Monday, November 5, 2012

Women of Faith Conference Review

What an eye opening weekend at the Women of Faith Conference in Kansas City this year again! I seriously love going to these and I went as a teen to the Revolve Tour shows so it was just common sense to make it to the WoF ones too!! We learned so much in such a short time period. The guest speakers were so amazing and inspiring, I loved it, every single second of it! I'll give a break down of some of the speakers!

Angie Smith- By far, might have been my favorite speaker there. She has so much in common with me and she's married to a singer of the band Selah! After losing her sister at four years old, she struggled through life, having panic attacks, insisting her dad go with her to make sure the door was locked at night and the stove was off and even going as far as finding herself having stomach ulcers landing her in the hospital emergency room because she was so paranoid and working herself up or the small things. (insert my similarities here). She started her love story by finding a guy (Todd) at a church camp she went to, they fell in love, got an apartment together and planned their happily ever after. She unexpectedly found out she was pregnant, with twins, and she felt her life kind of turned upside down. (insert another similarity comment there). She wasn't prepared for this, it wasn't part of her perfect plan. She wanted to find a house first, and then start on kids, but God didn't want that for them. So, there they were, two gorgeous little girls and a tiny little apartment. She said the twins were angels, always happy never fusy, and then they had another one shortly after the girls turned two, she explained this third child as a demon child (insert similarity as I think I might have been the demon child myself). About a year or two later after hearing about being pregnant with their fourth child, they went to go do an ultrasound to check on the sex to learn that their little baby (Audrey) wouldn't make it and if they were to deliver the baby she wouldn't live for more than a couple hours. They cried and prayed that evening and the next day they told the doctors they wanted to continue the pregnancy and let God choose the path they will take with the baby. Come time for deliver they told the doctors if there was any chance that Audrey could survive to rush her away and do whatever they needed to do but if her chances of survival weren't possible to please leave them with her to be a family and celebrate her life. She said one of the hardest things to do is to give back a baby that has no life in them, I cannot imagine the grief this family went through but believed that God gave them Audrey for a small unknown reason. Throughout the whole pregnancy they never once gave up on God or their faith in him for taking their small baby and they have hope that one day they will meet their little one again. This story was so heartbreaking and real I couldn't help but shed a couple of tears for this family. I cannot wait to get her book and read more of her story. This lady is so inspiring and we're both a little OCD so I really can connect that much more with her.

Ken Davis- Hilarious! He had me laughing the entire time with his random jokes and funny facial expressions! He told us a story about how he was hiking with his four year old grand daughter and when he turned around she was missing, he can remember searching frantically and begging God to take his life instead, to spare his grand daughter and take him as he wanted nothing more than to have that little girl back safe. He never once blamed God for losing his granddaughter but instead begged him to spare himself in hopes of finding the little tot. He was also inspiring to know he lost over 80 pounds and didn't want compliments about it because he feels that's what's allowing him to live Fully Alive now. At age 65 he is now competing in triathlons and is proud to just hit the finish line and doesn't care about the timing. He made a joke, "One of my favorite Saturday morning routines is to ride my motorcycle down to the highway corner by my house and point my wife's hair dryer at traffic as it drives me." He had me almost in tears by the end of his performance!

Liz Curtis Higgs- HILARIOUS! This lady, seriously, was spine splitting laughter the entire time! She also broke down the book of Ruth into a hilarious rap. You might have to listen to it a couple of times to get the message, I still love re-watching it! Her little bit was about how we should wake up and look ourselves in the mirror and say "TADA" and remind ourselves that we're being the best "us" that we can possibly be each and every day. She told her life story about how she used to work at a radio station with Howard Stern and it all started with her sneaking an occasional cigarette and a beer. It then turned much harder and she was turning to crack and coke along with other whiskey's which turned her life into a downward spiral. She started to become promiscuous and even admits to sleeping with three different men in one night. She said she was searching for love, and at night when it was dark men didn't care what size you were and would "love" you either way. She explained how she had to hit rock bottom to realize that even God is willing to take broken people and that no one is perfect and that he in fact, created a broken person to show everyone else that the world is filled with his love. She was so inspiring to think that God even loves those who've made wrong decisions in life but have learned to love him and discovered his forgiveness for our sins.

Sheila Walsh- She's made books, hosted tv shows (700 Club), sings amazing songs and also makes time to travel with WoF. Her story was pretty cool, she talked about growing up in Scotland and about how the lambing season was her favorite season by far. She explained how the "bummer lambs" were her favorite because they were held close to their masters hearts while they were being bottle fed because the mother's wouldn't take them. She then explained how once they were old enough to go back into the herd when the master's would call they'd be the first to come running when it was time to feed them. Her story was breathtaking and I liked how she related farm animals to Christ and his love for us. It was "at my level" I suppose you could say. She also had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and visit a child she sponsored through World Vision and explained to us the love that small boy had when he came running into her arms and embracing a warm hug. It really tugs at your heart strings to hear about her story to visit the children that her family sponsors. I would love to sponsor a child but for now I'm focusing my giving efforts on the toy drive in hopes we can make this take off for now. I've also found a cool shoe box donation drive I'm wanting to contribute to this year. I'll hopefully post about it later this week.

Pat Smith- I knew her only because I watch Dancing With The Stars and her husband Emmit Smith is competing this season. She's gorgeous and she's got a HUGE heart of gold (and a huge rock on her hand, check out her website link to see it)! Her story had to do with her struggling with the loss of her mom to breast cancer and going through a divorce but seeing God's marvelous love for her through the struggles on it all. She has always had people walk out on her and was expecting her hubby Emmit to follow suit and hurt her, but sixteen years later she's realizing that she is loved and that God is surrounding her with everyday miracles. She told us about how they decided they were done having kiddos so they did the ol snip snip on Emmit. Come to find out later on, they're pregnant with another little one. He's now two and a ball of energy.  It's fun to see this amazingly inspiring woman who works her butt off to give back to other less fortunate women.

Ann Voskamp- This lady is my ideal type of gal, farmer's wife and stay at home mom to six little kidlets. Ok, so maybe six is a little much but still, the idea of stay at home mommy to raise my own babies still is a hazy dream I'd one day love to experience. She is from Canada and tells us about her life as a stay at home mommy married to a pig farmer. Her story was amazing but what really attracted me to her is her new book One Thousand Gifts, it looks so great and it's another one I cannot wait to get my mitts on it and jump into reading it! She reminded us to slow down and look at the big things in life that really matter, giving thanks to the Lord for all that he has blessed us with. She encouraged us to write a list of 1001 things we love about ourselves and the world around us. Ironically I do this weekly with my Thankful Thursday's so I guess I'm a step ahead of the game already!


Pretty inspring to see all of the cell phones raised holding their "lights" that are lighting up the world for God. It was one of those hair standing up on the back of your neck moments. The weekend was an amazing reminder to focus me back onto the important things in life, God, my family and my relationship with my friends. I feel I try to do my best and always help other's more than I help myself but this weekend really reminded me to thank God more than anything. He has graced me with so many things and without him I honestly can't say I'd be where I am today. I've made many mistakes and I know my future is filled with many more mistakes but I know that since Jesus sacrificed himself for my sins that the Lord will accept me as the sinner I am.



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