In the Bible in Psalms, there is a verse ” I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” On this basis, the Facebook book and ultimately the Intentionally and Wonderfully Made conference was begun. To be honest, although I have been a member of the Facebook group for years and Beverly, one of the cofounders, often guest posts on the blog, is one of my best friends, I never felt the need or had the money to attend this conference.
There was always something that got in the way for me to attend. The number one thing or should I say that person was me. You know the saying that we are our own worst critics. Well I so agree, I can’t ever seem to feel like I belong in a group of people. Then one year money was the issue. Last year Beverly had some tickets for me but I didn’t want to be around people as it was the day after my dad’s funeral.
However this year, I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale and to make sure that I would go, I bought an extra and invited one of my closest friends, Cindi. But don’t think that I didn’t have second thoughts about going. I even texted Beverly the night before and told her I was thinking about not attending. Not because I didn’t feel that there would be value in the message but that I felt so alone. This past week marked a year that my dad has been gone. And I grieved deeply for him.
What I received was a text back from her telling me that was more reason for me to come and she wanted me to come to let those ladies love on me. (Insert a southern drawl here, because that is the way Beverly speaks.) So I went and I am so glad I did.
First I was able to catch up with Cindi. Although she is one of my closest friends, I hardly ever get to see her as both of our lives are so busy. Did I mention I want to be her when I grow up? We chatted on the drive over there and encouraged each other. We were able to snag seats near the front as the conference started.
What a great conference it was. It opened up with the Matt Bartlett Band, a contemporary Christian rock band. I could feel the spirit move inside the building as over 1300 women rocked out to the beautiful message they were bringing.
Then it was time for Beverly to take the stage. I always knew what a cut up Beverly is, but this was the first time I heard her speak. I was totally blown away by her words. It shall be well, was the main message of her little talk. And after listening to her speak, I know it shall be well as my God has things under control. (By the way, Mrs. Beverly has just released a book called Get a G.R.I.P. and I got an autographed copy from her so look for a book review soon. Also here is a secret hopefully in the next few weeks there will be a guest post from Beverly and a giveaway is in the works so be looking out for it.)
After Beverly spoke, Lysa TerKeust from Proverbs 31 Ministries took the stage. She has such a great presence and you can’t help but think that although she is famous she is just like every other woman in the world. I loved how she said that there was a little magic device that brought her happiness when her children were little. Guess what is was? A School Bus. Think about it, how many parents think the same thing. In my case, that magic device is my car but still I can get a lot accomplished during the day when there aren’t so many interruptions. Both times Lysa spoke, she spoke about being humble. She said that only when we approach people with humility are they going to be willing to listen. She also challenged the audience to think about one word that God has placed on their hearts.
To be honest, I have been thinking about that one word for a while and each time, the word that comes back to me is devotion or devoted. Whether it is to this blog, my family, my house, my health, my relationships or to God that word just seems to jump out at me. So that is my word for this year. Look for a blog post soon.
[Tweet “My word for this year is DEVOTION. Have you picked a word yet?”]
After lunch, which was provided by Chic-Fil-A, which have I mentioned that I am a member of Chic-Fil-A mom’s panel, Sherry Jennings took the stage. Sherry and I have been friends on Facebook for years, but only just met each other on Friday when I went to pick up the tickets. Sherry has an amazing story that I hope I will get to share with you soon. She spoke how it is important to have girlfriends to help support us when times are rough and even in good times. Although she said girlfriends are not a replacement for God, they are a way to help each other and build each other up. And I agree I don’t know what I would have done the past two years if there haven’t been girlfriends that have held me up.
I will have to say that I am glad that I attended the Intentionally and Wonderfully Made Conference this year and that I didn’t let that little voice inside my head stop me from going. I enjoyed spending time in fellowship with my friends and the speakers were totally amazing. I think this is one conference that will be on my to-do list every year.