Monday, July 21, 2008

Back to Reality - Refreshed!

Women of Faith was super. I'm home now. Back to reality. Today's laundry is almost finished. (I should be folding rather than blogging, but I have confidence the clothes will still be waiting for me when I'm finished here.) Been to the grocery store. Need to return a phone call. Hold on!

OK. That's done.

Yes - I'm back to reality. For fifty-seven hours I did not have to answer to anyone else or be concerned with anything other than finding my way to the hotel, the arena, and my seat. And it was wonderful. I am refreshed.

*satisfied sigh*

I laughed a lot over the weekend. I heard godly wisdom coming from the mouths of wonderful speakers. And the music? Was fabulous!
But more than the fine presentations and catchy songs, I was taken by the women who stood upon that platform. Specifically, I was drawn to God who has done amazing things in the lives of these women.
First, there was Pasty Clairmont: a hilariously funny woman who speaks God's Truth clearly and effectively, and with authority - even though she was a high school drop-out, she doesn't have any seminary degrees, and she is a recovering agoraphobic who knows what it means to be paralyzed by fear. In spite of her "lack of credentials" and her past fear of open spaces, this child of God takes the stage and proclaims His Word. Patsy's testimony of what God has done in her intensifies the godly things that come out of her mouth.
Second, there was Nicole C. Mullen. I had heard her music on the radio before, and liked it. And music is very big with me. But forget the music for just a moment. I love Nicole C. Mullen's heart! She has a mentoring program in which she reaches out to kids. She's teaching them to dance and sing. She's teaching them the Word of God and is helping these kids grow in love and knowledge of the Lord. Six of them were with her at the conference this weekend and I simply loved seeing these kids dancing and singing their hearts out for God.
Then there was Ayiesha Woods. Again - I've heard her music before. I've liked it. Yes, I enjoyed hearing it this weekend and singing along. But what struck me about Ayiesha wasn't the music. It was the relationship I could see between her and her "little brother." (That's what she called him, though he was not smaller.) Just by watching them sing and dance and worship God together, it was clear Donald and Ayiesha love the Lord and love each other.

As I observed these women (and Donald!) I was reminded God can do amazing things. Our credentials don't matter. Pasty reminded me that God does extraordinary things through ordinary people. And this is a lesson with which I constantly need to be reminded. When I start thinking, Who am I to be speaking or writing? Who am I to think I have anything of worth to offer anyone? God assures me who I am doesn't matter. He is the only One who matters. And He is Enough.
Nicole reminded me how fun it is to dance. As I considered what a cool Mom she must be (She has several kids!) my commitment to loving my kids right where they are - and my desire to build into them - was renewed. God reminded me, though I am not perfect and not as "cool," He will use me to bless and train up my children.
And Ayiesha and Donald gave me hope for my own kids. They have me praying that God will grow Elizabeth, Joshua, and Matthew in their love for one another.

Yep. It was a great weekend. God was present and active - loving me, and every other woman in that arena.
And now? I'm ready to tackle the laundry. *grin*

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JanMary said...

Sounds wonderful, inspiring and uplifting - all in a weekend!

Thanks for sharing some of it with us.

Coach J said...

Sounds like an awesome time!
I needed to be reminded of the fact that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary people. I don't have the credentials to be teaching, yet God has me doing just that. HE will get me where He wants me to be. All I have to do is be willing to do what He wants me to do.

LK said...

It's amazing what a little time off from mothering can do for your soul :-) Welcome back!

Becoming Me said...

How wonderful that your weekend was so great. And thank you for your recent encouragement. You mentor me in a way and it is a blessing.

Rachel said...

I am so thankful for events like that where we can find refreshment! I will be going to LPM in San Antonio at the end of August. After this month at camp, I'll sure need it. Hearing your update sure made me wish it was this weekend!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Welcome home! Sounds like a fantasic weekend. I love Nicole C. Mullen's music as well. So glad you were able to be refreshed! And yeah...the laundry will always be there. :)

Happyhome said...

So glad you were able to get away and be refreshed! I love to hear the ladies from WOF share their hearts. Patsy is my her spunk and her amazing testimony.

Thank you for sharing today. I needed to hear that my God is enough. I'm speaking this weekend and struggling with lots of those insecurities, but I KNOW it is Him who matters and He will speak through me to the ladies hearts. Thanks for posting just what I needed to hear!



Jodi said...

Hi Karen,

I just found your blog, and just wanted to say "hi." I'm a mom of three, also. I launched a MOPS group and was its Coordinator at one point in my life, but experienced a ministry burnout and left the church we were attending. Now two of my kids are teenagers and one is seven. I have a blog that is my little hobby, I am excited to start reading yours! :)


freetofly said...

Welcome home! I love every one of those people you mentioned. That sounds like such a refreshing weekend! I have been thinking alot about how God works thru us all to bless and strengthen each other. Tony Snow's death somehow got me thinking about this, reading your post reminds me again. It makes me want to make sure that I am really, truly awake and alert to the opportunities before me.

Great thoughts, Karen!

Amanda said...

Ahhh... you are wise to tackle the laundry before it takes over your home... not that that has happened to me or anything...he he

Sounds like a wonderful time!!! I can't wait for my first Women of Faith. Until then, I shall enjoy hearing about it from you!

God bless-