Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Times of Resfreshing

To say that I am driven would be an understatement. Stopping is not something I allow myself to do often. These past few months had taken their toll on my over all well being. Calling me cranky, punchy and unlovely would have been too kind most days. Life had worn me down, and I had swung wide the door to allow it to happen.

This past Friday I was suppose to go to the Women of Joy conference in Gatlinburg, TN. The only problem was that I was sick. Wednesday I came down with some crazy bug. By Friday my temperature was near normal, but I was exhausted. I could not stay out of the bed. There was just no way I felt that I could possibly drive that far and sit for all those hours. But leave it to God to inspire me through the children. They were obnoxious! So, I managed to get my stuff together and set out to pick up my friend Debbie.

Needless to say, we made it to Gatlinburg, and I was exhausted. We did not have time to go to the hotel to rest prior to the conference beginning.

Our first speaker was Candace Cameron Buree. Can you say adorable? Candace is new to the speaking world. She does not have a seasoned, polished testimony in her repertoire. Instead, she comes to you from a real perspective. What really touched my heart the most about "her story" is that she tried in with all her might to tell her husband all the amazing things that she had learned about God. He was turned off by all of it. After being told by Val to stop talking about it, Candace could only turn to God. Through several years of prayer and waiting, God changed Val's heart. Val and Candace were to baptized on the same day. The pastor baptized Val first, and then told him that as the spiritual head of his family he needed to baptize his wife. How great is our God? Precious!

Debbie and I missed hearing Lisa Harper speak on Saturday morning. Ladies, it is just wrong to have a weekend off and a speaker begin at 8:30! We did make it for Chonda Pierce at 10:30. And isn't she always worth it? Her story gets better every year!

Saturday afternoon we spent walking around Gatlinburg. TOURIST TRAP! For the life of me, I cannot figure out what the HUGE draw is for people! I did pick up some sweet little t-shirts for the girls, but other than that...not a lot of things of value.

OK Saturday night was by far my favorite time with God that weekend. Michael W Smith performed. This is my first time seeing Smitty. To say he was amazing would be an understatement, but I don't really remember a lot about him. It was time I spent before God. BTW Smitty is working on a new Christmas album. We had a taste of it and it was amazing! I cannot wait for it!

Let me just add this little tidbit in here. Debbie and I had been waiting for this weekend to play games. She was sure that she would beat me, but I knew there was no way. Anyway, let's just say I smoked her! I think she was still sore from her beating the next morning.

Angela Thomas closed out the conference on Sunday morning. If you have never heard her before, you should! She is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary heart. I would like to hear her again.

OK so we left Gatlinburg and stopped in Pigeon Forge. Had to pick up a few things for the girls. And then we headed home. As we neared the interstate, we decided to stop at the Bass Pro Shop. Now, internets, I know that I have lead a sheltered life. This was my first time in one of these little stores. Let's just say I.HAD.A.BLAST. I played on the four wheelers, took my picture with all the animals, and oh'd and ah'd myself silly! I apologized to all the animals that they had to loose their life for me to have my picture taken with them. After this experience I am thinking that I need a four wheeler. A camo one to be exact. There was just something quite sassy about me sitting there on it with my hot pink capri pants on. Looking good!

The moral of the story is that it was a fabulous weekend. My prayer is that God will keep alive the fire that burned so brightly in my soul this weekend. I am even more thankful for the gift of friendship. Debbie and I have been friends for years, but each day is a little sweeter because of the gift of friendship God has blessed us with.

Times of refreshing...let's do it again!


Deb said...

This past weekend in Gatlinburg with you was one of the most wonderful times I have had. I felt God blessing us with fantastic speakers, a wonderful concert by Michael W. Smith, and the awesome fellowship we had all weekend. Even though my foot was KILLING me, I still would not stop. The conference, the "shopping", the eating out, the "trek" through the Bass Pro Shop - all of it was a gift from God. He has blessed our friendship and because of His presence in our lives, our friendship grows stronger and deeper each day. And yes, you did look good on the four wheeler. And I would have beat you at Yahtzee but I was distracted by the bull-riding competition on tv!!!

Susan said...

You are a persistent little one aren't you! I do not think that bull riding had anything to do with me puttin' a whippin' on you. It was pure skill, my friend! Pure skill! Not that those cowboys aren't worth a distraction or two...ya know what I mean?!