Things I like about conferences: the excitement and anticipation, the coming together of so many women so different and yet so much the same, the sense of unity and commonality because of our sisterhood in Christ, the dynamic worship music, the passionate proclamation of the Word (when and if it is part of the conference!). Things I don't like: the crowds, standing in the line for the bathroom, the crowds, the sometimes prevalent emphasis on emotion and self and not so much on the gospel and the Word of God.
I expected True Woman to be unlike conferences I've attended in the past and I was right. In fact, the schedule was so packed and so intense that by Friday night I reached the saturation point. Brain dead. Mentally (and physically) exhausted. Despite my mental exhaustion, I did learn some important things and was reminded of other important things. Here are some of the things I learned (in no specific order):
- I love hanging out with my girlfriends, true women in their own right
- The importance and benefit of mentoring
- When conference materials recommend to dress in layers because some venues may be cool, they really mean for you to bring a heavy coat and a blanket otherwise you will be miserable. Just sayin'...
- Irish pipes are cool and an Irish brogue fun to listen to
- Hospitality doesn't mean a perfect house but it does build relationships and foster communion and camaraderie. My resentment toward practicing hospitality is sin, plain and simple
- I love my church (okay, I already knew this so didn't technically learn it this weekend but I was reminded yet again of how grateful I am for my church family)
- I love hearing the Bible exposited (already knew this too)
- I am sometimes cynical and overly critical, and even though I am uncomfortable with a watch dog role I can't help myself
- I have much to learn and apply in regard to practicing authentic Biblical womanhood
- Panera Bread = yummy. Their coffee = wonderful!
- My favorite sessions were ones in which the Word was exposited and the gospel heralded (and yeah, I already knew this as well but also was reminded of it yet again).
So, yeah, it was a good weekend. As I tweeted upon my return home, we laughed much, slept little, talked long and learned lots. I have been inspired and challenged by the call to true womanhood, most particularly in terms of seeking out mentoring relationships both as a mentor and a mentoree, something I attempt but have no idea what I'm doing. I want to be a better mentor. I want to be mentored. Hospitality is something else I attempt, however reluctantly, and something else I want to be better at. I also feel the need to downsize some of my obligations and responsibilities in order to be more intentional with my time and ministry to my family and my home as well as to other women. How that needs to play out, I don't know, but it's something I'm seeking the Lord for wisdom and direction.
Much to ponder, much to pray over, much to repent of, much to thank the Lord for, much to learn and apply. I am full with the "much" the Lord granted us this weekend. He is good!