This past weekend I attended the Dot Mom conference in Frisco with some of the girls from my new church. While it was fun to get to know all of them better, the real highlight of the weekend was the amazing information we all learned about being a Mother and a daughter of the King.
The whole event was such an encouragement. I loved this booth that was merely a chalkboard wall with a new question up each morning and afternoon. Such fun to read how similar your life is with others. There were about 20 booths with everything from Christian decor to parenting books to baby food.
On Friday night, I was first in line to have my copy of Sparkly Green Earrings signed by Big Mama. I have read her blog for years, read her book in just a few days and loved her! Carrie and I were a little starstruck! I also met Kelly Stamps from Kelly's Korner but caught her at a odd time and didn't get a photo.
Let's talk about the main stage- there were 4 speakers and they were pretty stinkin' awesome! I have to tell you that Angie Smith spoke first and she spoke the loudest to me. A few major lessons I learned from her talk on the subtext of what we are telling our children:
- We tell them they are valuable, yet our actions can easily tell them they are in the way of our agenda. Ouch.
- They are not a prop in our online performance. The moment's value doesn't come from the approval of the imaginary audience (Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Life is not a crisis and having big responses to little things will make their life much harder. Productivity is not the sign of a life well lived. Wearing busy like a badge of honor doesn't leave gaps for quiet time with God.
- Making decisions out of fear will only teach your children that you don't trust God and that you are in control.
- Your children need to know that you don't know it all, you need God, and you are a sinner just like them.
Saturday morning Vicki Courtney spoke. Her husband and her lead our Sunday school class and we all knew she would do a great job. She sure did! She spoke on the topic of her new book due out in June.... the fairy tale let down. She had us laughing! She reminded us all that we are building a fairy tale about our prince charming, our perfect kids, and our dream home. In reality, the letdown from the lack of perfection can be tough. Our husband doesn't say, "You Complete Me", our kids don't take perfect portraits, and our house doesn't get repinned on Pinterest. But, we our God loves us, He forgives us, and we live in a real world. We bring baggage and junk into our marriage and that can take work to unpack. I can't wait to read her new book and do the Bible study.
The final speaker on Saturday was Priscilla Shirer. I have seen her name many places, but never heard her speak. I never imagined we'd meet her and snap a photo! She told the story of Jesus turning water into wine in a way I have never heard before. Mary tells the servants, "whatever He says, just do it." If Mary were attending our Mom conference today, wouldn't she tell us the same thing? She affirmed for us that our best will never be good enough, but His best is enough. She reminded us that God knows our junk, our issues, our shame, and we need to own it, just do it, and then when He performs a miracle in our life, we must share it. Just do what you can as a mother and he will do what you can't.
I also attended four different breakout sessions. I focused my time on Intentional Parenting, Emotional Development of Preschoolers, Raising Good Forgivers, and Teaching God's word to your children. All of them were helpful! I bought a couple of books based upon these sessions!
Another great joy of this conference was seeing two old friends of mine. Crista and I went to HS together and hadn't seen each other, except online, since. Crista has the most beautiful family- from birth and from love. She is good friends with Amanda Jones (Beth Moore's daughter) whom I met and loved. I told Amanda, "I read (present tense) your blog" and she replied with a smile, "you read (past tense) my blog". I wish she'd blog more- she was always so insightful!
Finally, I got to hug Katie. She is the amazing Will's Mom. I met her in 2007 when Will was first born. A group of friends and I ran a marathon relay to support her son and the hospital that cared so well for him. We haven't seen since, but we read each other's blogs. I loved seeing her, but more than that, I loved that she had a great weekend with a friend. She is one overworked Momma, but still such an encouragement.
Yea for an amazing, uplifting, reassuring, fun filled weekend!