Last weekend I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend the Women of Faith Conference in Seattle. Sometimes when you experience something so phenomenal and inspiring, you need time to sit on the information, contemplate it, and internalize it. What makes Women of Faith events unique from other women’s conferences I have attended in the past is the transparency and camaraderie of the speakers (aka the porch).
I wish I could summarize the whole weekend for you but, aside from that resulting in a post long enough to be a novel, the stories that these women (and a couple of men) shared really have to be experienced first hand either in person or in their books. For me the highlight of the weekend was the dynamic duo of Patsy Clairmont and Andy Andrews.
The minute Patsy opened her mouth Friday morning, I dove for my notebook to try and record every word of wisdom she dispelled. In fact, I was so eager that I started writing in my brand new notebook upside down. Somehow, in light of Patsy’s eccentric personality and side splitting humour, it seems appropriate that I have six pages of upside down notes.
Some Quotes from the Weekend:
“The way we act and react to life is being noted by people for consistencies with what we proclaim. Is your life registering in the hearts of people?”
“In a multitude of words their is sin. If you say too much, you are bound to say something you will regret.”
“God has designed us with a will that is stronger than our emotions. Our emotions don’t have to bully us around; chose to behave in a way different from you feel instead of giving in to little girl hormonal tiffs. If you stir an emotion it can take on added dynamics.”
“God wants to enlarge our lives so that we don’t remain small petty women.”
“Sarcasm is anger that went underground and back up in a clown suit.”
“Guard you mind with the Word-it is like Spanx for your brain.”
Andy makes a triple shot of espresso look as mellow as chamomile tea. He ran here, there and everywhere while speaking which kept the audience engaged and anticipating what segue he would take next. He is like a spider who is spinning a complicated web around you, but until you step back you can’t fully appreciate the masterpiece he created. Andy is masterful storyteller that brings together life, history, humour, and energy.
Some Quotes from the Weekend
“We tell our children they can be and do anything, but we tell adults to have more realistic goals and not get their hopes too high.”
“We are either in a crisis, headed out of a crisis, or on our way to a crisis.”
“People go from ‘almost’ to ‘almost’ all their lives and never quite hit the target that God wants because they worry about crisis.”
“God wants to bless, so give Him something to bless. He provides food for the birds, but he doesn’t throw the worms in the nest. It is a partnership, a relationship.”
“Fear is a misuse of the creative imagination that God has given you.”
“God guides our path but doesn’t force us to take the steps. He expects us to be active participants and step forward in faith along the path that He has pre-determined.”
“The Butterfly Effect works with humans as well. Everything you do matters to all of us for all time. You don’t know which decision you make or action you take will set of a chain reaction that will irrevocably affect history.”
All of the other speakers and performers (Lisa Welchel, Brenda Warner, Sandi Patty, Marilyn Meberg, Mandisa and Selah) had profound stories of survival and God’s grace and provision that often left me on the verge of a tear filled breakdown. Their stories have touched my heart and reminded me that life is full of changing seasons, but the one constant amidst it all is God. I encourage you to experience their stories for yourself because they will minister your heart no matter what season of life you are in.
A heartfelt thank you to Booksneeze, Thomas Nelson, and Women of Faith for giving me this amazing opportunity. I will definitely be back!
**Disclaimer: Women of Faith tickets provided by BookSneeze**