Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New battle cry

This past weekend I enjoyed more solitude than the past six months altogether! I was longing for some moments alone, with God, and with my sweet friends. So this conference in Atlanta could not have come about at a better time. I asked Andy if I could go a month or so ago, which he, of course, encouraged me to do. And later, after paying a heaping $170 for the conference alone, he asked, "So who are the speakers? What will you be studying?" I had no idea. I just signed up, no questions asked. This Mom needed a respite (and no price tag could be put on it)!

But God in His great goodness blessed me beyond what I could have anticipated from a website. Nancy Guthrie was the main speaker and she took the word of God and unfolded it for us in such a poetic, beautiful, heart-felt way. My seminars were wonderful, too. And what an experience it was to sing to the Lord with 2,000 other joyful women! I left feeling reminded of the great honor it is to be a Jesus-follower in such a time and place as this.

Getting ready to hit the road!

Besides a great conference, in my quick, 48 hour stay I enjoyed several meals with friends. (These are always fun when I am visiting from out of town. No fluffy chit-chat. We get down to business and no one holds back! I love it.) I also had the great pleasure of worshiping with our church body in Atlanta. It is pure joy to see our "family" there. I had a quick visit to the urgent care, but it didn't put much of a ripple in my plans. While I was getting over that issue, I read 4 magazines cover-to-cover in my best friend's guest room and then took a 3 hour, uninterrupted nap. Now that's a way to spend an afternoon! It took me until about Monday evening to shake off the blues. After all, it might not ever be easy to visit a place with such sweet memories. But I was reminded of what Ruth Graham's daughter said of her, and greatly inspired. She said, "I now understand that her joy did not stem from perfect or ideal circumstances, but from a deep, abiding faith." That type of joy, that dependency on my Saviour is what I long for more than any person or place. Stripes seem to be the rage! (Note my shirt from the picture above...another striped shirt!)

So yesterday when we took the day off of school to have some fun together (our first day off this year!), I knew how I should use my travel time. We decided to go shopping in Auburn. We were in the car about two and a half hours round trip. So I let my dreams fly. I let myself really envision how God could use me in bigger ways here. I imagined making art and jewelry, establishing a non-profit, having a "food barn" for the many unemployed in our county (canned & non-perishables from churches in surrounding counties and produce from the farm), and even the possibility of a classical school out here in the country (or at least tutoring services). It was fun and I got excited because I was reminded that I am here because of God, for His glory. Slowly, slowly I am moving forward, by His grace, and I have great hope that He is going to use me.

Enjoying the sales at Old Navy!

The kids at the book store...adding to their Christmas wish lists!

Sweet, goofy boys across the booth in Ruby Tuesday's.

In a book I read with the boys this morning, Abe Lincoln had to fire a Union general who was not getting the job done. He said (paraphrasing), "I might be a slow walker. But I will not walk backwards." Amen, Abe. I think I will adopt this phrase as my new battle cry.

1 comment:

Abby Hutto said...

I almost signed up for this conference too, but it was just a little too far for me to go for a weekend, at this stage of life with the kids! So glad you were able to get away and be refreshed.

Love your new battle cry as well as the quote from R. Graham's daughter. Finding joy in Christ, apart from our circumstances must be a message that God is trying to get across to A LOT of us these days! :)