I had the awesome privilege of attending a conference over the past weekend. The conference was advertised to me by a couple of friends as an intimate setting where I’ll come away with practical tools and one-on-one conversations with many people–A networking situation. I was scared. The introverted self began to fret the exhaustion I’d face.
It was so worth it. Networking became fun. The people I met, I cannot even describe the connections and comfort I felt with this specific group of ladies.
I also had the privilege of joining some ladies I call friends, but after sharing a double room with one bathroom–I call them sisters. They truly saw me and loved me anyway.
The conference provided great information as I was told it would, but there was some learning that I wasn’t expecting.
1. You can “be good at Madonna.”
I learned quite quickly as a child born in the 80’s not of the 80’s I missed out on nearly all things Madonna. There are songs I’ve never heard before, songs that were clearly popular and were totally missed on my generation. 80’s music can bring some girls together and return them back to times of shoulder pads, mini skirts, leg warmers, parachute pants, stirrup pants, big hair…. The 80’s really did have a decent culture of music that is lost on children of today.
2. Redneck Avengers & Bad Lip Readers
Four of us girls laid in a super small double bed watching episodes before bed on an iPhone. We’d laugh so hard we didn’t catch all the jokes. It doesn’t matter how stressful a day can be, humor can reduce anxiety and provide a relaxing release. While I may not be a fan of the super hero movies, I did learn how awesome Redneck Avengers is. In fact is now the only way I’ll watch the Avengers. Go ahead and watch it yourself, you’ll be addicted, too!
3. Sisterhood doesn’t have to be blood.
The women pictured above have been the biggest champions of me. They spur me on when I don’t see the importance. They speak Truth into my life no matter how right I may think I am. They remind me I’m a daughter of the one true King. I have been rescued from darkness and brought into the light. I am saved. These ladies have priceless attributes to my life and to the kingdom of God. I don’t have a biological sister. In fact, I’m glad I don’t because these Sisters in Christ are more than I could ever imagine.
4. I’m beautiful, gifted, enough.
Being surrounded by talented dominant women, women who have strong voices and platforms, can be very intimidating no matter how strong of a woman I may be. It is important to be reminded of who we really are, especially when the enemy tries to tell us otherwise. In a moment of trying to quickly edit a chapter before it would be picked apart during our Peer Critique Intensive, I started to get swallowed in. I began worrying how much work I still had to do. Why was I even there trying, I’ve got nothing to say that is more important than anyone else here. Comparison. Feeling less than. Incapable.
But a sweet friend walked by and asked, “How are you doing?” I was content, but I definitely need encouragement. She put this on the desk in front of me. Praise you God for the reminder.
5. Divine meetings happen.
There were countless women I met that weekend that were for sure divine meetings. Being able to praise God for His perfect timing in all things that weekend was just miraculous. The focus wasn’t on me at all. It was on what God was doing in and around me, with my Sisters and with the ladies around me.
6. I’m the designated navigator.
This may be because I am a control freak and must know everything about everything. Though, I was blessed with a great sense of direction. My friend once told me I was better than Siri. I do get joy out of navigation and deciding which route is best for our needs.
7. I need sleep.
The conference started on Thursday and went until 10:00 that night. Of course we were all so excited, the four of us girls that roomed together couldn’t go right to sleep, so we watched Redneck Avengers. I got up at 8 the next morning for a full day of one-on-one’s, workshops, sessions, and fun. This was all a bit overwhelming for this introvert that I skipped out on a workshop and a large session and went to bed at 8:30 that night!
8. My husband is my biggest champion.
The man who went above and beyond to get home so the kids didn’t have to have a baby sitter when I left so early that Wednesday. The man whose place of work has a set of guys that are extended family and support Dustin (and our family). The man who let me verbally puke the excitement of the weekend when I got home. The man who also took his time to go the extra mile making sure the house was picked up, floor vacuumed and steam vac’d. The bathroom was clean and mopped. The kids were bathed every night, took them to have fun adventures during the day.
9. My children are my priority.
Peeking in at my soundly sleeping children because I was anxious to hold their bodies next to mine in the morning. I’ve been away from them before, but not four full days long. And that was too long. My children the next day were very clingy and needy. But then so was I, to them. They are a gift that God did not have to give to us. They deserve my face and must continue to be a priority. It pains my soul to know that there are some children that don’t get time with their moms. My prayer is that my children will never say they didn’t have the time or relationship with me that they needed.