1. When we left for Orlando, I fully intended to blog every day while we were gone since I had some good momentum going. But once we got there, everything filled my brain and heart up so fast! It was all so healing, and convicting and affirming and revealing in so so so many ways. It was literally like turning on a fire hydrant and trying to drink as much as possible without absolutely drowning (oh what a wonderful way to go). This was my first Exponential experience and I commented more than once that it was so wonderful for God to set up a conference just for me and then invite 5,000 other people.
2. One of the truly awesome things that I have unpacked enough to share was the recurring theme in several of the break-out sessions I attended of SIMPLIFYING! --even radically simplifying from Will Mancini (who just earned a new groupie). I've been quite enraptured with minimalism since last fall, but I love finding someone who practices it with a spiritual emphasis. And with that introduction out of the way, later today I will be posting an initial list of things and loading the car with the still more boxes and bags of things that are leaving. this. house. for. good! My birthday is in TWO WEEKS, and I really haven't done much to prepare my list of 100.
3. One of the highlights of the entire week for me, was listening to and learning from the Hybels family. Bill Hybels leads Willow Creek church in Illinois. I have known of him for some time and even read a few things by him, but I have to tell you that hearing him speak to and about leading his family and raising his children (who are now adults and who were on-stage with him also sharing wonderful wisdom and memories) has absolutely catapulted him into my top most respected people list -I don't actually have a real list, but now I might make one. I also needed very much to hear his wise counsel, and his daughter Shauna Niequist's affirmations of ways to raise brilliantly imperfect, wholly loved children in the fishbowl of ministry.
(PS - If you haven't read Shauna's books..Go. Right now. And do it. Just DO IT. I almost squealed like a girl band groupie when I saw her, no lie)
4. April has been an odd month for me. It started with a mission trip and ended with a conference and in between there wasn't really enough time to do more than just maintain life. We didn't do many new things while we were home, we barely even did school. I'm very ready to push ahead again after this weekend. We'll be finishing up yet another school year. In the next few weeks, I will have a child who is in HIGH SCHOOL. How that happened, I will never ever know. Good heavens.
5. A few weeks ago, I blogged about my Compassion child Konkobo. This week I learned that he is moving to live with his grandparents, which is wonderful for him, except that he will no longer be served by Compassion. So it is likely that I will never hear from or be able to communicate with this child ever again. I am finding that to be extremely heavy on my heart. I'm so grateful to have a God who will never lose sight of him, never not be extending grace and mercy and love him, and to whom I can plead Konkobo's case any time my heart weighs me down again. This is where trust and faith find their feet. This is the hard part about opening up to love.
6. I stocked up on a slew of books this week (remember the spending fast doesn't start until Tuesday!). Exponential made all their digital books super cheap during the conference - they may still be if you are interested in titles, I can share in the comments- and we bought them all. It made me appreciate yet again the beauty and ease of digital books. I do still love to hold a book in my hand, but what I love more is space space space in my house and the ease of a 6oz library. My little 1st gen. Kindle is starting to show her age somewhat ( she's almost three, and is used daily ), so she may get retired if Christmas is generous.
|A welcome home sunrise just for me.|