(in Normal, Il...the hubby's old college stomping grounds...he had a request for me to bring him back a sandwich from one of our favorite sandwich shops down there but unfortunately I didn't have a chance to get there)
And can I just day it was nothing shy of
We left at 5:15am and got got home at 10:00 pm!! I went with high expectations and of course like always God is who He says He is and showed up and blessed me exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could have asked for!
I had the EXTREME privilege of listen to Dr. Gary Chapmen who wrote the world renown book "The Five Love Languages" (Did you know that book has been published in 49 different languages?! I didn't even know we had that many languages!!)
He was absolutely amazing!
Even though I have read the book it was super encouraging to have him reiterate all of it's wonderful aspects! I could totally listen to him all day long!!
We also got to hear from my FAVORITE women speaker
She is an awesome REAL momma! She is the founder of Proverbs 31 ministries, she has wrote Made to Crave, Unglued (which I have read both) and The best YES (which I got her autograph on!!!) eekkk!!!
Meeting her was amazing and something I didn't even think I would be honored or able to do at this conference!!
So after announcements and a little worship time (gotta usher the good Lord right into the place with us right?!) and hearing Dr. Chapmen we headed to our first class.
When signing up for this you had to choose 4 (60min) classes besides the two main speakers! They all looked amazing (and I know on auto pick I would have been blessed and truley loved hearing little tid bits from people that went to other classes and wrote down a few blogs I would love to follow!) but when we were originally going it was just me and my friend Katie at the time. So we talked and I voiced two that I thought sounded neat and so did she and since we have very simar interests in everything we both thought all 4 would be awesome!
The first one we went to I reeeeaally wanted to go to was called the Proverbs 31 Women! As I have previously blogged about this year as I'm 31 I wanted to use her as an inspiration from the bible to a more like her. As I have read, studied, heard about her etc...the past few months I have had a specific scripture stand out to me out of that chapter and it's the last two verses.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a women who fears The Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
See the proverbs 31 women as inspiring as she is and ought to be...can seem somewhat perfect. I knew as I began to strive to be more like her that God was leading my heart not to be more like her but more like HIM! Which is exactly what she was! She spent time with him and "feared" Him!
An imperfect women with a heart perfected towards CHRIST!
That is who I want to be! And since I got the imperfect women down....and since you have what you say....
That. Is. Who. I. Am!!
The leader Sara Horn was wonderful!! She began talking about list righters- ME ME SOOO ME!!
And how when we have a large list to so stuff and it feels good it to cross it off we need to remember it's not about the list, how much you have to do, or have done but how your attitude is towards what your doing!!!
HUGE!! That was a huge light bulb for me (once again!!! God has spoke that to me often through sermons, blogs, and other situations a lot the past few months as well). If you have 50 things on your list to do in 3 hours and you get it all done...as great as that is and as good as that will feel to have it done...if you do it with a harsh, grumpy, rushed, "huffy" attitude....then what you've done is worthless.
God doesn't want me to be perfect he wants me to be perfectly fixed on Him. I need to remember this especially since I see my family as my ministry!
They are not my "job" though I suppose my occupation is a stay at home mom, but they are my ministry. I am honored, eager, and more than willing to love and serve them and give all that I have to make things better, HAPPIER (they are not happy when I'm hurried and huffy), and more peaceful than ever before.
One of her big points was
"THE INFLUENCE WE HAVE ON OUR FAMILIES IS A IN DIRECT INFLUENCE OF GOD ON US"
Spend time with Him first(be fixed on Him)=all that I want and more for my family to have from me!
We tend to look for perfection when God just wants us to be available!
Jesus was never "busy" even though he was doing a lot of things.
I want to be like that.
That means He was calm, relaxed, poised....CONTROLLED!!
Lord help me to unbusy myself and to portray that!!
Help me be more concerned about what YOU think Lord rather than them!!
I know He is my encouraged and cheerleader and He has equipped me to train my children in the way they should go! He has also equipped me to help motivate my husband and not manipulate him into doing what needs done. And to always be looking for the good not for what I need right then.
The proverbs 31 women- She opens her mouth with wisdom. She goes to Him first.
If I want to be influential with my time....I have to intentional with my time. (Spending it with Him!!)
My influence is my super power.
It was a wonderful class!!
The second class I chose to see and we went to was by Lysa Turkeurst called Unglued! I had recent just finished her book before going and this was a great recap talking all about that!
She spoke about how better reactions lead to better relationships. Some people will react in a situation by exploding and blaming others. She reminded us to be careful not to "slip to attack instead of address" (that's gooood right there and true!!)
I need to learn to let GOD reign in my natural response!! We aren't necessarily gentle by nature we are gentle by OBIEDIENCE!!
Simply PAUSE before reacting! I am so encouraged and have had lots of good opportunities to do this Lately. Though many times I have failed...a few times I did pause and it was wonderful the outcome inside me and makes me want to continue to strive for that always!
She also talked about the reaction of the exploder who shames themselves and the stuffer who builds barriers.
I suppose given the situation I could be "that type" of reaction for all 3 examples.
The greatest reminder I needed was to ask myself "Am I trying to prove I'm right or and am I trying to improve the realationship". I instantly think of one particular person that continually hurts my feelings and often my hubby's. And that person probably doesn't even realize he is doing it because that is just who he is but I often vent my "I'm right" strategy when what is that doing?! NOTHING!! It's wasting unnecessary emotion that he doesn't even know about and it's defiantly not improving the relationship what so ever!! Time to make a change!!
We had a nice quick sandwich lunch that was included in the price of our ticket...of course more coffee...and we even got to see my sister in laws triplet cousins that go to school down there for a few minutes and then we headed to our next class!
This class was called "What about that Child?!"
Now out of my current three ...Lukie would be my "that child" at the moment. He is not that "naughty child" by any means or even the rule breaker like this lady expressed with a lot of her stories, he's more of the "funny...I'm so not surprised" that child!
One thing my Papa Raguse had said to me a long long time ago when Luke was maybe just over one and climbing Mount Everest (literally the boy use to climb on ev-ree-thing) was
That a determined child like that will be a leader (a world changer)
And that is exactly what she portrayed through this class! She had a lot of great examples of "that child moments" but honestly they didn't make me think of any of my children they made me think of myself!! BIG TIME! So I won't share all those moments ;) but her class was so encouraging on many levels and I think my notes will undoubtedly help me with all three of my children now and throughout the years to come.
I loved how she talked about how we need "strong willed men"...and all three of mine are in their own way but especially Luke. She said "Look at congress...we need strong willed men!!" And boy do we!!!
She encouraged us to NOT stifle their determination but to bend that determination towards God and to give them a reason for their passion!! And MOST importantly to pray for them!!
To ask God to show me this child's plan !!
I AM my child's advocate. I am the one that helps him connect the dots!!
My boys need to not see my aggrevation but my advocation. (So true for now but I am not often aggravated BUT I can see that resonating big time over the teen years even more....they aren't going to be so cute and snugly and sweet in their footie pajamas at the end of the day then!!)
She Also expressed how the key to a families success is how you deal with the weekest link. And that to me is NOT a child per say but more like a season....like the constant climbing for a one year old, or running instead of walking, or biting (thank you Jesus we don't have that), or not listening, picky eaters etc etc etc!!
We are to engage during these times, not run away! Siblings are always watching and this is a great time for them to learn these life lessons too!!
Another suggestion she had and this was great and I don't want to forget it for the older years was to give you child a fave five list. 5 people you and them decide they can call on to talk to, get advice from, And so on. Mentors that can help pour into your child's life in an awesome Christian way and help them through situations that frankly they just don't want to hear about from mom(which really we would say the exact same thing....but coming from someone else just might be the ticket). And though us mommies want ALL the credit ALL the time....isn't in most important that they "get it"!?!
It's to Gods glory that they get it.
We need to enjoy "that child" and "those moments" for they are "those world changers".
I have always spoke over our boys that they would be leaders, not followers, the head and not the tale. Wanting that for my children may come with some stuff on the side. If I want them to be that and I pray and ask God to help me instill it in them then I shouldn't be surprised when they are a little determined and strong willed!!
We then took our last class called 31 days to becoming a happy wife. She was such a fun speaker to listen too and was super encouraging!! As happy as a wife as I truley truley am and feel like I don't know how I could ever be happier this class blew me out of the water with cool reminders and suggestions for your marriage! So glad I took it!!
She used a great acrostic (which I loved and often use when teaching at crave because it really does help you remember things) and it was to the word happy!!
Hopeful-He is exalted...using God of course in the center and HIS hope helping you over come any and all issues. Adaptable- I defiantly have been working on this and need to continue. I want to be an eb and flow wife and adapt easily through minor situations like my hubby running late from work to a house with the common cold and of course major things that arise too. Positive- just seeing everything in a good outcome. Purposeful- schedule husband and wife time. Yielded- being submissive and putting him and the final decision he makes in highest regard.
I want to please my hubby and especially please The Lord in the way I treat my man. In order to do that I need to seek His wisdom, council and guidance and then to of course be open in offering myself to change what needs to be changed in me to make certain things better, easier, etc!!
One of the neatest suggestions that I defiantly don't want to forget was making a marriage resume or even a pretend one. And looking at it every couple years and seeing what you did you add to it. Basically being intentional and purposeful in not just being his wife but being the happiest wife with the happiest marriage!! And to do that I need to remember that Jesus is my super power and His power is at work in me! He IS my power source.
I want to be the wife that responds with grace and not my flesh. I TOO am a sinner in need of a Savior and I need to remember that and love first rather than react.
God is loving, forgiving, compassionate, kind, and good to ME. I get the opportunity every day to be a reflection of Him to my people!! Which will hopefully spread to the world and inspire deeper, richer realationships with our children and spouse, and give more glory to God and MORE grace!!
We ended the day in the big auditorium hearing from Lysa Terkeurst again!! She was wonderful! She had a couple great stories that I had recently heard her preach about watching her on the Elevation church but it was a great reminder to hear them even the second time!
She really tried to instill that
BAD MOMENTS DON'T MAKE BAD MAMAS!!
That is so true and so something I want to share with all of my friends who are moms!!
God just wants us to be available to Him as moms. All we need to do is show up with our little bit of willingness and He will do the rest!!
I am NOT lacking anything as my boys mom....because God has already given me all I need!!
It was a great uplifting day and really filled me up in knowledge, encouragement, and good ideas!! I hope I can make this a annual trip!! I think it needs to be required....like c.e.u hours for us stay at home mommas!! 😉