I don’t do enough of either. I need to. I should. But I don’t. I can be lazy and indulgent at times and convince myself that it is “rest” but alas it is not. I’m learning the difference.
It’s been quiet around here….the blog….not my real life that is.
I’ve been out-of-town and then upon arriving home everything with all my tiny people and big man has unraveled. They’ve had bouts with fevers and flu and head colds. So as my humans sleep I’m sitting in silence and reflecting on the past couple of weeks.
A few weeks ago God impressed on my heart the desire to go to Nashville for the Lifeway Women’s Forum. It was an “impossible” trip in my eyes, yet somehow God opened up every door to make it happen! I cannot even begin to explain how everything lined up for me to make it there! Still gives me chills. Once the trip was booked…..well then all hell broke loose. Quite literally.
I expected to receive some “spiritual opposition” before the trip….but I didn’t anticipate such a “series of unfortunate events.” Medical expenses, emergency doctor visits, unexpected family expenses, sick kids, my first ever panic attack, stress upon stress. But through it all God taught me some amazing lessons. In every struggle, (and I mean EVERY STRUGGLE because friends, I struggled!!!!!) God showed Himself so faithful, so present, and ever so tender to me.
So let me tell you how wonderfully amazing this conference was!
1- I got to meet my Lifeway editor. She likely has the COOLEST job in the world. I’m such a nerd! But it was amazing to get to meet someone face to face after you’ve spent nearly a year communicating and sharing your life via email. I imagine those same feelings of excitement will be what we experience in heaven when we meet everyone face to face. It was such a huge blessing to my life.
2- General sessions were phenomenal! I got to listen to meet ladies like Annie Downs, Nicki Koziarz, Chris Adams, Jennie Allen, and many more.
3- Breakout groups were refreshing and encouraging to my soul. I received affirmation on things our church is doing well and saw areas in which we can improve.
4- I got to catch up and reconnect face to face with some very dear former pastors of mine. Their lives have truly impacted mine to the core. I can say with confidence I am the woman, wife, and mother I am today because of their impact on my spiritual walk many years ago.
5- I got some sweet time with many ladies that just refreshed my heart. As a teenager I never would have imagined how much I would come to love, depend and cherish my friendships with other women. It is so true, we are such a strong community when we love each other and build each other up rather than tear one another down. Getting to share time with ladies I minister with at home and with women I know from online ministry was wonderful.
Now the good stuff- photos! I know that’s what you’re really waiting for. 🙂
Let’s begin with this beauty….I haven’t flown a plane in 6 years! So when I needed a carry on suitcase I scored this sweet thing at Marshall’s! Leggings, Converse and a pink suitcase to make this trip begin with a bang! (Friends, it’s the little things that make a big difference sometimes.)
We arrived a day early into Nashville and spent lunch with a long time sweet friend, and visited the Grand Ole Opry for a quick photo op!
General sessions with Chris Adams, the director of Lifeway Women. She is an amazing woman!
I got to trade business cards with Annie Downs….she has likely chucked mine already, but I can say I traded business cards with her!!! She complimented my kimono y’all! I was geeking out! She was a hysterical speaker!
Speaking of business cards, a friend from my box insisted I get some to network with ladies while I was there. Who knows what will come of it, but I had them made! My girl Heather rocked the design!!! Seriously, I got a ton of compliments on them. Now if only the people will contact me, read my site, etc!
Also got to meet and chat with Kelly Minter! Not only does the girl write wonderful Bible studies, she sings and plays music!!!!
I got to meet up with Jodi and her friend Bobi Ann and learn the ins and outs of book publishing! I can not thank these girls enough for their encouragement!
The ladies that I got to spend the week with 🙂
Y’all, the whole event was amazing! And as we flew back home and I realized that I watched the sun rise in TN, set in GA and saw the moon glow in FL all in one day, I couldn’t help but think how GREAT and MIGHTY is the God of this universe. The God who makes the sun rise and fall is the same God who calls me his daughter, His precious one.