women in the skit accompanied by a live band.
Finally the highly anticipated cupcake winners were announced by Danielle Sweeney. First the names of women who were awarded the top ten cupcakes were announced and asked to stand up. Then the creators of the top three cupcakes were called to the stage and Mani Farshi, the chief chef of Frostings cupcakes in Lake Forest, tasted the three cupcakes and gave her critique. Mani then announced the 1st Place winner, Ana Vescovi, who was awarded with a one night stay in a beach front hotel in Laguna.
As the servers brought out our cupcakes as our dessert, each table had the opportunity discuss the message. The event ended with Angela Hines picking the names of twenty women who received a raffle prize from local and national vendors. As I exited the lobby and walked out into the cold, cloudy day, I was filled with hope, resolve and love for God. As I drove home, the sun was shining in my heart.
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