What a fabulous weekend! Also, I'm pooped. And I'm so happy I have a teacher-daughter who helped keep us all moving in the right direction. Our crew may have been a bit tougher to herd than her actual third graders-ha!
Here we are ready to kick off a weekend filled with Abundance.
Abundant love. Abundant fun. Abundant joy.
My mother in-law turned 80 on Friday, and to mark the occasion we spent an amazing 24 hours in Asheville North Carolina at the Lifeway Women's Conference called Abundance. About 3500 women filled the US Cellular Center to hear a terrific line up of speakers, and as my mom put it '...her first rock concert.'
Not sure it qualifies as an actual rock concert, but Natalie Grant did bring down the house on Friday night. The girl can sang! She is a vocal powerhouse, and she wrapped it up with How Great Thou Art which moved everyone to tears. I've always loved the song, but her version is my new favorite.
It was so special to have some of my most favorite girlies in the row beside me all weekend. My mama, my big sister, that's me in the middle, my mother-in-law on the right, and my Daughter2 on the end. In a funny coincidence my mom and my mother-in-law were both sporting Spring Green jackets, which helped tremendously with tracking in a sea of women. Just ask the third grade teacher.
Annie Downs kicked off the Friday night speaker line up, and she is adorable and also hilarious and on top of that she's wise. Daughter2 and Grandma bought one of her books, and it was fun to get them signed by the author.
It took forever to get out of the parking garage Friday night, and in spite of the late hour (or maybe because of it) a stop at Waffle House seemed in order. Why does Waffle House always seem like a good idea until it doesn't?
My mom informed us she'd never been to a Waffle House, and that's all we needed to hear. Waffle House is a great place for late night people watching. Just ask the folks who saw us come in.
We stayed up way too late but managed to be back in our seats Saturday morning for the 8:15 start time. Lifeway! 8:15??!
Christy Nockles led worship all weekend, and y'all she is awesome. The girls who started She Reads Truth were on the agenda first thing, and if you've never checked out She Reads Truth get yourself to their website.
Daughter2 was especially excited to meet them, and of course my mother-in-law needed to introduce herself too, because she recognized the uncommon surname of one of the girls, and they needed to chat about shared connections in East Tennessee.
My mother-in-law knows everybody y'all.
I am not kidding.
We heard from two more speakers Saturday morning, Lisa Harper (I seriously wish she lived next door) and Lysa TerKeurst, who were both so good. Great messages were conveyed with great warmth.
In another funny coincidence, a friend from my Women's Bible Study group in NJ happened to be attending too. Her sister lives in NC so they came together, and we ran into one another several times, including in the parking garage on the way out (not literally!). Turns out we'd parked right behind one another.
It's a small wonderful world, isn't it?
Here I am with Daughter2 in the hotel parking lot. Disregard my crazy hair and the bags under my eyes. Question-why does Daughter2 look so cute when we were on the same schedule that involved little sleep and Waffle House at 11 PM ?
She drove my mom and sister back to SC and I drove my mother-in-law back to Tennessee, but I insisted on a photo. I needed a picture with the one who accurately read the GPS, who told me where to really turn, where to park, and where to find the car when all was said and done.
The one who made sure no one got lost, who happily took pictures when the women sitting around us needed pictures taken, who told us our glasses were on our head when we couldn't find our glasses, and who only rolled her eyes a little.
The one who reminded me that in a world gone mad, there are strong, faithful, confident young women seeking to know God's will for their lives and to live it.