Tuesday, August 16, 2011

women of faith: initial thoughts

I had the privilege of attending the Women of Faith: Over the Top conference in Omaha last weekend. As I said prior to going, the 1998 conference I attended was one of the greatest experiences of my first 16 years of life. So I had fairly high expectations going in—and I was not disappointed! Following are some of the points that hit home to me.

Andy Andrews spoke about the butterfly effect on Friday night. He has a book of the same name, which I reviewed last year. I really enjoyed his message, which basically served as a reminder that everything I do matters. He used history to drive home his point, and he is a masterful storyteller. I (along with the rest of the audience) was captivated while he spoke.

Mandisa's concert was amazing! My mom especially noticed how she just praised the Lord with abandon. Mom wants to learn to dance like Mandisa!
Amy Grant just about broke my heart in her response to Katharine Everett's drama about laying down all your bags at the foot of the cross. The girl in the drama was struggling with her parents' divorce, and Amy said that her daughters were young when she left their father, and she prays every day that God finds her children like He found her. I have done my share of judging Amy in the past, and her humility and brokenness reminded me that I shouldn't, in the words of my sister, be a "Judger McJudger-pants."

Amy Grant
For me, the biggest take-away of the weekend came from Lisa Whelchel. I need to get my hands on her book, Friendship for Grown-Ups. Lisa was very candid about the fact that she has struggled to make good, close friends, and she shared some of the things she's learned as she's sought out great friendships. While I had two very close friends in high school, a best friend and a few other close friends in college, and a great friend and roommate right after college, I've struggled to make "heart friends" in recent years. (I don't know who I'm stealing that term from, but I love it!) I'm sure it has something to do with opening up and being vulnerable, which has always been hard for me. Anyway, Lisa encouraged us to let that desire for friendship bubble up inside and then act on it—I'm more used to burying those kinds of desires, so we'll see how this goes! But God knows I've been longing for a close friend, and I believe He sent me to Women of Faith just to hear Lisa speak.
My mom (right) and me before the Saturday session.
So glad I could experience Women of Faith with her!
I also connected with some people on Twitter after the event (first time I've communicated with strangers over Twitter—so yes, I know that I'm not really using it right!)—I met two women who were in my section…one was even sitting next to my mom! Maybe in the future there will be some sort of blogger meet-up at events like this. It would have been nice to have a way to connect with other bloggers while I was there. (Some of the BookSneeze bloggers did find each other—but I, with no smartphone to check Twitter, had to be content with tweeting by text, and I didn't see the tweet about the blogger picture until I got home.)

I even had one of my tweets referenced on stage: Looking forward to @womenoffaith tomorrow and Saturday. Great way to spend my 30th birthday! #wofott Then Sandi Patty and Mandisa sang to all of the birthday girls in the audience!

A big thanks to BookSneeze for giving me two tickets in exchange for blogging about the event.  It was much appreciated!


  1. I so wanted to stand up and yell "It's Becky in section 8! She is the one that tweeted that she is turning 30 while at Women of Faith!" Sorry I didn't have the guts to do it!

  2. My face turned about a thousand shades of red--and no one even knew it was me except for the ladies next to me (one of whom was also having a birthday), you guys, and Janice's group!

  3. Sounds like you had a great time! I got to see Mandisa at the Extraordinary Women conference in Columbus a couple years ago. I agree - she was amazing! :)

  4. The Butterfly Effect is a great book for for adults to learn how their life really does matter. It is an inspiring story of how one person can really make a difference in the world and how one person can influence another person and so on and so on to lead to an ultimate outcome for good. It's inspiring to know that history can be changed by one small little act from a common person that not many people have even ever heard of.


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