Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Taking A Minute...

To tell you about my weekend at Time Out For Women. It was probably one of the most AMAZING weekends I have had in a long time. Do I accredit it to the fact I was sans children? NO! But it was nice to have a little "grown up" time with my friend Dana and her family. I'll be honest with you and tell you that at first I was super apprehensive about going. I was worried that Kevin couldn't handle the kids, it was my dad's birthday on Saturday, and I didn't really feel like going. Well not to much of my surprise... Kevin CAN handle the kids on his own for a night and most of a day. Some times I have too little faith in my husbands skills... but we can save that for another day. Anyways, the weekend started off how most of my days do... with me running late. Our game plan was to leave around 1 pm so we could do a little shopping before the event started. I didn't get home until after 1 and I was not packed. It was okay though  because I packed quickly, we (Dana, Rachel, and I) loaded up my carseat free car and were headed towards Memphis. The drive to Memphis was super quick... well it seemed that way because we chatted and danced and did fun things that you do while on "road trips." We found our hotel, after little bit of trial and error, and then headed to downtown Memphis. The Convention Center was easy to find but parking... not our favorite thing. By the time we had driven around the area and found parking the event was starting so no shopping. I was a little bummed but we had to save seats and the event was about to begin!

Friday night we listened to amazing music by Jenny Oaks Baker that just put me in a state of awe and wonder. She is so amazing! Plus, I found the stories that she told us so inspiring. What a wonderful way for her to share her talent with the world! Sheri Dew was suppose to be there to give a talk but had an amazing opportunity to go and deliver books to children in an impoverished country. So, she did a video presentation talk. It was my first time listening to her speak and again I was touched. I didn't have a note book so I didn't take notes over her talk, but I did take away from it that I should turn the TV off more. It seems like something so small...  but I can tell you it has already made a difference! The second speaker was John Bytheway (yes that is his real last name). I really liked his style and that he was funny. He talked a lot about marriage and making it work as a team. One of my favorite points by him was "Appreciate/Expect/Demand." You should always appreciate the things that your spouse does for you. If they do things over a long period of time we come to expect it. Then if it stops, we demand it from them. We should never get past the point of appreciation... but I know that there are instances in my own life that I have "demanded" of Kevin to do things that he does just to be nice. Another great point I thought that John Bytheway made was to ask yourself "What is it like to be married to me?" Would you want to be married to yourself? I can tell you I wouldn't want to be. But that just makes me love and appreciate Kevin even more because he can put up with me and my ways.  After it was said and done for the night we (Dana, Rachel, Alessa, Tracy, and I) all went back to our hotel. We sat and talked about what we liked and just chatted away. Somehow in our conversation we started talking about friendships and their importance... I don't even know how. But, out of that conversation came a startling revelation that I had never thought about: "We need to focus on our relationships with the people we are taking into eternity" which pretty much means our family. Oh haiii... something else I need to focus on in my life.

Saturday began early. Earlier than I ever wake up at my house... and that says a lot.  The musical guest for the day was Hilary Weeks who I found funny, charming, and amazing! She even played a new song that she was inspirited to write from TOFW's theme of Hope. It was beautiful and through her stories she really inspired me to be better at not gossiping. It is so easy to do these days and it so pointless... The first speaker was Emily Watts. Let me just tell you that I love lady! She talked about so many things and was so relatable as a mom that it was incredible! My favorite quote from her was "If we have hope we wait with patience." What incredible words! I sat and  thought about how impatient I have been in my life and how in those times I didn't have hope. I found her so inspiring that I bought a book and want to by another one! If you have hard days as a mother and are looking for some comfort and inspiration, I would highly suggest reading one of her books. S. Michael Wilcox was the next speaker and I was inspired by him and how the journey stories in the Bible are there to help us on our journey through life. The third speaker was Mariama Kallon who has an amazing story to share with the world! Her testimony of finding the gospel and hope was so touching. I don't know if I would have the strength that she had when faced with such vast adversaries in Sierra Leone. I don't think that there was a dry eye in the place by the end of her segment. I strongly suggest that you take a moment to read about her life and how amazing of a story she has. The fourth speaker was Amanda Dickson who was really funny... but I missed her talk because I was sitting in the lobby with someone discussing something else... However, my friend Dana did tell me her talk was really good and explained that you are the best mother for your children and that you the best wife for your husband. So that made me feel good :) The closing speaker was Mary Ellen Edmunds who is really funny and super inspiring. She talked about resilience and how when people tell you you can't, you should believe in the part that you can. She really helped me to realize more about myself and believing in me because others do.

All together, all I can say is that it was such an amazing experience for me this past weekend. I was spiritually uplifted, I laughed, I cried, I had insight, I changed. I would strongly suggest to any woman to see if you can attend one in your area. It is not a church thing and all religions are welcomed to come. It is a place for women to go and to feel all of the amazing things that I did.


Andrea said...

So sad I missed it. It is nice to live it through your experience.

my kids' mom said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with TOFW! Wish I could have been there,,will definitely try harder next time!