Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebrate What Matters!

This past weekend capped off my third year to be a group leader for Women of Faith.  And as usual, the Lord blessed me through it greatly!

Our group hit the road to Dallas Friday morning for this year's conference, themed "Celebrate What Matters".  This year was just great.  I didn't hit very many snags throughout the planning process.  Collecting everyone's payments nor fundraising events were stressful or overwhelming.  I actually had to call and order more tickets!  And the snares that the devil tried to throw at me only came in the last week (with people backing out for various reasons, drivers not being able to drive, disappointing seats...).  But he didn't slow us down one bit!

I had a final group of 27 women (originally 32!).  And man were they a great group.

  • We got matching group shirts this year and that was just fun!  Not to mention they turned out great and we looked fabulous :)
  • The worship, as always, was powerful and spiritual.  The Lord made His presence known as we lifted our voices, hands, and spirits to Him through our praise.
  • The speakers brought open and honest lessons that spoke deep to your heart.  They use the talent they've been given and the Spirit within them in a mighty way.  Their testimonies of faith paired with their knowledge from study makes an incredible combination.  We had the privilege of hearing Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Max Lucado, Angie Smith, and Pat Smith.
  • For those of you who know us or have read my blog for a while, you know that Bella was only calmed by music as a small baby--and Selah is her band of choice.  The Selah station on Pandora is a staple in this household now.  Worshipping with them and being able to experience their talents in person was an inspiring experience.
  • My youth minister from growing up and his wife had an incredible influence on the person I have become.  Kamalyn was able to come visit with us for a bit while we were there--a reunion that was long overdue!
  • We got to praise Jesus with Emmitt Smith :)
  • Ballet Magnificat danced through our worship times and performed some interpretive pieces that were powerful.
  • Probably one of the most powerful and Spirit led moments for me was during Angie Smith's presentation.  If you do not know her and her husband's story, you can watch a video of it here or read about it here.  During her message, she asked for all of the mothers who had lost a child at any stage of life to stand for a moment of remembrance.  The number of women who stood would take your breath away.  And through tears, Angie softly spoke into the microphone, "you are not alone..."  That moment is indescribable.  I literally could feel the peace flood the room as God hugged each of those broken hearts.
  • I got to spend time with and know the ladies in my group so much better!
  • The event was in the American Airlines Center--and let me tell you; I can now say from experience that those seats way up high are truly WAY up HIGH!  Our original seats for the weekend were one row from the very top on the side of the stage.  We couldn't see anything--the stage was tiny (at the end of the stadium this year instead of the center) and the screens were all blocked.  Not to mention, I had ladies who were gripped with incredible fear (some so much that they could not even come up the stairs to our seats) who struggled immensely sitting there.  I was not in a good place--needless to say the devil had taken over my thoughts. But like my sister said, the Lord will work it out.  And that He did!  After a quick visit with a WoF worker, we were issued new tickets 10 rows from the stage!  We were on the very side of the stage so we still couldn't see the screens (for lyrics and videos), but we could actually see the people!  And we weren't scared of stumbling into the great abyss of the AA Center floor!!  He showed His hand to us in a mighty way, proving that He had control over that situation the whole time.
  • Hundreds of children were sponsored through World Vision!
  • We got to spend the weekend praising, growing, and loving with 10,000 other women.  Unbelievable. 
All but 4 of my fabulous and beautiful group of ladies!

Emmitt praising Jesus with all of us ladies :)

Catching up with Kamalyn!

I hope you have the opportunity to go to one of these conferences.  And even moreso, I would love for you to be able to join our group and come with us next year!  Dallas, September 20-21, 2013!  

Don't allow your humanity to limit what God is able to do!  

(This shows His presence--I typed that last sentence because it has been on my mind and heart lately.  The theme for WoF 2013 is "Believe God Can Do Anything"!)

love, angie 

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