This past weekend, I had one of the most fulfilling weekends I’ve experienced in a long time.
Let me start by saying that I often find it hard to break away from my husband and kids to spend time away from home without them. Fact is, I really love my family, and I simply don’t like going away without them. But, as one of today’s Traditional Moms, I sometimes have to do just that. Work conferences and demands, volunteer activities, and obligations to family and friends sometimes do mean a day – or a few – away from home.
This one was one just for me. And I admittedly was feeling a bit guilty about it. But, I packed a bag and drove just a short way downtown to the Women of Faith conference in Indianapolis.
Now for any Christian woman who hasn’t yet experienced one of these conferences, I have to say you simply have to experience it for yourself. There really aren’t words to describe the outpouring love and faith you find in an arena with 12,000 of your closest friends.
This was my second year at the event. I enjoyed myself last year, particularly because I was attending with a very dear friend whom I don’t get to spend enough time with. Several of the messages were touching and I felt spiritually refreshed at the end of the event, so we decided to go again this year.
It’s interesting how God works in our lives. You see, I had viewed a preview video on the Women of Faith website that mentioned which millions of women have attended these events over the last 13 years in more than 320 arenas in 77 cities, but that the most compelling statistic – the most compelling number is actually one – that one woman who hears that one message at that one moment in time that speaks to her in a way that may just be life-changing.
Well, sure, I thought … for someone who’s suffering tragedy in her life, or is struggling with depression, or who hasn’t quite yet made the decision to accept Christ … you know – the women that have some issues (Mom Code. Always whispered.) Not good, Christian, Traditional Moms like me who’ve got it all together. (Okay – so I’ll admit that I recognize that I’m far from having it all together on most days, but I still didn’t think that “one” could have anything to do with me.)
And then it got me from the very start.
Friday’s speakers (wonderfully entertaining and enlightening people like Marilyn Meberg, Steve Arterburn, and Sandi Patty) focused a lot on not missing the special moments in your life. Well, yeah, I thought. That’s what I blog about! I was debating on whether I should write someone a letter offering my services for next year…
Friday evening, we were delighted with an appearance by Steven Curtis Chapman and that’s where the whole thing took on a new perspective for me.
I’ve always really enjoyed his music, and was heartbroken with so much of the world at the news of the loss of his youngest daughter last year. But, as part of his concert that night, he talked about how came to write the songs that he sang, including the much-loved Cinderella. It was a simple moment so familiar to us all – the frantic rush trying to get kids bathed and in bed. After the frantic rush was over, it dawned on him how special those moments are and how we should treasure every one of them. How could he have ever known the tragedy that would follow and how, at first so painful, and ultimately so comforting, the words to that very song would be?
That was the one moment for me. Sure, I’m all about creating special moments with your children, be it however often, with traditions and values at the center. But it really hit me then how every moment that God gives us with our loved ones is special.
Wow. What a revelation – not that I didn’t know this truth before hearing Steven Curtis Chapman speak, but I didn’t really know it. So, I won’t give up on creating special moments with my boys. But I sure will be looking at all those non-created, run-of-the-mill, everyday, frantic moments in a whole new way. How about you?