Yesterday I attended the Hearts at Home National Conference. All I can say is WOW!!! If you have never been, but are a mom, particularly a Christian mom, then I would highly recommend going! The conference started with a main session where Jill Savage spoke. The theme this year was Mom's the Word and Jill spoke about four types of words our family needs to hear us speak (affirming, accepting, appreciating and apologizing) and how what is in our hearts pours out our mouths. It was very thought provoking and it really inspired me to be more careful and intentional with my words, both to my husband and to my child. Nicole Johnson also spoke and did some dramatic skits, which were amazing. And Christy Nockels performed. She was amazing. She sings worship songs, which have never really been my thing but are now!
After the main session, we were set free on the campus of ISU to attend our other workshops. The other workshops I attended were Measuring up as a Mom, Living with Less So Your Family Can Have More, Navigating Friendships, and Real Moms...Real Jesus. I was really fortunate to have Jill Savage as the speaker at two of my workshops. I enjoyed all of them, but Jill is just an amazing speaker. I will admit that my attention really waned during the Navigating Friendships workshop. The room it was held in was really warm, plus it was after lunch and I had had too little sleep the night before. Also, a couple of the women I went with went to a different session during that time called Growing Grateful Kids, which I strongly debated switching to (you aren't really supposed to switch up your schedule) and apparently it was just amazing. So I guess I wish I would have broken the rules!
There was an afternoon main session as well, which featured Christy Nockels again, as well as Julie Barnhill and more from Nicole Johnson. I really enjoyed Nicole. She was amazing. Her talk at the end was about how as moms we are sometimes invisible, but we are doing great work in our children and God sees. She compared it to the great cathedrals in Europe and how the builders would work their entire lives on cathedrals and would never see them finished and never get credit for their work, but the work was for God. And as a funny aside, I just finished reading about a month ago a book called "The Pillars of the Earth" which was about building a great cathedral in England in the twelfth century.
All in all, the conference was amazing. I laughed, I cried (who me? I never cry!) and I learned so much! It was great being away for 24 hours to recharge and be inspired. I was a ton of fun to get to really know some of my MOPS friends better and to spend some time with people who totally get me at this stage of my life. I mean seriously, there were like 4500 women there! That is a lot of estrogen!
I almost forgot - a man spoke who is former sponsored child from Compassion International. He spoke about what it means to be sponsored and how his life could have turned out. He spoke about meeting his sponsor after twelve years of sponsorship and how he and his wife and his brand new baby girl are living in the US right now, training to go back and become ministers in the community he came from in Uganda. It was truly inspiring. Sponsoring a child is something that has really been on my heart the past couple months, and while now isn't the right time for us to do it, I really hope one day soon is!
Hehe! I just read this to proof read and realized I use the word "amazing" to pretty much describe everything! What can I say - it was AMAZING! so I am not going to change it!