Thursday, August 29, 2013

Women of Faith Weekend

     Last weekend I was able to attend a conference called "Women of Faith".  It is just what the title says...women of faith coming together in fellowship and worship.  This is the third time that I have attended and I loved it as much as the first time.  The theme of the weekend was "Believe God can do anything".  There were a variety of speakers who shared their thoughts on this theme.  Some of the speakers spoke very clearly to me.  I am still processing some of the talks.

     There was much singing.  One of my favorite groups, Third Day, performed Saturday.  Sadly, my ears were not up to a loud concert, so I found a quiet hallway and listened outside the main area.  I had company in the hall, so it was all good.  CeCe Winans sang on Friday night and I loved her performance.  I can't say that I have listened to her before, but I will be seeking her music out now.  It was beautiful!  The best music came from the crowd.  Listening to a large group of women raising their voices in praise is breath-taking.  I don't sing well, but I do make a joyful noise!

     One of the criticisms that I have heard about the event is that it has become to commercial.  The speakers all have books that they are selling.  The musicians all have cd's to sell.  Women of Faith have merchandise to sell.  I am able to overlook the selling.  Without that part of the program, ticket prices would be out of reach for most of us.  I like to look at the products, I have been know to buy things as well.  But I know what my budget for the weekend is ahead of time.  I am able to look, listen, and say no.  It doesn't bother me at all.

     My favorite part of the weekend is the fellowship with my friends.  I am able to spend time being me.  I don't worry about anything over the weekend.  I call my family to check in on them, but this is my time.  I get to spend time with other women that share my faith.  I get to hug and pray with my friends.  I get to develop new friendships and deepen existing friendships during the conference.  I get to spend time worshiping the Lord with my friends...people who understand when I have tears or need a hug.

     I am already looking forward to next year.  If you have ever thought about going, call me, we can go together!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Pack your Personality"

     Delainey had a fun assignment the first week of school.  The teacher gave each student a small sack and they each had to find 4 items that were important to them.  I think that this is a great way to get to know someone.  Tonight, she and I were having a rough night between homework, chores, and grumpiness.  I decided to "Pack My Personality" for her.

     The first item in my bag (okay, I used a plastic box) was the cross that I received on my Emmaus walk last spring.  My faith is important to me.  When I am keeping my focus on God, I am a better person.  When I spend time praying and praising, I am happy.  My faith doesn't mean that I will have a perfect life, but it puts everything in perspective.  I don't worry or fear about the future when my focus is on God.

     The second item was a figurine of a father and daughter.  It represents my family, all of them, not just Jim and Delainey.  My family includes Shane and Dylan, my mom and her husband, my brother and his children, Jim's parents, assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins, and my friends who are my chosen family.  My family gives me a sense of purpose.  They make me smile.  I know that my family is there for me and I am there for them.  They mean the world to me.

     The third item in my box was my camera.  I love pictures.  I don't have a lot of photos of my when I was younger, so I cherish the ones that I have.  I want to have photos to look at when I am old.  I want Delainey to have photos to show her children and grandchildren.  When my memories fade, I want to have a photo that might trigger a memory of my past.

     The last item in my box was a sea shell.  I love the ocean.  I feel that all is well when I am on the water.  I don't need anything fancy...just need a beach chair, an umbrella, and a good book.  The ocean is my favorite place, but I am content at most bodies of water.  There is something about the water that soothes my soul.

     That's it, that is what I would put in my sack.  Delainey told me that I could share what she took to school so, I will do that tomorrow.  What would be in your "Pack your Personality" sack?