It was in the fall of last year, 2017, that the Lord placed a desire in my heart to do something new. Something different. I have been a realtor for over 25 years and still love selling real estate, but something was missing. I had spoken with my kids about helping me think of different options. They all had good ideas but nothing settled in my spirit. Until one day when Elizabeth, my sweet daughter-in-law, and I were sitting in her bedroom with my new grandson, Taft, and she told me that she would love to see me start hosting ladies in my home to give them a place to create. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, I received them like manna from heaven. The funny thing is that Elizabeth told me that she saw the gift of hospitality in me. One in which I had never seen in myself. I knew I loved to host parties, but I had not actually thought about it being a gifting. But the idea of being able to give ladies a place to gather while allowing them to create from a place from within themselves, now that was a good idea! Thank you Elizabeth. I am truly in my happy place.
So, I dedicate this first blog post to Elizabeth and in honor of the Lord for gifting me with a heart for hosting. I hope you enjoy this new outlet for me as I blog about each one of these Gatherings.
Be blessed, Jill
Last Thursday night's French Macaron Gatherings class was such a heartwarming event for me. It start at 4:00 p.m. when I saw Lauren Bowie driving into my drive way, truck loaded down with blenders, bowls, pans, parchment paper, almond flour, food color, and lord have mercy, boxes and boxes of freshly baked macarons just waiting for ladies to fill them with their favorite creamy filling. From the moment she arrived, we got busy organizing stations where each lady would work. And girls, we didn't stop talking for one second. Catching up and going over what each of us thought the night might look like. I think it is safe to say that neither of us even got close to imagining how over-the-top the night would turn out. So ladies, thank you for signing up for the French Macaron class.
I hope you had as much fun as I did!
Let me introduce you to my friend, Lauren Bowie. Lauren and I first met at the Beagle Bagel about three years ago. I was walking out the door from finishing my lunch and she noticed me from a picture from a blog post that I used to write named "Linen Bright and Clean" about the Bride of Christ. When she introduced herself to me, I immediately fell in love with her spirit and decided right then she and I would be friends for life. What I did not know then was that Lauren, too, had a blog where she wrote about the pain of the passing of her new born baby, Wills. The first time I saw it posted on Facebook and read it, my heart broke and my love grew for her even deeper. Her words were smothered in love for the Lord and her desire for the understanding of her pain. I started following Lauren on all the social media outlets and watched her post pics of these super gorgeous French Macarons that she had baked. She explained to us this past Thursday night that baking was her outlet during the entire first year after her heart was shattered. She would turn up her worship music, put on her apron, and would get lost in her kitchen. Her testimony brought tears to all our eyes. We all fell in love with you on Thursday evening, Lauren. Thank you for teaching us your techniques to make the perfect French Macarons. And thank you for sharing your heart with us. We shall hold it deep within our hearts.
And a special thank you to my precious friend, Laurel Donahoo, for taking pics with her awesome camera and capturing the Spirit that was among us that night. Laurel encouraged me to start blogging again ... so Laurel, here goes it girl! You can find Laurel's blog @ www.thehiveblog.com.
And also, if it weren't for Laurel, I would have totally misused the word "macaron" ... like who knew that "macaroon and macaron" meant two totally different things? A macaroon (with two o's) is a coconut based cookie where a macaron (one o) is a meringue based cookie. And the one we made on Thursday night was the French Macaron, a meringue based melt-in-your-mouth cookie. So again, thank you Laurel. I love you.
Thanks to all who attended this class.
And let me take this opportunity to invite you to my next Gatherings. The name of this class will be Gatherings | Dirt & Danish.
On Saturday morning, March 3rd from 10:00 until Noon, Master Gardener, Bee Keeper, and Madison County Supervisor, Sheila Jones, will be in my backyard teaching us all about preparing our flower beds for maximum growth for our spring flowers and explaining the importance of bees for the growing process. The cost of this class is $45 and it will include danish and coffee for breakfast, a bucket of Sheila's special concoction, a packet of seeds from Floret Flower Farms in Washington State, and a pair of groovy garden gloves. This class is filling up fast so don't wait another minute to register on www.gatherings.design.
Ladies, thank you for giving me this opportunity. My heart feels like it could explode ... I am truly blessed.
Contact Jill if you are interested in a private Gatherings | Girl's Night Out, Shower, Birthday Bash or Office Party