March 12-14, 2010
As a gift from my husband, I took a three day hiatus from my normal duties to rest and recharge. After receiving an email about this conference that my favorite inspirational speaker was to leading, I began to see all around me the "need" to go. M asked why I was leaving him for what seemed an eternity and I said, "To be a better Mom." He then replied, "Moms get better at being a mom by being with their children." Though there is some truth to how patience and kindness are gained with practice, I find that Sally Clarkson's conferences equip me with a vision that guides how I view this high calling of motherhood.
I had three goals for the conference:
- To be renewed through the teaching
- To exercise every day
- To eat a calzone
Hurrah! I met them all. The conference was incredible, challenging and exhausting. Just to give you a flavor, the topics covered were:
- Five Habits to Stay Filled with God's Grace (a convicting message to make habits of rest, reading scripture, prayer, fellowship and celebrating life),
- Tending Your Heart to Endure with Joy (A call to examine our lives and live a life with confidence before, and clinging to, a God who has spoken.),
- Living as a Life-Giving Mother (an inspiring message to look at our creative God and realize that we were made to be creative in our
ministryin our homes as well.)
- How to Find Hope on the Journey of Faith (an encouragement to enjoy God's will whether circumstances are hard or smooth at this time - Consider it all joy...)
Also Tracy Klicka gave testimony to much of this teaching as she reviewed how God lead her and her husband through many trials over the last 15-20 years. She made us laugh and cry as she recounted God's faithfulness.
During the last session Sally made reference to life after the conference and the implication was to be prepared for application. How true this insight was. The week following the conference was full of unrealized plans and plans added to my calendar that were unexpected. One image that stuck with me that helped me shift gears with joy - o.k. with less distress - was the image from the title of Sally Clarkson's book, Dancing with the Father: How God Leads us into a Life of Joy and Grace. The image of the beauty of a skilled ice dancing couple can be transferred to the image we should make as we "dance" with the leader of this dance of life. An uncoordinated dance partner is often what I convey as I fight against what God is doing in my life. As I rely on his lead, how much more has my faith grown and my understanding of what a awesome, powerful, gracious and loving God I serve!