Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Over The Top

I have to say it.

The Women of Faith conference chose THE most appropriate title for their Kansas City, Missouri conference when they chose:


I do not even know where to start sharing the fabulousness of the past weekend. The speakers and musicians were as unbelievably unique and talented as they were diverse.

First, though, I have to share with you how I ended up at the Kansas City conference. As many of you know, I am a Booksneeze Blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishing. When the opportunity came up to apply to attend the Woman of Faith conference as a BB, I immediately jumped on it. I never really thought that they would pick me, but they did. The event I chose to attend, however, was in August and in Indianapolis, Indiana. The event date was the 18-19th, and on August 10th I had to have emergency surgery on my shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff. Needless to say, attending the Indianpolis event was out of the question for me. I was devastated. I talked to the kind people at Booksneeze and Women of Faith. I was allowed to transfer my tickets to the Kansas City event. At the time, I had no idea why things would turn out the way they did. Now I can see that God's timing is perfect and I was supposed to be at this event, with my sister-in-law Stephanie, and hear these speakers and their messages.

Andy Andrews was straight up hilarious. I have not laughed that hard in a very long time. My ribs still ache four days later. Andy is a motivational speaker and best-selling author. He uses Godly principles to help people find and achieve their purpose in life. For all of Andy's A.D.D. and antics, he is a very wise guy. My favorite quote from him is this:

    "Fear is nothing but a misuse of the creative imagination God has placed inside of you."

For me, that is a huge realization. I learned much from Andy. As the only male speaker on the tour, his perspective was a treat.

Sandi Patty, Patsy Clairmont, Lisa Welchel, Brenda Warner and the fabulous Mandisa all seemed to be expressing a similar message. One that I believe God has been trying to get me to hear for awhile and I am just now beginning to receive. I am a little dense sometimes and have to be hit over the head with it before it sinks in.

There is much to be said about being quiet. 

To quote dear, sweet, Patsy "SHUT UP! In Jesus Name."  Proverbs 29:20 says "Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them." 

I really think God overtook Patsy's little body that day and was speaking directly to me. Then Lisa started talking about friendship. How to be a friend as well as find one that is suitable for you. 

WOW! Talk about a wake up call. I am not a very trusting friend. Sure, I will let you in to a certain extent, but the really hard stuff...NOPE. I have really been hurt before and it is hard to trust after that. It is really no excuse, but there you have it. I also get anxious and say stupid things to show how "intelligent" I am. You know...that I am observant of my friends likes and dislikes, etc. then I really stick my foot in it.

So, along those lines, I have a confession to make. Most of you know I am a twitter-a-holic. One of my favorite tweeps is Mandisa. (@MandisaOfficial) I was so blessed to meet Mandisa at Women of Faith. I was so excited. Not for the usual reasons, though. Not because she is a fabulous and award-winning singer. (although that is so true) Not because she was on American Idol and gave Simon amazing grace after he was so incredibly rude to her. The reason I was so excited is because she is so positive and joyful. Mandisa is a role model for me because she has overcome crazy obstacles in life and come out so much better for what she has been through. I owe her a HUGE apology. She was so lovely, came up and gave me a hug once she found out who I was. Like the dork that I am, I made a seriously stupid comment on something that I had no business commenting on. 

On that note, Mandisa, I am so, so, sorry for my lack of judgement. Please forgive me. God is truly dealing with me and my learning to turn on the filter. It has been a hard learned, but much needed lesson.

Regardless of my major faux pas, I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend and learn from these amazing teachers. I think Amy Grant summed up the experience perfectly in the lyrics from her song "Better than a Hallelujah:"

"Beautiful the mess we are,
the honest cries,
and breaking hearts,
are better than a hallelujah sometimes."

*Thomas Nelson {Booksneeze} and Women of Faith provided complimentary event tickets for myself and a friend in exchange for review of aforementioned event.

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