Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hope Spoken

Photo by: Emily Anderson
Over a year ago, I heard about this conference on one of my favorite blogs.
I was immediately drawn in after reading this:

Hope Spoken is a women's conference where we all can come to know Jesus more, and make Him known in our lives. Our conference will be filled with stories. Stories of Christ in each of our lives, and how we can use these stories for His glory. This is a weekend to rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down and feel His grace. We want to let women know that they are enough, to encourage women to use their passions, their words, and their creativity for the Lord. We, above all else, want to glorify Jesus' name and share the hope we have in Him.

Photo by: Meghan Newsom

I wanted to attend, and I was so excited when my friends Christen & Cindy agreed to go with me.  The last time the three of us went on a trip together was in 2002
so it had been just a little while.

Aside from the stress of getting into an airport
(does anyone else get hot & suddenly suffer from a slight tummyache
when their bags go through security, and you have no shoes on?)
and the awkward dance of getting our own personal selves & our carry-ons from one terminal to another and onto the plane itself, I would consider our travels from Virginia to Texas a success.

Christen's Uncle Mike was gracious enough to pick us up at the airport and escort us to
lunch & to the hotel where the conference was held.
{Thank you, Uncle Mike!}

Danielle & Casey & Emily
Photo by: Meghan Newsom
Our Hope Spoken hosts were amazing!  From the decor to the worship to the treats to the small group leaders to the market to the schedule to the speakers - Casey, Danielle, and Emily did a phenomenal job.  I'm so thankful for their heart and vision for our time in Dallas.  I'm even more thankful for their passion and love for Jesus.  Their commitment to His plan for our few days together was evident throughout the entire weekend.
Honestly, I thought that four days away from my responsibilities at home and at work would be an escape from the anger that I have with God right now because of circumstances that I think are unfair.  My mind knows:
that He is in control
that His plan is beyond my understanding
that He loves each of His children very, very much
However, when life plays out unexpectedly - all those things are harder for my heart to embrace.

Just an aside:
Can we just remember and celebrate that we did not have to cook one meal, do one load of laundry, or brew one cup of coffee during the entire conference?  Also, treats were always on hand.

They truly took the best care of us.
Photo by: Meghan Newsom

There is so much more to share.

For now - know that because all of the women {our speakers, our small group
leader (the amazing Leslie Padgett), every lovely girl in my group}
were so transparent, honest, and thoughtful with each of their stories - I came away
from this weekend changed by each one.  They brought to the table something that God wanted me to hear and experience at this very time in my life, and I will always be thankful for that.


Cindy said...

Is it time to go back yet?

Grace Manning said...

It should be! {I miss camp.}