So I’m just going to put this disclaimer out there right at the beginning…This post will contain a lot of Christian related information. No, I am not going to preach to you, it will just be my observations and feeling toward a Christian conference that I recently attended. I just don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable or turn anyone away from future blogs if you are not a follower of Christ. I will have the usual Happy.Fit.Crunchy portions of the blog, but I will be writing a lot outside of those topics as well SO if you don’t fancy the Lord then you can skip on down to the bold ‘Happy Wife.’ print and continue from there 😉
Some of you may have heard of a little conference called the Extraordinary Women Conference (or EWomen). For those of you who have not, it is a national Christian conference for women that is held in various locations throughout the year and the little city I live in is fortunate enough to be graced by it’s presence each year 🙂 I have only been once before and L-O-V-E loved it!! There have been multiple reasons that I have not been in the past few years, whether it be financial roadblocks, other plans, etc. but never has “I don’t want to go” been one of those reasons. So in March (I believe) when I went with my husband and our couple friends to Wildfire weekend (the male equivalent to EWomen) I decided I wasn’t going to wait for something to get in the way this year, I bought my tickets in March so that I would be able to go to EWomen.
“Hold on, back up…YOU went to Wildfire?? but um…you’re a girl” …GASP! I am?? Haha Yes, I am a girl and yes, Wildfire is a “men’s conference” but I was reassured by a nice lady from the Wildfire/EWomen customer service hotline that women are not shunned, there are no “No girls allowed” signs hanging about the conference and there are wives every year that go with their husbands. SO, I won the tickets, and we went to the conference along with another married couple we are close friends with. And ladies (and gentlemen) it was WONDERFUL! It was so inspiring to see a room full of thousands of men worshiping the Lord unashamed, proudly, loudly. It moved me!
Fast forward…So being as I had purchased the ticket 6 months before the conference, I forgot the actual dates and thought it was in October. Thankfully, a lady on Facebook mentioned that she would be busy this weekend because she was attending the EWomen conference and I was saved, a mere 2 days before the conference. Eep! I didn’t know of any of my friends who were going so I threw it up on Facebook to see if anyone else would be there. Friday night, the conference was from 7:30pm to 11:00pm and I sat with a friend to hear the hilarious Chonda Pierce, Pam Tebow (Tim Tebow’s mother), Julie Clinton (conference hostess) and the amazing vocals and worship of Mr. Michael O’Brien.
*Disclaimer #2: My pictures are blurry, they were taken on a cell phone and I was fairly high up.*
Pam Tebow came on stage and said very little but you could tell that she was the center force of her family’s faith, she raised her children (not just Tim) to honor the Lord above everything else and let that shine through everything they do. Julie Clinton went on to say that in interviews, Tim Tebow was asked who he had to thank for his success and his answer was God and his mother. Wow. I’m sure all of us moms out there hope to hear our children one day say that.
Chonda Pierce, who just recently lost her husband a couple months back, came on stage with strength and faith that gave me chills! This woman was still mourning the loss of her partner in life and was on stage turning it into laughter, as she does best (she a clean comedian for those of you who aren’t familiar with her) and holding it together. She thanked God for instilling in her the promise that He will carry her through the dark times and that she will see her husband again in Heaven one day. She was hilarious, strong, faithful, and human. At the end she did shed some tears after singing (flawlessly) an encouraging song that she will make it through. She was an inspiration and her testimony of faith that shone through her comedy skit was incredible.
After the conference ending at 11:00pm, waiting almost an hour to get out of the parking lot and getting to bed around 12:30, 5:30 Saturday morning came early. This mama was tired! But I got myself together, thanked God for Starbucks being open so early and arrived at the conference in time to park in the parking lot and not have to shuttle. I called a friend who is a ray of sunshine in a church I use to attend so that I could sit with her but she did not answer, I called the friend I sat with the night before but she was still at home getting ready. So as I hiked to find the back of the line that was wrapped around the building, I heard my name. I turned around and there stood my sister-in-law! She was there with her mom, sister and some members of their church. So I had a place to sit that wasn’t surrounded by strangers, yay!
Julie Clinton opened up the day speaking and going over the day’s schedule. We woke up with some praise and worship with Michael O’Brien and then the “matriarch of the Duck Dynasty” Ms. Kay Roberston came on stage to tell her heart wrenching story of how the early years of her marriage and motherhood were shadowed by the demons her husband Phil was fighting and it wasn’t until he lost everything and decided he needed help that Kay lead him to the Lord and he has been a completely different person ever since. It was such an inspiring story and so wonderful to hear about the dark days that predated the success and love and family closeness that they have today, that they wouldn’t have without the acceptance of Jesus Christ. A-MAZING!
My sister-in-law left after Ms. Kay spoke, at the first break and I buddied up with her sister for the rest of the conference. We had never spoken much to each other so it was really nice to get to know her better and I love that it was a Christian women’s conference that made that happen 🙂 I decided to be strategic and eat lunch on the first break to avoid the craziness at lunch break and got a text from my hubby with a picture of what he and our daughter were eating for breakfast and saying that they both slept in until 9:30 (lucky ducks, I was running on 5 hours of sleep lol) It warmed my heart to know that they were getting daddy/daughter time because that time for just the two of them rarely ever happens.
After the first break we heard the music and testimony of Jeremy Camp and his band which was just the energizer we needed to make it to lunch break! And we heard Margaret Feinberg (who just won her battle with cancer) tell her story of how a shepherd she met while in Alaska brought her to a whole new way of ready all of the biblical references to the shepherd and sheep and flock. She went on to talk about how we as the Lord’s sheep act just like the woolly little creatures we see grazing in fields. We flock to our shepherd when He calls us, we are sustained by Him and without Him, we inevitably will die spiritually by over consuming to try and fill a void that can only be filled by the Lord, by feeding on the wrong substances such as drugs, sexual immorality, or just surrounding ourselves with people who lead us into a life that is not what the Lord wants for us. She then compared our relationship with God and how we are to live as Christians to bees and the hierarchy structure that takes place inside every hive, to vineyards and how God prunes us to shape us into the Christ followers we are meant to be, and how all of this relates to scripture. It was eye opening and inspiring.
On lunch break I got to talk to my hubby on the phone and hear him talk about how his and baby girl’s day was going. It made my day more enjoyable to know they were doing well and having fun together. After the break, we heard Kirk Cameron (yes the boy from Growing Pains that we all had a crush on! 😉 ) give this thought provoking speech on how all of the things we love about Christmas, the tree with lights, the presents, the feast of food, Santa Claus, are not distracting us from the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. All of these things belong to God and there are references in the Bible to support a lot of them. As far as the views on Santa Claus, he defends keeping Santa Claus as a part of Christmas by talking about the origin of Santa Claus or St. Nicholas and how Saint Nicholas was a defender of God, just like us Christians and has a reason to be included in the celebration of Christ’ birth. All of this will be in his movie Saving Christmas which is coming out in November of this year. I can’t wait to see it 🙂
We also got to hear the music of Lonestar, they played about 5 songs, all classic radio hits and they were wonderful as well! When I heard the opening line “The sign in the window said for sale or trade on the last remaining dinosaur Detroit made…” I was super excited! I love that line 🙂 And while not all of their songs are talking about God, they have a lot of good Christian songs, they’re a group of good Christian men and have one heck of a testimony!
So in conclusion, EWomen 2014 did not disappoint, I left there feeling filled up with the inspiration to be the best follower of Christ I possibly can be and to lead my family on that same path. Both of the conferences I have attended have left me with that feeling and I have never felt so re-energized in my faith as I have after attending. If you are a believer, and especially if you are not, and you ever get the chance to attend one of the EWomen (or Wildfire if you’re a guy, or with your husband) conferences, I highly recommend it!
Now back to our regularly scheduled program!
I know I covered some of the things about the hubby that I have thanked God for lately in that big long blurb up there ^^ but I want to put more detail to it. Any of you ladies who are wives and mamas know that one of the BIGGEST ways your hubs can tug at your heart strings is to have those special moments with your little one(s) when they think you’re not paying attention. Those random little scoop ’em up and swing ’em around the kitchen moments, the “sugars” they share, snuggled on the couch reading together and that twinkle in his eye during all of it. My heart flutters just typing it! ❤ Add to that, hubby making the bed, doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning, any of the above, and ladies, you fall in love all over again. This makes me feel old from time to time when I stop and think that domestic chores being done without asking make my heart skip a beat haha but it’s the truth, romance comes in a totally different form when you’re married with kids. And it’s not that you’ve fallen into a slump or lost your spark, it’s that magic that happens when you evolve together from this carefree, run up and down the roads to see each other at all hours of the night couple to the settled, acting as one, sharing in life’s struggles (even the small daily ones) and sneaking in kisses in the midst of it all couple. I loved the couple we were and I love the couple we are. Oh, and I’m not just trying to earn brownie points here, because I’m pretty sure he has never read one of my blog posts before haha 😉
This week that should be struck out and re-typed as Fat Girl. lol The pregnancy cravings are here in full swing and they leave me feeling like a lion tamer backed onto the tiny stool with a whip trying to fight off the hungry beast! (too much?) The struggle is real ya’ll! I’m not saying that when you’re pregnant you should deprive yourself that chocolate chip cookie or never eat a single potato chip, but when you have the cravings all the time, you have to just walk away A LOT. Why is this falling into the Fit Girl. category? Well because being healthy falls under the umbrella of being fit in my opinion and that is even more important when the decisions you make about what you eat affect more than just you. Also, as I’m having a staring contest with the ice cream in my freezer, a little voice pops into my head reminding me that I also have to run/walk/live through a 5k in a month. *whimper* I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! Worked for the little steam engine right?
Soooo we have entered the potty training phase of toddlerhood (DUM DUM DUMMMM). It has only been one day and so far the only place I have been removing pee from is my hallway floor, but that’s ok, we will get there. 🙂 No, I’m not going to talk about pee the whole time, I also want to talk about another well known phase that every toddler goes through, sometimes at multiple periods of their life and that is STUBBORNNESS! My daughter has began to test her dad and I when we say no to things. Example: she gets her stool that she sits on, stands on it, looks at us and laughs.*sigh* we believe in the gentle parenting approach but not so gentle that we surrender to her when she is acting up or by letting her get away with things she is not suppose to do. We tell her “Baby girl, please don’t do that. That’s not nice.” or “Do you want your stool to go away for the night because you won’t listen?” and usually when she doesn’t get her way, the temper tantrum follows. I try to speak to her nicely while she has her “moment” and pick her up to love on her, letting her know that mommy and daddy are doing these things because we don’t want you to get hurt and because we love you. The tantrum ends after a few minutes (usually) and we go about our business but it amazes me how mentally exhausting it can be on the rough nights. Mommies, do you feel this too? Last night were filled with several “moments” and by her bedtime I felt like I just ran a marathon. How can such a small human being DO that to a grown person?!
In the midst of all of life’s normal amount of craziness, you get thrown curve balls that spin your whole world on a different axis it feels. These are the times that we need to remember to stop, breathe, smile, and give it all to God.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
(my favorite verse)
“Bend to keep from breaking girl, but keep your soul upright.” –Jeff Kurfess
Happy Wife. Fit Girl. Crunchy Mom.