My friend Jenny and I decided to try something new today-- a simultaneous blog post. So we wrote at the same time about our weekend at the Omaha Women of Faith conference, and this post will read much like a conversation where Jenny is writing in black and I am writing in red. (We did this in a program called Google Docs if you're wondering.)
Okay. Are you ready? I think we should start by talking about Friday Day with Marcus and Sheila.
Great idea! I have the memory of a fruit fly at the moment so you’ll have to help me remember...
Marcus talked about our strengths. Something we look forward to, enjoy doing, and feel good about after...
Yes! the main thing I got out of his talk was that in his research of happy women, he discovered that they really focus on what they like to do, not trying to “fix themselves” all the time, but finding a passion and going for it, full speed ahead.Yes. I remember first thinking that my strength is napping and on line shopping. I look forward to it, enjoy it and feel good after. Hahaha. I also had a brief glance that my strengths are also public speaking and writing -- of course that’s my assessment, not the people who hear and read me! Well I would agree that you are an incredible public speaker!!! I all but plagiarized your gmas funeral speech :) Hahaha Okay, only a little bit, haha. I did get lots of compliments, so THANK YOU! :) You do have a talent! DId you have any thoughts as to your strengths during that talk? I don’t know....I really feel a passion for helping others through bringing meals, encouraging notes, things like that. Not sure how I can use that as a strength, but I feel that is an area where I can serve and that I enjoy look forward to and feel good after. Yes you do have that as a strength. That’s very true. You provided me with all those things after Dekker was born... you were (are) HUGE in my life! Also, do you remember him sharing about how he and his family took their friends in to live with them? What an incredible ministry. Yes! That was huge! It reminded me of our discussion at Small Group last night talking about really living out our convictions, not just saying we believe something, but literally doing something to change the world with our view. Yes.
Okay, Sheila Walsh also talked Friday about truly trusting God. Her last session in particular was really touching! Do you remember her talking about how we can trust God even when awful things have happened. How he was angry when Lazarus died, how he, too, wept.
Yes, I did get a lot out of that. I’ve heard that scripture before and never realized what a huge meaning behind “Jesus Wept” there was. It makes me feel that I can be closer to God when I’m so angry or upset because he’s crying with me too. Yes, sometimes I get picture in my mind of an angry God who wanted to bring us pain or something totally ridiculous. He is compassionate. He hates it when we’re upset. He knows what it’s like! It makes me think back over the past several years and beyond about some of the painful things I’ve gone through, things I never really realized that God was right there beside me, weeping with me, wanting me to lean on him. Totally touching! So comforting!!! I believe this was also when the term “ugly cry” was coined in the weekend. Haha, there were a lot of almost “ugly cry” moments over the weekend. Maybe Jesus “ugly cries” too, we’ll have to ask him when we get to Heaven! :)
We checked into our hotel during the “Break”. Quite a break, by the way. Good Grief. 3:30-7:00. No kidding. Good thing we had something to do and somewhere to go. Those poor people who had to go sit and wait for the session to start. Makes my anxiety high just thinking about them, lol. Good last session, though. Kind of random little thoughts from several speakers and a great concert by Mary Mary!!! Yes, I was SO CONFUSED when all the speakers kept getting up and giving their “commercial” for the next day. Not to mention the “commercials” for the sponsors who helped “keep out ticket prices down”, thank you Advocare and Grand Canyon University. Don’t even get me started! I felt like I paid for a movie and had to watch commercials. Yes, no kidding. I know I need to lose a few pounds and go back for my Masters in something, but don’t need to be reminded of it at a Women of Faith event. Whew! At least we had some good comic relief for the rest of the weekend. Seriously, do you remember when we were “resting” in the hotel coming up with “You might need Advocare if... “ statements? You might need Advocare if you had to hop into your jeans this morning. You might need Advocare if you had to lay down to zip your pants this morning. You might need Advocare if you tried on three pairs of pants today to find ones you could comfortably sit in all day! You might need Advocare if you had to change pants before you went out to eat so you didn’t have to “unbutton” during the last session. Ha, yes! I was falling over in laughter. .All weekend long I felt like it was on the forefront of my mind. (What a distraction) Kind of tainted the weekend in a small way, but l did get a ton out of all the other speakers.
I liked the speaker. Didn’t the single lady speak? Do you mean Lisa Harper? Yes. She spoke briefly, just a 4 minute commercial. She was amazing, though. I wish we could have heard more from her. I thought that she and Sheila Walsh really “brought the Word.” I thought the other speakers were really inspiring, but I was looking for more Biblical teaching. I agree, they really used scripture a lot which is what I need the most of. Plus they were hilarious. This is kind of ungodly to say, but I just couldn’t get over Karen James botox or face-lift or whatever the heck was going on with her.........she had a really touching story but I didn’t feel like it really “inspired me”, it was more of a dramatic, news-worthy presentation of her husband’s death. I honestly didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Well, I cried. Me too...but I laughed also, probably at inappropriate times. But I was really distracted by her facial expressions. She lived through one of my biggest fears and is quite strong after the matter, and I learned something from that. Yes, after the event I looked up some of her interviews on YouTube with Katie Couric and the smile never left her face, even in the midst of her pain. A tiny part of that could have been from surgery (or shock), but I think she really did try to look up and see the positive from her experience. Incredible, really. My friend told me that 20% of people who attempt that mountain die. Wow. Part of the reason I’m glad Kirk doesn’t climb mountains!
We should also tell our combined 10 readers that we went to Maggie Moo’s for ice cream Friday night. Bliss.
But the sign on the door!!! I think the disgruntled airline steward who flipped out a few weeks ago must have inspired others to do the same! “Closing at 10:45 due to employees walking out”. Hmmmm... Haha yes, you were so funny in there talking about the airline and how this is starting a “trend.” Good ice-cream though. Great night back at the hotel and how fun are Jackie and Cheryl? Seriously, so much fun and such sweet ladies. Yes! Two great ladies to share a room with! I didn’t know Cheryl as well before this weekend and she is one of the nicest women I’ve met in a long time! She inspires me to hold my tongue because she just doesn’t have a sarcastic thing to say to anyone! And Jackie is hilarious! Gotta love her!
And they went running Saturday morning. Bless their hearts. I reasoned that if we would have gone we never would have all gotten through the shower. So it was a favor, really, to them. HA! Yes, that was my reason, too. To not go running. And to enjoy the heck out of that cinnamon roll and bowl full of sugared cereal. Amen to continental breakfast! Amen to free nights at the Holiday Inn. Dear biscuits and gravy, YOU ROCK. Dear Cinnamon Roll-- there is no way I can stop at one, even if I complain about my weight all the time. Somehow I think you are “special” and an “exception” to my weight problems!!!
Well we talked a little about Karen James from Saturday. Anything else you want to “re-cap” from Saturday? Gosh I’m sure there is....I really appreciated Lisa Harper’s message. I really got a kick out of her three loves: Chocolate, reading, and single men between 45 and 55 who don’t live with their mama’s and are gainfully employed. Ha, yes, gotta love an honest Christian woman. I think I would like her book. I bought off Amazon Marcus Buckingham’s book and Sheila Walsh’s book. Total of $20 by the way, with shipping. That’s 1/2 off “the concourse” price. I might have to borrow those! I wanted Lisa Harper’s book, also, or any of her books, she has a lot out. Also on Saturday was the Natalie Grant concert-- excellent. So excellent, I didn’t know what she sang but recognized most of her songs and loved them. I think I would pay to see her in concert. Her sweet twins with their hot pink ear muffs raising their hands in praise at age 3. PRECIOUS! And the sweet guest appearance by Selah-- who honestly talked about her weight struggles in the midst of “Advocare” arena. Selah was awesome!!! I may have almost had an ugly cry during their performance. Who knew? I didn’t. I didn’t even know them. I didn’t either, but once they started singing I knew all their songs. Yes, they talked about child loss (ugly cry again) before the last song-- yes, hahaha, huge ugly cry! It’s okay though. Jesus wept too, you know :) I think that was the one time all weekend I really let the crying come. True that!
Okay, let’s play High/Low about Women of Faith. You go first. Your high and your low and would you go back again?
My high was several things, Lisa Harper’s message, all 3 concerts (Mary Mary rocked the house with “Shackles”, made me want to grab my ankles and shake my booty!) I’m sitting here laughing so loud remembering you saying that at the concert. I remember joking that my college life readied me for that concert! (Which I know doesn’t make sense b/c my “college life” was super tame in the world of dancing.)
My low was probably the Advocare advertisements during the weekend, that could have definitely been left out. I also was probably tired and cranky by the last speaker of the day on Saturday, but that was kind of a low for me, only because I was irritated with her 40 minute message which could have been condensed to about 5 minutes TOPS. I agree. She ended with “I want you all to know that God loves you.” That was about the only mention of God. Seriously. At that moment I prayed that someday I would be on the WOF tour b/c I might have what it takes if they are putting her on stage. Hahaha that was mean. I’m sure she’s a nice woman. We’re all nice women but if I’m going to pay $89 for a ticket (thank you Advocare for keeping ticket prices down), I want to get the most bang for my buck and they should have either reviewed her message before she went out or should have found someone else....or Lisa Harper could have spoken again. But you’re right, I’m sure she’s a nice woman. :)
I would say I will probably go back someday. Probably not next year, but in a few years. Most of the speakers and music were amazing, if I could pick and choose what I wanted to hear, I would go back next year, otherwise I may try to hit up the Beth Moore event instead. It was a great experience, though!
My High was hanging out as the four of us. I thought it was incredibly fun, and I laughed a lot which I really enjoyed and made some good memories. I also loved Sheila Walsh challenging 6,000 women to put ALL their TRUST in God. I appreciated how Biblical her message was, and how she pointed us back to God’s Word and not just her thoughts.
My Low is two fold. And is partly my own fault. I really went with the expectation that I would get a lot of “meat and potatoes” Biblical teaching. I thought the conference was very encouraging, but I didn’t hear a lot of scripture. So one low was just the lack of Biblical teaching. And I guess if I want that I should take a class at NCC or Grace. Ha. My other low was Advocare. I am SURE that they have a reasonable product. It’s nothing against the product. I just think hawking weight loss products to a group of vulnerable WOMEN without teaching about it and using phrases like “if you want to lose a few pounds” is totally not responsible. I was embarrassed for WOF that they were using the PULPIT to endorse the product. I think they lost a little integrity in my mind. And I was glad Selah finally said something about body image and weight loss and how God loves us no matter our size. Because the WOF speakers certainly did not.
Would I go back? Yes, with an expectation that it will be a fun, encouraging weekend and not 16 hours of intense worship and Biblical teaching. Probably like you, not next year.
Well, all in all it was a great weekend! Yes, it was! I really did have a great weekend. It spurred a lot of thought for me. Fun to re-cap the weekend with an online dialog about it! How hip are we? Let’s do it again! Sounds great! I think I’m off to take a little siesta... Couldn’t have said it better myself. Talk to you soon!