Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Influence Conference 2014 Recap



I had my mind made up that I would not be attending the Influence Conference this year. I attended in 2013 for the first time (pregnant...and slightly nauseous and hating the smell of coffee). And it was amazing. But I now had a 6 month old little girl to attend to. My mind was settled.

Until the Holy Spirit nudged me.

There was only about a month and half left until the conference. And I felt the tug. I asked my husband if he would be willing to come along and help with Eden girl. He was. So, I took a small step of faith and bought my ticket. Booked my hotel room. And prayed that it would be worth it.

It was more than worth it. "Worth it" does not begin to explain this weekend. I feel like I sound like a broken record. But the Holy Spirit was there. And He was moving. And it felt as if these conversations and speakers were just for me. Because they spoke into areas of my life that are fresh and painful. And yet they also went even deeper to places that I thought I had left behind. That really just makes me pause in wonder. That the Spirit of God would meet us there and speak to us collectively and individually as the body of Christ.

There were casual conversations in the foyer with other women that turned into moments where the Holy Spirit used their words to speak truth into me. I have remembered those moments over and over since leaving. They were like a healing balm to me. And I just wanted to exclaim: "How did you know?"

The community group I attended was also so powerful to me. Just to know I was not alone in this whole "mothering-running a home-wife" thing.

Jess Connolly spoke words that could have not come at a better time. Some quotes from her session that hit me hard:
      God loves His kingdom. God hates my kingdom. He loves when I build His kingdom.

Sometimes we want to be for God. But we are not with Him. 

Repentance is bringing refreshment.

At the final worship session I felt the call of the Holy Spirit to lay my fears down. 
Fears that I have held onto for the last year.
Fears that have developed and grown down deep into my mind and emotions. 
As clear as day I knew I had to confess them out loud and lay them down. 
It was during this exact moment that the song "Cornerstone" started. 


 This was so significant to me because this song-- I held it close to my heart during my pregnancy with Eden. The lyrics to this song were the first thing to come to my mind when they found a tumor when I was 19 weeks pregnant. This song is the song I sang to Eden every day when she was growing in my tummy and I was changing my gauze to my incision from surgery. This song. 
I just felt my Savior whispering to me that He loves me. That His grace is enough.  
That He can heal the physical and emotional wounds. 
That it's time to find my identity in Him alone and not in past experiences. 

It's time to lay down the fear. It's time to build.

Are you coming next year?
And have you joined the Influence Network yet?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Point Betsie Lighthouse




There is just something about lighthouses. They feel risky, on the very edge of the tumultuous water. And at the same time, they feel like a huge safe haven. All tall and strong. Sending light out. Michigan has a lot of lighthouses. And I have not begun to see all of them with their stories of safety. But, we did have the chance to explore the lovely Point Betsie Lighthouse a couple weeks ago with our family. It feels tucked in. Almost in it's own private little world. The area surrounding it is simply beautiful. The stretching Lake Michigan views. Wildflowers growing wherever they can. And drifting white sand getting everywhere. Note to the adventurer: bring an extra pair of shoes.

We loved Eden's reaction to the rolling Lake Michigan. She dug her little toes into the sand and took it in. The water is still extremely cold. Even at the official end of summer. So, our toes are pretty much the only thing that touched the water's edge as well.
Maybe, next summer, when adventures continue, we will all get brave and take a dip.






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