In the quiet of this morning, I sit breathing in the scent of the Good Earth Original Tea. Early morning twilight is emerging, slowly lighting up a still flat lake. I feel peace. Empty of the build up of stress in my body. There is a fullness of memories of joy and love. My physical mind is tired, that good tired, like your muscles after a 6 mile rowing session. You still feel the adrenaline, yet happy to be on your own shore, your muscles are excited that they got a work out, yet, let you know to nourish them – as they heal – so that you can go out again soon.
My spiritual mind – feels about the same way. Each person – from the first on stagge, Patsy Clairmont, to the last user on the floor – Ron, had personal encouraging challenging words to speak into my life. I soaked it in, the respect and knowledge of most of the speakers’ experience, their life stories tucked into my mind, spread over a prayer life for them, like Lisa Whelchel, Sandi Patty, Marilyn Meberg. Then switching to new people, known to me – Andy Andrews, the members of Selah, Mandisa, Brenda Warner – I let myself be open to their words – I prayed for their words to be what the Lord intended me to hear – and gave trust – I had heard some of their names, but did not know them personally, as personally as you can a public speaking figure I suppose.
Each person who took the stage – shared their experiences – struggles, deaths, triumphs, victories – by the end of the evening Saturday – one really could walk away with a sense of knowing, at least the parts they shared, having been handed a personal piece of the person. I will have new direction to pray for these leaders of Women throughout the tour this year. In a crowd of 7,000 people – it felt personal. Like it was a chat between friends. Like I had called them, and they came over to chat. Even the musical performances – felt more like sharing the throne room of worship and praise – than performance. I say thank you – Thank You for your hard work, preparation, willingness to be obedient to the call on your life – it is worth it – to this one person.
Munching on my Bat Cookie from the Beaverton Bakery, I’ll open my notebook that must have over 10 pages of front and back notes. (Don’t worry – I’m not going to write them all down here, you can breath)
Randomly – not in the order of events –
Sandi Patty – It was said that you were “More than a voice”. I trust that you are learning that, more and more each day. Thank you for sharing your words, and your song with us. Listening to you since I was a teen in Oklahoma City – you filled my heart with gladness to see how you have grown in the Lord all of these years. Your story so blessed my friend, in a personal way, identifying with your struggles, and she was personally touched and blessed. Thank You.
Andy Andrews – All of my friends with me think you must be my cousin. Zigging and Zagging, in word and in physical form, with two boys – I may have been one of the few in the arena that could keep up with you and it all made so clear perfect sense. Many pages of notes were written, as you encouraged me to be a better mom, to focus on the training of my boys, step up. I am going to be ready today, when someone “pushes me in the pool.” I am going to continue to “invest in myself” – and urge my readers to do the same. You shared that $20.00 for a book is an investment in myself, and a small price to pay for the years that took an individual to bring their work to hard backed print, for the years of experience contained in the work, $20.00 is not a lot to pay for a man’s life. Thank you for sharing your life with us with The Traveler’s Gift, The Boy Who Changed Everything, and your many other offerings of what has been taught to you, experienced by you – and given to your heart to share. Thank You. (from this Canary / Gold Fish, scratching your Puppy Ears – You Are A Good Boy!)
Brenda Warner – Can I tell you I just wanted to join you on the porch and hang out for a while? I loved your fun energy, the shoes, the playfulness – I didn’t have a clue who you were, until you tied your hubby with the Dancing with the Stars – and sorry – no, I’m a watcher, not a voter. We don’t watch a lot of regular TV, or Sports. I had heard – that you were a divorced mom who married a Sports Star. I had heard that the press raked you left you to dry. I had heard – that your story was a least favorite from another blogger, her hurtful words wringing in my ears as I entered the arena Saturday Morning. May I Say – Will You Forgive Me? Will you forgive me for listening to “those people”, and even when I don’t intend to – I allow them to begin how I see a person. How can we know a person – until we have talked to them? How can we get to know someone on second hand accounts? Your Story – Sigh. Breathe. So simple. So “normal”. Your path could have been walked by any of us. I will let you share your story with others – One Call Away – As you walked us through each of your life changing Phone Calls – I wanted to tuck my cell phone into my pants pocket and not answer it for a week. To You Brenda – Thank You. For sharing the details of your life – so that we might have hope – so that we could laugh – so that we could share with you. I am glad that you went to that Place that Played Country Music and Served Refreshments – and met a guy who had a college football scholarship – and took a chance to let him see your faith – your walk – Praise God for Ugly Men who are faithful and employed. Praise God for You. – Thank You.
Marilyn Meberg – First – Thanks for the Chocolate Kiss – I want another this morning, my cookie is gone. More than your story – was the young security guard to the South/Left of the stage. Watching his expression, or lack there of for the two days. Yet, When you walked on stage, in your Black Pants with the D C Bling on the pocket, and your bright Pink Coat, and your beautiful hair and smile – and proceeded to – in detail tell us about the cars that your have loved, coveted, driven, wanted – your need for speed. He cranked his head so many times, slapped his knee, and really enjoyed himself. You Had Him Interested. Held his interest. and I watched. As you came to the stage late Saturday afternoon – as he watched the screen below the camera crew – in rapt attention – as you led us all to know – how we too – could come to “understand that book that momma read at night, and to know who she was talking to” – I pray, that that young man, among many, there at the arena, among Women of Faith – could leave with a saving faith of Who Christ Is, and how we may participate. I pray for those who checked that little box on their comment card – that your words, the Word of the Living Water, poured out on them, confirming what was stirring in their hearts all weekend, that they too could join our Circle of Faith – Male or Female. I wish you could have seen his expressions – Priceless. Thank You.
I haven’t even begun to write from my notes – I’ll have to save those for another post – I will write my thoughts to Lisa Whelchel, Selah, & Mandisa in the coming weeks – but if you are still here with me – I’d like to give a shout out to –
Patsy Clairmont – (did you wait the 15 minutes I stared at the screen wondering how to put all of the thoughts in my heart into one really long paragraph? Good.) I don’t want to be a Cotton Pickin Space Cadet. Really I don’t. I suppose you can tell by now who got elbowed when we thought of those who needed to minimize their word counts – and you may feel empathy for my friend sitting by me, the listeners, who need to Speak Up. I needed to hear – that it isn’t enough to take out the “bad thoughts”, to Refuse. But that I needed to Replace those thoughts –and repeat. I feel a renewed urgency to return to scripture memory,. I will Refuse, Replace and Repeat – so as not to allow the thoughts a comfortable place to come revisit. I have about 10 pgs of notes from you as well my friend. I’m not sure which work of writing to direct my friends to – I’m going to say – Anything from Patsy, possibly Stained Glass Hearts. Patsy – Friday evening, at dinner – my friend asked, if I could ask anything – what would it be. Putting pen to paper – I asked about how to care for a spouse, that has constant pain and medical struggles, now to deal with the stress and pain of caring for them. As you were talking about your son, I realized, I too, was about “to become a spectacle”. In your words though – you said – “I was about to become an obstacle” – I felt my heart swell up with the emotion to cry. I mean really truly shoulder shaking cry. And the word Obstacle stuck out. I felt the need to, as quietly as I could, stay seated, and let it out, as you spoke. I was asking for prayer for my friends to help the intense feeling of stress and pain that was physically bound in my ribs – to be released. And I believe it was. Last week we laid my 100 yr old Grandmother to rest in His Arms, while walking through a now 5 week journey through Pneumonia with my husband. Listening to his breathing, shaking him to beg him to suck in life giving breath, listening to him breathe as if he were gargling. Dr.’s appointments, treatment, medicine, bedrest. And out of your entire life experience, your story of your son’s 5 week battle with double Pneumonia is what you shared with us? I was overwhelmed, that out of 7,000 people, you spoke to ME. This morning? There’s within my heart a melody – Jesus whispers sweet and low – surrounds my heart. The soreness of the stress remains, but not the pain. I am being elbowed by my friends, to Keep my Word Count Low, but know, my life turned direction this weekend, from what you shared. I thank you. For the first time in weeks, I am looking to this week with more joy, renewed courage, and refreshment. Thank you.
Deep Breath. Wow. I haven’t shared my 92 photos from being on the second and third row of the floor right next to the stage from the tickets that Booksneeze gave freely to me and a few of my friends to come and blog about the event. The Twitter Party happening in the arena was really fun too. I got to meet up with most of the Twitter Peeps. I haven’t gotten to share all of the fun girl slumber party – or the AWESOME concerts that were so amazing. But it is 8:15. I may share a few more shorter posts as the day goes on, and I have time to sit at the computer, a few photos. A few quotes. I do suggest, as Andy Andrews would – Invest in Yourself. I think most of the author’s words are available in e-book form – download them to your Kindle, I know I am today.
Thank you Women of Faith –
Angie – Twitter – Pebblekeeper