"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back from Women of Faith!

I'd like to start this post by saying how grateful I am to Thomas Nelson Publishing for sending me to Women of Faith. It was an absolutely amazing experience, one which I will keep in my pocket all the days of my life.

Friday Highlights:  I practically fell out of my seat laughing at Andy Andrews and his version of "Amazing Grace" set to the tune of the theme from "Gilligan's Island."  I marvel at this man because I've read his book The Final Summit (review here), and felt that its author was a truly inspirational person. Hearing his comedic side was a surprise of some magnitude, I can tell you! I was honored to hear him speak.

Brenda Warner was such a strong woman and a model of who we as women should strive to be. I felt humbled to be in her presence. This woman reminded me that God is always near through the rainbows and the rain.  Her testimony was exactly what I was hoping to get from Women of Faith. Instead of this fine woman constantly being introduced as "Kurt Warner's wife," people should be introducing Kurt Warner as "Brenda Warner's husband." Because that's how bright her ray of sunshine is.

Mandisa gave a concert that was not only inspirational but just. plain. fun. I'm heading over to iTunes after I finish this piece!

Saturday Highlights:  I've wanted to hear Amy Grant live since I was a child. I think I must have looked like a kid in a candy store during her set. Her guitarist amazed me as well. Amy Grant, Mandisa, and Sandi Patty closed the set together, inviting all women to sing with them. Dancing and singing along with these three women was one of the best times I've ever had. I felt so free, and so grateful to be alive.

Sandi Patty carried the day, without a doubt. I've rarely heard a performer sing so well during a live show. And the speech that she gave brought me to tears. She reminded us to just be still and listen, for God is near.

My one concern is that there was a dramatic piece given on Friday night that seemed to downplay the role that husbands play in our lives. Yes, we women are busy, and we lead lives that at times are overwhelming. But we can't ever forget the load that our husbands pull.

I don't know where I would be today if it were not for the kind and thoughtful efforts of my husband, and that's not an exaggeration. I had unidentified, untreated clinical depression for much of my life, and my husband has been an absolute rock through all of it.

I was saddened by that presentation because I realized how many women out there identified with it. I used to be one of those women, but through God's mercy, I have learned to step back from that kind of life.
If I were ever to speak to women, that is the topic I would choose. So many of us struggle, and so many of us have no idea how to deal with the pain.

If you are one of those women who identified with that presentation, I hope that you are able to step back, take a look at your life, sit down with your husband, and talk with him about how you can simplify your lives.You are not running a race. If you feel as though you are, something is wrong, and there are so many ways that you can address it if you can just ask for help.

"Be still, and know that I am God..... My grace is sufficient for you." If you have been to Women of Faith, or if you plan to go in the future, my prayer for you is that those verses are what you take from it. Because ultimately, that's all we need now or ever will need.

Soli Deo gloria