Candid Karina











{November 16, 2011}   Women of Faith – Imagine – Where Do I Begin?

 

As I mentioned last week in this post, I was given a pair of tickets to attend the Women of Faith Conference in Hartford, CT this past weekend.

What I couldn’t remember last week was exactly “where” I’d scored the tickets.  Don’t judge me, I do A LOT of stuff online and sometimes, I forget where I did what. (insert winky face).  But I need to take this opportunity to thank Booksneeze for the tickets, because I now REMEMBER they were the ones to provide me with the tickets, and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude.  Truly, and honestly.  WOW.  I’ll be forever grateful.

With that being said, where do I begin to tell you about my experience this past weekend?  How do I take such a life changing experience and put it into words?  And how I can I possibly take two full days worth of life lessons and inspiration and cram it all into one blog post?

The answer is simple.  I can’t.  So I’m not even going to try.

No, I don’t mean I’m not going to write about the experience.  OF COURSE I AM.  What I mean is…it’s going to take more than one post.  I need to give each item the attention it deserves.  So, please do come back in the next week or two, because I have SO MUCH to share with you!

For today, I’ll give you the basics.

 

Me and Sue

I invited my friend Sue to come down with me and on the two hour drive down we had a great heart to heart about where we both are in our lives, and the things we are both searching for individually.  Our aches and pains, and our thrills and joys.  Sue is just recently on her path back to God, so I was incredibly excited to share this experience with her.

We checked into our hotel Thursday night, and after a late dinner, settled in to rest up for the following day.

Friday morning we were up bright and early and headed over to the convention center.  After a short wait for the doors to open, we were let into the arena, and found seats close to the stage for the first session of the conference (which was general admission seating).

We spent Friday listening to the Women of Faith Worship Team sing songs of praise (and boy can they SING), and Sheila Walsh and Dr. Henry Cloud share their knowledge, wisdom, humor and life experience.  I’ll get into more detail in future posts about what each of these speakers had to say and how deeply each of them affected me, but for now let’s just say that just the Friday morning/afternoon session alone would have been a sufficiently life changing experience for me.

Both Sue and I got SO MUCH from these two speakers that we walked away at the close of the morning session knowing exactly why God had brought us there, and excited for the rest of the weekend.

After a dinner break, during which we dined at a great little spot in downtown Hartford called “Zula”, we headed back to the convention center for the evening’s program.

"The Porch"

This was actually the “official” start of the Conference, and we were introduced to all the women who would be speaking the next day.  They were: Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Nicole Johnson, Luci Swindoll and Angie Smith.  That night we were treated to a “drama” performance by Nicole Johnson (which was really more of a poignant comedy) and a comedy routine by Ken Davis (who is ABSOLUTELY hilarious).  And finally, Natalie Grant took the stage to sing.  I love Natalie Grant and we did enjoy a few of her songs, but I have to admit, we were EXHAUSTED by the end of the evening, so we did sneak out a little bit early, to beat the traffic out of Hartford (and the parking garage) and head back to our hotel.

I hear we missed some serious planking action though, and for that, I am sorry. 😦 I mean, seriously..these ladies can party! 😉

Saturday morning we were right back to the convention center bright and early.  We had heard that Sheila Walsh (and the rest of the ladies) would be doing book signings that morning, and we were determined to meet Sheila.  So, with our books in hand, we made it in time to get in line for Sheila. It was an absolute pleasure to meet and chat with her, she is seriously an inspiration and an amazing lady.  My friend Sue shared with Sheila that she has never had a role model before, but Sheila had just become her first…there might have been tears.

Chatting With Sheila

 

 

We spent the rest of the day listening to all of the ladies above sharing their stories.  There were DEFINITELY tears.  And laughter.

I also signed up to sponsor a little girl from the Philipines named Grace, through the World of Vision program.

And then there was Mary Mary.  I’ve known their music for a long time, and I’ve always been sort of a casual fan.  But when they took that stage, they made me an INSTANT fan.   A lifetime fan.  Not only are they incredibly talented, but they also shared quite a bit of their faith, their story, their hearts.  It was one of my favorite parts of the conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time we left on Saturday afternoon for the 2 hour drive home, we were absolutely filled with the spirit, with inspiration, with hope and with love.

The entire conference was amazing, the women were incredible inspirations, the atmosphere was one of love and acceptance and joy.  In a room filled with ten thousand women and the only “catty” behavior I witnessed was from the security lady who bit my friend’s head off when she saw a bottle of water in her bag (which was innocently left in there). 😉

I have decided that not only am I attending again next year, but I am determined to bring a WHOLE GROUP of ladies with me.  This must be shared with everyone I know and love.

There is SO MUCH MORE to tell.

Like I said, this post is just the basics.  Just a taste of what’s to come.  I’m still processing, still trying to get all my thoughts together.  But come on back…my next post will dig deeper into the speakers and how they moved me.  And there will be more pictures! 🙂

Thank you again to Booksneeze.  Truly, there are no words for how grateful I am.

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