Hope Spoken happened last weekend and I was asked to go as a small group leader. I must admit, as I did when they asked me, that I was feeling a bit under-qualified to lead a group of ladies in a small group setting especially at a conference with the majority of ladies attending coming from a faith-based background. But, regardless of my feelings of inadequacy, I said yes.
I'm so thankful I did.
I got to go on a mini road trip with my sister, who also happeed to be a small group leader and, ahem, is a speaker next year. Holla!
I am so thankful for our time together chatting on the drive there and back. And so thankful she asked me to be her roommate. She's solid gold, y'all.
And this is where I talk about coming down with a cold the day before. The weekend before Hope Spoken I took a trip to Arizona where I ran myself down. There was a two hour time difference and I stayed up way too late and go up way too early. Always a bad combo for my wellness. Enter the cold. I drank green smoothies out the wazoo and took some cold medicine to curb the runny nose, man voice, etc. What a great first impression I was about to make on some ladies!
Thankfully my sister thought it was kind of funny and really, by the first night's end, I was a little delirious, on all kinds of happy highs (as well as cold med highs) and everything was pretty funny.
|unashamedly stolen from her instagram feed.|
I was not ready for what God had in store for me the next day. I had been praying for my small group for months and when we met for the second time Saturday morning, my heart was broken. I was in awe of the truths and heartache the ladies shared in my group. I will go on record saying my ladies were the best. They were honest and ready for a movement.
It's funny how people seem so all together on the outside and then when you dig a little deeper, you see how we all may be different but so much the same.
Different struggles. Different trials. Different questions needing answered. Different hopes. Different fears. Different dreams.
But at the core.
We are all God's children and we can all have hope.
I knew right then and there that I wasn't chosen to be a small group leader to lead a group of women. I was chosen so that they could lead me.
I will never forget their stories, their tears or laughs. My group of ladies impacted me with a hope I've never been so sure of.
I went in to that conference with questions of my own. Hurt and pains that haunt me. Dreams that I don't even know how to think logically about because the questions and fears are so big. And for them, I'll forever be thankful.
I walked out of that conference with answered questions. A hope for the pain to go away. And dreams that may take time and sacrifice and new direction, but are maybe so much better than I ever imagined.
It was a conference I was so excited about going to. My first conference ever - not work related. And it set the bar pretty high.
Aside from the deep stuff, not that me on cold medicine is really deep. Haha. I met friends I'd only know online and dreamed of meeting one day because they inspire me so much. Women like Danielle, Casey, Lynsey, Joy, Crystal, Jami, Hannah, Jess, Cory, Jami, Laura and a lady I probably scared off with my teeny-bopper excitement to meet her, Shauna Niequist.
She gave an awesome talk on less busy. Something I needed to hear. An answer to a question.
More love. Less hustle.
So I made a print for myself to remind me daily of that.
And then I made unexpected friends in Kirby, Haverlee, Naomi, Sherry, Staey and my love, Kimberly.
Although the weekend started off in a daze of excitement, sickness, and nervousness, the end result what something by far more than I could have ever hoped for or dreamed it could be.
And let's take a minute to thank the donut people.
I may have eaten my weight in those.
So thank you Danielle, Casey and Emily. Thank you for putting your blood sweat and tears into such an amazing, God-filled weekend. I pray God's blessings pile upon you like never imagined.
And here's to next year. Because you know it didn't end with 2014!
Also. I'm so thankful to a husband that supports my crazy adventures and details my car while I'm gone - you rock.
And thankful that I came home to a sweet girl on her birth day!
Thank you mom and dad for helping out my husband while his wife was away two weekends in a row and for making a special dinner for a special girl for her 2nd birthday! Love you.
And happy 2nd to my babe.
And yes. I stole a balloon from the Hope Spoken decor. Well, I didn't really steal it. It was offered to me after I mentioned her birthday and that I was going home to celebrate her. So thanks, ladies, for letting me take a balloon to my girl. She loved it!