Have you ever been surprised?
Maybe it was a birthday party, a wonderful gift, or special honor.
I typically don’t like surprises. I think is a “type A” control issue. They make me vulnerable and nervous. Well, I like them when they’re over, just not when my friends are giggling and grinning, and I have no idea why.
Anyway, a few years ago, I got a surprise. My dear friend, Kelly Hubert, nominated me for GIVE LOVE. It is a special blessing for a woman who is at a low point, who is in the process of overcoming impossible odds, or who has stepped out to do something brave.
Isn’t that so nice?!
So a few of my girlfriends kidnapped me for what I thought was going to be a fun sleepover with a mani/pedi day, but turned into a life-changing moment on a stage. I’ll be honest, I was a little suspect when we pulled up to Rockford First and there was a women’s conference happening. This wasn’t a nail salon! And as we sat in the audience, the lights dimmed, the video
began to play, and the tears began.
The Original Conference stole my heart that day. Not because they gave me something, but because they were looking to give. So this year, I just had to make sure you got your official invitation. I know I am so excited to be going this year because the theme, past the wishing, is right where I am.
Who’s with me?!
It was a warm, sunny day last May when a small group of girls and I gathered around a table at our local Starbucks for what we thought would be a light-hearted meeting to look at design ideas for the 2015 Original Conference. As every girl gathering goes, we began with small talk as we sipped our coffee, laughed, and shared comical stories of how our crazy morning routines had unfolded. As our meeting went on, we began to speak to the content and message of this invitation, and what ensued was an incredibly divine moment which set the course for a journey that would profoundly impact each of our lives.
In the course of discovering what we wanted the conference to be about, we were finding out what we as individuals wanted to be about. One by one we ended up sharing how there were dreams, goals, aspirations, and ideas that each of us had for our relationships, families, careers, callings — many of which were just wishes at the time. Nothing, or very little, was being done about them. In the busyness and craziness of our lives, we were each left with a mounting, muddled list of goals, regrets, wants, and needs that were just sitting on the back burner of an already full life.
As we continued to share with deep honesty, the hustle and bustle of the coffee shop seemed to become muted background noise to an oh-so- important place in time. We all leaned in to listen intently to one another and huddled close for this holy moment, which included a few tears, napkins as tissue, and the occasional giggle as we realized this was all happening in the most unlikely of places at the most unlikely time, and isn’t that just like our God.
At the end of our time together, we knew that this was just the beginning. This wasn’t just going to be a nice, emotional conversation that took place between girlfriends that would be chalked up as a sweet memory. We were ready to do something. We all committed to jump on the journey of intentional living together and just see where it would take us. We decided to move past the wishing.
This, my friend, is the backdrop of this year’s conference. I have seen God so beautifully weave together a profound, life-changing message that He wants to communicate to us this year. A message that has deeply changed this small group of girls and will extend to all who attend conference this year. I couldn’t be any more excited about all God is going to do! Please don’t miss out!
I encourage you to do everything you can to get your cute self to Rockford this April 23-25, 2015. You will not regret it. Something powerful and amazing happens when we take time to separate ourselves from the everyday normal and focus on Christ. Jeremiah 29:13,14 is a promise that is true for us today – “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.
See you in April!
Love, Jen DeWeerdt