This weekend I had an unexpected opportunity to attend the Women of Faith 2013 Conference in Kansas City, MO. The theme was “Believe Anything with God.” Our daughter Heather was going with her friends Lindsey and Amber and Amber’s church group. One woman had to back out, so they had an extra ticket!
Heather, Lindsey and I stopped for supper at a deli and then at Charming Charlie’s shop. For those of you who don’t know, this is a place of torture for shopaholics: it has beautiful bling, purses, scarves, pins, hats, and sweaters.
If only I’d had extra money to spend!!! 🙂
They had the cutest fall colored bags, like this pumpkin orange clutch:
I loved their soft sweaters and hats with gerber daisy flowers. The shop is scarf heaven.
The conference t-shirts this year were purple. Here’s Heather and her friend Lindsey Dawson, waiting outside the hotel for the shuttle to the conference venue. The shuttle van driver, Claude, was hilarious. He had all of us in stitches laughing.
These are the pink heels Heather wore on Friday night:
Saturday was breast cancer awareness day, so everyone in our group wore pink. Heather and Lindsey bought me a bright pink scarf at Charming Charlie’s, so I could feel included and loved!
Here’s a great pic of Heather and her friends Amber Welton (L) and Lindsey Dawson (R).
This is a great group of ladies I went with to the conference. They have this fun annual WOF tradition of eating cheesecake from Kansas City’s Cheesecake Factory on Friday night and then doing a devotional. My strawberry cheesecake was divine!
While we had the devotional, one woman’s cute blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby kept staring at me and my cheesecake with interest. Yeah, I could tell she wanted a bite! I was tempted to give her some. Here she is at the conference with her mommy:
Her mom probably related to the In Tha Muthahood rap song by speaker Anita Renfroe (scroll down to bottom of page to view the video):
Heather was excited to learn about Christine Caine’s A21 campaign to end human trafficking and is checking into local volunteer opportunities. You can learn more about it by clicking here.
During the Friday night break, I tried to meet Lysa Terkeurst in the real, live flesh to tell her how much I was impacted by her book What Happens When Women Walk in Faith: Trusting God Takes You To Amazing Places, but the security guard roped off the line just as I walked up to the crowd of raving fans to meet her. I watched as she greeted each woman, smiling, and autographing books. She seems authentic and humble, and was a good speaker.
As a speaker, I hungrily observed everything about the conference speakers: their message, their style of speaking, their hair (Lysa calls hers “complicated hair,” because it doesn’t mind), what they wore (beautiful clothes and cute boots!), and how they injected humor into their presentations. I noticed the speakers at this conference either didn’t use notes or just briefly looked at them as a guide as they spoke.
I was also amazed at the amount of products on the speakers’ tables: stacks of books, cds, t-shirts, jewelry. This pic below doesn’t show how many women stood in long lines during the entire length of the breaks to buy the books, etc.
Heather and I stood in line to meet another of the anointed speakers. I won’t say which one, but her security guard gruffly ordered me to just go ahead and take my picture with her and didn’t let her finish answering my question (which was about public speaking). I realize that the conference speakers couldn’t talk individually with each one of the 7000-8000 attendees, but this was a lesson learned: as a professional speaker, I always want to be able to have time (make time!) to minister to the audience attendees! Jesus ministered one on one to the woman at the well.
The morning people
To save costs, six of us girls stayed in one hotel room. The conference didn’t begin until 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. I am NOT, do you hear me, NOT a morning person! Forget my plans to sleep in! Everyone wanted to eat breakfast at 7 a.m. One girl was up (willingly) at 5:30 a.m. Heather and I had shared a pull-out couch to sleep on, and as light and noise invaded my dreams, I whispered to Heather, “What’s the matter with these people? Are they crazy?” She started laughing.
I’m not sure sharing the hotel room was such a great idea. You try having 6 women with 2 bathrooms getting ready on time.
The worship by Kari Jobe for the conference was amazing. Mercy Me was also scheduled to be there, but we had to leave early on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t hear them play. I love Kari. She is truly a worship leader, sincere and pure in her worship of Jesus.
The best thing about this conference was me being able to spend time with my precious, beautiful daughter Heather. 🙂 The weekend was a treat. As author Ann Voskamp would say, Eucharisto. Give thanks.