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Monday, August 29, 2011

Women of Faith: Over the Top - Yes, It Was!!!

I had my first experience with a Women of Faith event this weekend in Dallas.  And let me tell you, it WAS "Over The Top!"  "Over The Top" was the theme, so I guess I should have expected it, however, I really, quite honestly... didn't.  My dear friend, Candi, and I arrived on Friday morning not really knowing what to expect.  And we were both completely blown away, and plan to be right back there next year for sure!

During the Friday morning/afternoon sessions we heard from Patsy Clairmont and Andy Andrews.  I was not familiar with Patsy, but it didn't take long to fall in love with this "tiny" woman.  She was so adorable, so funny, and so right on with everything she spoke about.  She spoke about how God can use the broken and shattered pieces of our lives (like glass) and turn it into something beautiful for His light to shine through (like a stained-glass artwork).  I previously read and reviewed The Noticer, written by Andy Andrews, so I was a bit familiar with his story telling.  However, I was not prepared for his complete ADD personality.  He was all over the stage and audience, he wasn't still for more than a few seconds at the time, he was EVERYWHERE!  But yes, he is a wonderful storyteller for sure!  Candi and I had our lunch break outside at Victory Plaza, right in front of WFAA Channel 8's studio... and got to see them doing the 12 'o' clock news!  After lunch we heard from both Patsy and Andy again, which was a real treat.  Patsy reminded us of things like "Your will is stronger than your emotions!"  and "Feelings don't have brains!"  and urged us to minimize our word counts, trying hard not to speak for the wrong reasons.  Andy told us a story reflecting the butterfly effect of how your life can have such an impact - and you don't even know it!

When I returned home that afternoon, I found out that a friend that was going to go with me to the evening session had a bad migraine and couldn't go (Candi wasn't able to go with me again that evening).  I was hot and tired and feeling rushed, trying to get dinner on the table for my husband and kids, and I had pretty much made up my mind I wouldn't go back.  As we were eating, my husband suddenly said, "You should take Vasha with you tonite!"  Now, I had already pretty much talked myself out of going (ok, the Devil had pretty much talked me out of going, I should say!) and well, I don't know Vasha all that well, we've never done anything one-on-one, but I figured I'd text her, see if she could go. Super late notice, super random invitation coming from someone like me... but she accepted!  Really?  Um, ok.  So, I rushed out the door to pick her up.  I left my house at 6:05pm, the event started at 7pm.  I knew we'd be late... I'd have to go pick her up, then fight Friday evening Dallas traffic to get to the AAC, find a parking place, etc.  I have to tell you, that God is so amazing!!  We walked in and sat in our seats as the countdown hit 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  I'm not evening kidding!  Right then I knew that God wanted me there.  There's no other explanation as to how we could have pulled that off otherwise.  No traffic, no parking trouble, absolutely everything clicked into place and God provided us with an evening that we BOTH needed!  We heard Lisa Whelchel speak about friendship.  And Mandisa poured her heart, and tears, out leading us in worship.  It was perfect.  I'm so glad that I said "YES!" to God as Patsy Clairmont had advised earlier that afternoon!  He really does bless those that do!

The next morning, Candi and I arrived again and readied our hearts for a full day of blessing.  And it came!  We heard from Patsy again, including the story of her son fighting H1N1.  Then Brenda Warner spoke, and she has an amazing testimony... I can't wait to read and review her book (yay!).  We also heard from Sandi Patty (both singing and speaking).  There was drama with the lovely, talented Katherine Everett and a precious mini-concert with Amy Grant.  Love her!  She even took requests in the middle of her set when she was stalling for "what to do next."  And lastly, we heard from Marilyn Meberg.  She was hilarious and again, right on track!  These were some of the best speakers I've heard... I was really touched and blessed and moved by each one!  Mary Graham was the emcee and the Women of Faith Worship Team was sooooo good!  If you have the opportunity to attend a Women of Faith event, DO IT!  You will not regret it, I promise!  I can't wait til the next chance I have!!!

I would like to thank BookSneeze for sending me, as a blogger, to this event.  I couldn't have gone on my own, and I know that God totally moved to allow me to attend and benefit from it.  Thank you for being that catalyst!  Also, thanks to my mom and amazing husband, Michael, for watching the boys so I could pretty much be absent all weekend, basking in God's glory!  And I'm so glad I was able to share this experience with my friends, Candi and Vasha.  Thank you for being willing to go, and I pray you got just as much out of it as I did!


Mary said...

Sounds like a blast. I went to a Women of Faith a looooong time ago - in the 90's. Someday I hope to go again :)

Sandpiper said...

Glad you had a great weekend! I went to WOF a few years ago with a group from our church. Even though the event was only 1 hour away, we decided to stay together in a hotel. That added to the 'get-away' feeling of the weekend. Sheila Walsh was speaking when I went, and I loved her as well as Nicole Johnson.

Vasha said...

twas a blast.:)

Candi said...

It was such a HUGE blessing!!! So glad we both pushed through our initial feelings of apathy and got on the train of AWESOME!!!