** Pictures in the post below! **
Life has officially returned to normal. I’ve cleaned up the kitchen, pulled out all the card-making supplies, and am currently crying over the reveal of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Welcome to my Sunday night life. :)
Most of the weekend was not normal. It did not include cooking or cleaning. But it did include an amazing time of learning, laughing, crying, and having fun.
My friend Marie and I went to Fort Wayne to the Extraordinary Women conference. I’d never been to a women’s conference before, but I was looking forward to this one. I was excited about the lineup of speakers, which included Chonda Pierce and Karen Kingsbury.
I have to tell you, interesting things happen when that much estrogen converges upon one location. The conference started Friday evening and then began again early Saturday morning and continued through most of the day. Marie and I went early Saturday to stand in line waiting for the doors to open, because we’d scoped out some good near-the-exit-with-extra-leg-room seats we hoped to land. We weren’t too far back from the doors, and we had our tickets out and ready for viewing because let me just tell you what happens when doors open for women.
Have you ever seen video clips of that bridal store that has the major sale once or twice a year? The running…the trampling…the insanity? It was like that. No orderly lines where you have your ticket checked by an usher as you enter a door. You had to hold that thing up for it to be a blur in his line of vision as you went streaming by in a dead run for the stairs.
Well. At least if you were the other women. Marie and I hustled until we were free from the trampling dangers and then we walked normally. After all, it wasn’t even eight in the morning yet. On a Saturday.
But aside from that, it was a wonderful weekend. It’s a good day when you can kick back in a stadium seat with an overpriced order of nachos and hear four big-name speakers and two concerts.
My favorite speaker of the weekend ended up being Angela Thomas. I’d heard of her before, but I didn’t really know much about her. (After she spoke, Marie and I visited her table, bought a book, and had the chance to meet her. Shortly after that, I stared at my newly acquired and autographed book and said to Marie, “I kind of think I already own this book now that I think about it.” Sure enough, I do! Woops!) Here’s what I loved about Angela: she was the real deal.
She spoke honestly about the good and bad of her life. She shared what she’s learned and what she’s still struggling to figure out. She invited all of us to stand and represent what God had done in our lives, and she giggled with joy at each answer to prayer. She invited us to make a place at the altar and then she walked among those who did, hugging them and praying over them.
Angela left me with more than two copies of the same book (such a Bekah thing to do). She left me with much to think about regarding how I love others. She left me challenged to be more concerned with being real in front of others and less concerned about how they might think of me. (And if you know me well, you know that is a BIG challenge.)
The things I learned (there were more…but I don’t want you to have to read a novel) were well worth nearly getting trampled at 7:30 in the morning. They were worth having my water bottle confiscated. They were worth overpriced concession food. If you ever have the chance to go, you should take it. It’s a huge blessing!
3 hours ago