Friday, October 28, 2011

Family Time Friday- The Importance of Getting Away

I want to talk a little about the importance of getting away today Smile  I was privileged to be able to attend the Women of Faith Conference last weekend in San Antonio, courtesy of Book Sneeze SmileAs a wife, and a mom, and especially a homeschooling mom, it seems like my work is never done.  There’s always more dishes, there’s always a nose to wipe, there’s always laundry, there’s always a to-do list.  No matter what time of day, no matter how hard I work, there’s always more to do.  I am so blessed to have a husband who really helps out as much as he can, and I know not all women have this.  My husband works a LOT of hours, so he isn’t always available to help either, and it hasn’t always been this way either.  As we’ve gotten older and both matured we’ve really begun to work well together.  It only took 15 years!  Winking smile  We’re rock stars, let me tell you LOL…  Anyway, it is very difficult for me to get away. 

When I found out I was chosen I didn’t even think twice about going.  I was so excited.  I was especially excited to get some time away with my girlfriend without the distraction of kids and husbands and the to-do list.  Shortly after, we booked our room (in haste) and we were ready to go! 

As the day approached, the expense of going was setting in, the room we had booked (that was non-refundable) was pretty expensive, more expensive than any room we had stayed in previously, and the idea of leaving my husband and kids seemed less enchanting (even though I knew I needed a break).  In addition to all of this, one of the people who was going to go with us had backed out, increasing the expense of the hotel, AND my husband had gotten an extra job that would require him to be gone over night one of the days I was gone.  So, I had to find someone to spend the night at my house with my kids too……

There were many reasons I came up with not to go.  But something told me I HAD to go.  I knew I was getting overwhelmed by life at home, and, to be real honest, it was probably showing in the way I talked to those I love the most.  I knew it was going to be good for me to be gone, but it just seemed like it would be better to stay home.

But God.

But God pushed me to go.

But God made it possible for me to pay for the hotel room.

But God helped me find someone to watch my kids.

But God called me to this experience.

So,  I went.  The theme for the weekend was “Over the Top”, and I had no idea how much that would mean to me by the end of it.  You know, God’s love is “Over the Top”, and we sure felt it throughout the weekend Smile  I’ve never been to one of these conferences, and, as the old saying goes, I just didn’t know what I was missing!

We were blessed with so many great people who spoke, including Andy Andrews, Patsy Clairmont, Mandisa, Amy Grant, Marilyn Meberg, Sandi Patty, and more.  Honestly, some of these people were unfamiliar to me, but not anymore Smile  I’ve even reviewed a couple of Andy Andrews’ books, and now that I’ve seen him in person I think I would enjoy his books more LOL…  He writes like speaks- very energetic.  Now that I have that mental picture of him moving about the stage as he speaks, I think I could better read his books.  He had some really great points, one that stuck with me-

Forgiveness is about the past
Trust is about the future--
Do you forgive someone from stealing from you?  Yes, but that doesn’t mean you then trust them with your belongings……  The two do not go together…..

This was a freeing thought for me, as I continue to work on forgiveness in my own life.  Also, freeing for those who are forgiving me, because I no longer expect things to be the same after I have hurt them….  The other point he made that I really grabbed on to was:

Families can be in disarray because of offenses that are not dealt with properly.
When someone makes a mistake, I’m sorry covers it.
When a choice is made, I’m sorry is not going to cover it.
When it’s a choice, only the words, “Will you forgive me?” Will hit the reset button.

A great concept that I hope to be able to better instill in my children.  It’s a much better explanation to the “Sorry isn’t good enough”…  Here’s the why behind that… Smile

Amy Grant spoke a little, and sang for us, which was wonderful.  I truly truly enjoyed it, along with Mandisa on Saturday.  How fun to get to sing with the likes of the two of them?  And be treated like friends, instead of concert goers…. 

My favorite speaker, however, was Patsy Clairmont.  She touched on some points as she was mostly talking about the writing of her new book, Stained Glass Hearts, which I was able to order from Book Sneeze while at the conference and am currently reading to review for you.  So be on the lookout for that review in coming weeks.  So far I LOVE it! 

Anyway, as she was speaking I wondered if she had been following me around?  How did she know all of these things about me?  She was touching on the very things that I’ve been working on with God lately.  I believe most of these things are the result of maturity, which is also what she said.  Winking smile  She said we all have to grow up sometime, and that is exactly how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of years.  And, let me tell you--- I’m doing this growing up thing kicking and screaming!  LOL  Some of the nuggets she said, that I wrote down were:

Don’t tell everyone everything you think you know…  Wow… yeah…  I do that…
In a multitude of words, there is sin…..  Yeah, I’m working on being quiet…  it isn’t easy…  at all…..
Whining is anger coming out a small place….  I’m not much of a whiner, but it helps me to understand those around me who are better…
God has designed us with a will that is stronger than our emotions….  No more excuses ladies!
Truth needs to go through kindness.  If you can’t do it in kindness, it’s not for you to speak…  This one hit me, because I’m usually the one with the guts to speak up when I think something isn’t right, but I’m not always good at being kind about it…

I’m eager to finish her book, so I can share with you more that I have learned from her.  I really felt a kinship with Patsy.  I saw so much of myself in what she said.  I can see myself reading all of her books….

So, to say that the weekend was “Over the Top” would be an understatement.  My girlfriend and I are already planning on going back next year.

And the best part?  When I came home I was so ready to see my family again.  I had missed them so much.  And they missed me.  My husband even washed my car for me while I was gone!  (I had taken his car so he had the car seats)…  I really needed to be refreshed and renewed in the way that I was over the weekend Smile  I’m so thankful to Book Sneeze for sending me, and I hope that if you have a Women of Faith event coming to your area that you will find a way to go.  I promise you won’t regret it!

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