To this day, neither of us can remember how it began. Did I comment on her blog first or did she comment on mine? Either way, we consider it a divine-online connection. Susan Stilwell lives in Virginia and I, in Alabama.
Susan would laugh at me later, because I would not tell her a lot about myself. I guess I was afraid she would break into my house with her Visa card and steal my good shoes! We still laugh about it. Soon I opened up and shared from my heart.
God was up to something and the edges of the bigger picture have still not been fully seen.
Before long we were talking about our common places in life. Things like aging parents, empty nests and aching joints of middle age… A friendship made in heaven.
The online conversations began to grow more frequent as we made plans to open our hearts, and a facebook page, to those who were also empty nesters and looking for a community online.
Years before you could never convince me that friendship and ministry could ever happen online.
But God knew.
Words like Online Ministry, and Networking became common phrases around our house.
We Google searched for a community to join whose focus was women 50 years of age and older, but could not find what we envisioned in our emails with each other.
But God knew the plans He had for us.
It took several attempts, and three years, for us to get a vision for what God was calling us to do – An Online Ministry for women who were 45 years of age and up.
We decided to create the online community we were looking to join. We soon realized God was calling us, these two He introduced online, to reach out and minister to women using technology instead of teacakes. We would not be ministering in church space, but in cyberspace.
We found that women over the age of fifty were more technologically savvy than we realized. They no longer drove the car pool, or lead a Girl Scout troop, and were now looking for a new place to give their time and talents.
When children leave home for territory of their own, there is a time that women pine away, longing for the community they once knew on the ball field and at dance practice – A place to sit and talk.
When parents become the children, it is difficult to adjust. Our parents have needs we never imagined of those who were once our first understanding of God. We all could use the understanding of someone who has some similar experiences – a gathering of other women who encourage each other through difficult decisions.
Susan and I knew this was the ministry God was calling us to create.
It was not long before a third, divine-online, introduction was made. A woman named Bonnie Wallace who was in the same place in life with the same passion for women’s ministry.
The three of us talked for a year before God opened the doors for, The Consilium – A Collective Of Wisdom And Grace to be created. Technology had provided a way to reach women in their second phase of life. We were thrilled to see women from all over the world who were lonely, or struggling or simply looking for an online community.
Technology is an amazing tool we have to connect us to the world. In the wrong hands it can do much harm.
Technology in the care of those with a pure heart, can become a way to extend the hands of Christ further than our own small community.
So tell me. How does Technology benefit your walk with Christ?
Linking today with The High Calling.
Photo credit -Tim Miller for The High Calling
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
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Praising the Lord for bringing you three together and for His ministry through you… Though very intimidated by technology and social media, the Lord has opened a door that no man can shut… One Woman at a Time… the Lord continues to amaze me and love me..
I’m so very thankful for you and all you do for and with the women in The Consilium, Janet. You are a gift!
Lovely post. I have made a couple of great friends through blogging, friends who I feel safe in sharing my heart with. I do believe we older women can have a great ministry encouraging each other and then in turn encouraging younger women. Great story of God’s faithfulness.
Betty, It is so nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by to visit.
I completely agree with you. We older women are encouragers not just for each other but for the younger women as well.
A most beautiful post & space which the three of you have created! May God continue to bless each of you, using each of you as He knows best & grow the community – all for His glory! Blessings!
What a beautiful blessing, Joanne! I receive it! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit.
It is such a beautiful thing you guys are doing. I love how the story developed and is unfolding. And I love all of you!!
Love you too Mary. I’m so very thankful for the contributions you have made to this group. Love you so much,Susta!
Technology has blessed my life with some friends I wouldn’t have otherwise. So grateful for those connections. I’m glad I linked up near you at The High Calling. 🙂
Kristin, I’m so glad you are my neighbor at the High Calling. It is one of my favorite places! And I’m so glad you stopped by to visit! Come again!
This group has been a blessing to many, including me.
Love that you are in this group with us, Sharon. You add so very much! Hugs!
What a blessing! So thrilled to know you in person Diane AND to be a part in the ministry for those of us in this season if life! Love you!
Love you too Tammy, My joyful friend!
Thank you for this post!
To answer your question: I have a friend from college that lives 1500 miles away. We try to Skype and encourage one another in our walks with Christ.
I have been blogging for 7 months and have found that it has been a great experience for me. I use it as a platform to encourage others and remind us that the seemingly ordinary moments really are not ordinary. I look forward to reading more on this site. Again, thank you!
Hi Cindi, It’s so nice to meet you! I’m glad you are loving Blogging. No all in our group are writers but we all have something to share. Stop by and visit sometime!
You three are special awesome sauce on life!! This just makes my newly 45-year-old-but-not-even-close-to-an-empty-nest heart so, so happy! Smooches to you all. Love the online world that brought each of you into my life!
Amy we have several who still have children at home. It is never too early to place for the next phase of life!
It’s so cool to read about the backstory on this ministry. I didn’t realize you three were in on this together, and had so much history together. Just beautiful! What a great fit for our theme this week.
Thank you Jennifer. We are constantly amazed at what God is doing!
Hi Diane, I am your neighbour at Beloved Brews! It was wonderful to read your history of the Consilium. God is indeed doing a great work and saving the best wine for last! Glad to be drinking it with you!
Whoops! Your neighbor at 3-D Lessons for Life!
I love to hear the stories of how God orchestrated divine appointments in peoples lives. It is amazing to me how we often get to witness the choreography of grace played out in our lives over and over, just because He is good and loves us so much that He brings others into our lives to minister to and with us. Your ministry is a much needed and wonderful gift.
Thank you Dawn for stopping by to visit. God is Good!
Thank you for this Gift! I am honored to be a part of your blog!