This weekend I went to the Women of Faith conference with my Mother-in-Law and 4 other women in my family. My Mother-in-Law purchased tickets for us a billionty years ago, and truthfully I had put the conference far from my mind. When we first talked about it I think I was 4 months pregnant with Asher and August seemed years away.
To be honest, I had never gone to one of these mega Christian events. I was a little leery of 10,000 Christian women gathering in one place, armed with quilted Bible covers, Thomas Kinkade journals, and matching tshirts. I was worried it would seem forced and contrived. But, I love the women in my family--and I knew we would have fun regardless of the actual conference...so when August came, I went.
Angie Smith and 10,000 Christian women
Some of my favorite quotes:
"I am utterly convinced that you have not lived an unloved moment in your life."--Sheila Walsh speaking of God's great love for us
"What is in your life today that does not line up with your life of tomorrow?"--Dr. Henry Cloud speaking on pruning that sometimes needs to happen in our life
"Rose bushes produce more buds than they can sustain. A master gardener will need to look at the buds and prune all but the very best and healthiest. The other buds, while good, are not living up to the fullness of what a rose is and are taking up resources."--Dr. Henry Cloud speaking on needing to prune things in our life that are not fruitful, are broken and unhealthy, or are dead.
"You don't clean yourself up to come to your mom...You don't clean yourself up to go to your Father."--Sheila Walsh speaking about teaching her son to "come as you are"
"If Guilt says I did something wrong...Shame says I am something wrong."--Sheila Walsh when sharing her testimony
I don't have any quotes from Angie Smith because I was sobbing the whole time. To hear her tell the story of her daughter Audrey Caroline in her own voice, in real life, rather than on her blog cut close to my heart after experiencing a life-threatening illness with Asher. Many of her emotions and cries to the Lord felt so familiar, even though in the Lord's great mercy Asher is still here. She was phenomenal though, and such a great woman to model a faith-filled life after.
It was a good and encouraging weekend. There were certainly moments where I felt a little suffocated by the sheer NUMBER of women in one place. I have a passion for the hearts of women--but goodness gracious--10,000 is a LOT! :)