Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lessons Learned, Toes Bruised {Created for Care 2014}

How do you put into words something that has spoken so deeply into the recesses of your heart?  How do you describe the Sword of the Spirit as it cuts marrow and bone and the pain is somehow sweet?  How do you do justice to women who were simply obeying God's calling upon their lives yet stood directly on your toes as they spoke truth to a room full of tired mamas?

You don't.

So I will not even attempt to try.  I will simply share snippets of the teaching we received last weekend at the Created for Care conference in Atlanta, GA.

{And I will also pause to tell you my hubby, who single-handedly parented 5 kids while I was gone, is a total Rock Star.  :)  He took 4 of the 5 to see Frozen (for the 2nd time) and, apparently, our Ethiopian laughed hysterically at the most inappropriate part of the movie.  You know, the part where everyone thinks the sister is frozen to death?  Oh my word.  If only I had a photo of his face!}

Back on topic...I am barely scratching the surface here.  This weekend was deep waters for my soul.

Snippet #1:  Taught by Susan Hillis, who I'm pretty sure doesn't know that I want to be her when I grow up. She exudes JOY from every pore because she knows God is FAITHFUL.  She has raised her kids and seen the darkest of dark places in her family, yet she smiles and loves with abandon.  And she is brilliant...more brains in her pinky than I have in my whole body!  She led an optional devotional on Saturday morning and I am so glad that I got up (despite the screaming, shrieking, happy mamas next door who apparently did NOT come to rest...but I digress.)

Here is what still swirls around and is working its way into my heart as I process the weekend...

With every storm that arises, Jesus arises HIGHER.
He will be faithful to my children just as He has been faithful to me.
Orphans cannot raise sons and daughters.  I must live as a daughter of the King, letting him carry me across the raging rivers of life.
I am a daughter of the King FIRST, before I am a wife and mother.  I just hold on to HIM as I cross the river, NOT MY CHILDREN.  Holding on to anyone else is idolatry.

Susan Hillis is a treasure in a tiny package.  What a precious woman of God.

Snippet #2:  Taught by Beth Guckenberger who is a missionary in Mexico.  What an incredibly gifted speaker and storyteller she is!   I bought 4 of her books (because, you know, I don't have a stack of unread books waiting for me...ahem.) and was amazed at her willingness to "go there" with us, to tell us the hard stuff we needed to hear.

From Beth I learned...

The Story is not over yet.  There is a lie we are told by the enemy...that maybe God doesn't always come through.  But He does.  Even if things don't turn out the way I hope, God is faithful and I must be ready to praise Him!  I may not know when, where, why, or how things will work out but I DO know WHO.  I need to be like Miriam, with tambourine in hand, prepared to praise Him at any moment as He shows Himself faithful in the hard places.

Snippet #3:  Another incredible lesson from Beth Guckenberger.  She shared this on Sunday morning and I kind of got my toes stepped on here.  It seems I have control issues.  Who knew?  Oh yeah, Jesus.

Beth talked about our marriages and the effects of how we deal with attitude problems in our kids.  She gave an illustration to explain what "co-laboring" looks like, which you would probably have to see to understand. But the point I took away is that God wants me to get to the point where I am so tuned in to my husband that I am wholly focused and committed to his success.  Self preservation will cause those around me to lose their balance and fall.  If I am focused on his success, and he on mine, we will effectively co-labor and hold each other up.  Makes so. much. sense.

She also talked about looking at our kids' attitudes and realizing they are the fruit of a good or bad self-image that is based on their knowledge (or lack thereof) of God's truth of who they are.  If I pour into my kids, teaching them the truth of what God thinks of them, then their self-image will become healthier and their attitudes and actions will follow.  Again, this makes sense when you think of the scripture that says "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."  How often do I harp on the external when the internal is crying out for love and acceptance through a storm of confusion and doubt?  Too often, I'm sure.

There was much more.  But I don't want to share too much because you might plan on going in March and I don't want this to be a spoiler!  Suffice it to say, though that I have been given much to chew on.

Then, on top of all of this, was the fellowship with sweet friends (old and new) and the FOOD.  Y'all, it was like being on a cruise.  Food everywhere, all day, and I may or may not have fallen off the gluten-free wagon.  (There were CUPCAKES for crying out loud!)  Chocolate, new PJ's, and endless coffee helped me survive too-little sleep and a cold that threatened to steal my joy.  It was wonderful.  I am thankful.


  1. So glad I could meet you in person! Loved your summary from the weekend! You took way better notes than me! Had to order the DVDs'

    1. Ha! You made me laugh! I am a crazy note-taker:). It was great meeting you, too!


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