Emailing, telephoning, Facebooking, chatting in person--I used every mode of communication available to me to connect with nearly every mother I knew and attempt to drag her to the Mom Heart conference with me this year. The fact was, it made a life changing difference for me just one year ago, and I wanted everyone I knew to have that same refreshing and encouraging new perspective. I got a few takers. (Takers who became even sweeter friends, and who blessed me beyond belief by loving me and sharing life with me this weekend.) There were many more who weren't able to join me for various reasons. I'm going to go ahead and warn you all that after my experience this past weekend, I will now prove relentlessly annoying in my efforts to persuade you of the necessity of your attendance in 2014! My methods may involve force and kidnapping. Don't say you didn't expect it.
Listen, folks: the Mom Heart peeps? They pray. They humbly pray that God will do His work at their conferences. And, ohmystars, I think He really likes people who humbly pray for Him to work, because hetotallyshowsup.
Not only did I see God care for the hearts of the moms I knew personally at this conference, I saw a room of 400 women touched, inspired, and given courage to be mamas who make a difference. I saw moms arrive with very specific needs and hear very specific messages to meet their very specific needs. I saw God connect moms with other moms who were traveling a very similar road with very similar circumstances. Friendships were born, needs were met, courage was found, healing began...
The Mom Heart conference is special. It's special because it gives you new eyes to see your child. It's special because it not only helps you see your need for traveling companions along the motherhood road, but gives you connections and tools to help you create those connections. It's special because it reminds you that life is all about discipleship--the discipleship of your own heart as you follow Jesus and those who are following Him, too; the hearts of your friends as you walk the road together; and the heart of your child, as he follows the example of Jesus you place before him. It's special because they hand you chocolate the minute you register. Maybe I should have said that first?
There were some beautiful messages this weekend, though I would say that it was the message behind the messages as a whole that is stirring inside me. I often feel that I am very slow to synthesize new information. It takes me a long time of working with new thoughts to actually be able to explain them, and then to go live them! Sometimes it seems like I can mull over a concept for a good long while before some switch flips and it all becomes clear. Some of Sally's words this weekend were like that. I had heard many of the things she had said before (most of them from her own mouth--or her pen), but they weren't really getting into my brain in a way that I understood what she meant. I felt like something inside me switched on in a new way. One of the best ways for me to process things it to sit down and write them out. Over the next few days, I'll be doing just that--recording some of my thoughts on the things I heard and hoping that they continue to work into my fiber and become part of who I am.
While you're waiting (with bated breath) for my next posts, you can do the following:
- Decide to attend Mom Heart 2014.
- Put it into your budget and set aside a little each month to make it possible.
- Read Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe or The Mission of Motherhood.
- Call at least one friend and get together at least once a month to pray for one another, laugh, eat chocolate, and encourage each other along the way.
- Be prepared to be dragged bodily to Mom Heart 2014 if you do not heed #1.