Monday, June 29, 2009

Ready, Set...

Today is the next to the last day of June. Which means that Wednesday is July 1st. Which means that a month of summer vacation is almost over. And I have done nothing. Well, not nothing exactly. I have gone to the movies and played a lot and read a lot and spent a night at the hospital. But I have done nothing on my mile long to do list. You see, I am going to be teaching this fall. Half day kindergarten. And I know that it is hard, extremely hard, to be a working mom. And I've only ever done it with two kids. Now I have three. But the good thing is, I know it's hard. So I have a plan. My plan is to be prepared and ultra-organized so that things go smoothly. I have about 7 weeks until it's time to start working in my classroom. That's 7 weeks to cross off everything on my list.

The first thing on my list is to be spiritually and emotionally healthier. I know from experience that that makes a world of difference in all areas of my life. So I have been praying and reading my Bible more. I have been spending quiet time outside every day. I have been trying to focus on being who I want to be in those areas of my life. But I know that it's a life long process. I am taking it one day at a time.

The next thing on my list is to make sure my body is healthy so that I have the energy that it takes to be a good wife and mom and a good kindergarten teacher. And believe me, that takes a lot of energy. (Five year olds suck the energy right out of you!) So healthier eating and more exercise are on my list. And that's going to take some adjustment. Why is it so hard anyway?

Next on my list is to get my house in order. I live with at least 3 packrats. (I don't know about Julianna, yet.) So there is a lot of stuff in our house. And I don't do well with clutter and so I HAVE to deal with that before school starts. I have been encouraging the other members of the family to help me with that and they are starting to which is good, but we have a long way to go. I am hoping to throw away, give away, and sell lots and lots of our "stuff." Then I can breathe a big sigh of relief. This will also lead to an intense marathon of deep spring, I mean summer, cleaning. Just thinking of a clean, organized, clutter free living environment gives me a feeling of freedom.

I also want to fill the freezer with healthy meals that can be quickly and easily fixed for my family on school nights so that I don't have to worry about cooking every night. I like to use the crock pot, too, so I want to find some great recipes for that.

And of course on my list is summer fun. Free movies. Beach days. Summer Theater and girl's nights. I won't give any of that up. So I have a busy seven weeks ahead of me.

The last few weeks of summer will be used to get my classroom ready for the school year. I probably need to paint and clean everything as well as decorate, prepare lessons, and all the other stuff that teachers do. It will be so much easier if all this other stuff is done. Wish me luck!

By the way, I would love to hear any suggestions you have regarding my life overhaul. I'll take all the help I can get! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

10 Things Thursday Double Feature

10 things I learned at the movie theater today.

1. Julianna does not have an 86 minute attention span.
2. She will however sit still for 13 1/2 minutes if I am feeding her popcorn.
3. She loves to crawl on the theater steps.
4. She likes to walk up and down the ramp beside the movie seats.
5. The theater should clean their carpet. (The black on the tops (from crawling) and bottoms (from walking) of Jules' feet is evidence of this fact.)
6. A large soda is enough for 3 kids, 1 mom, and one toddler who loudly insists on sampling it.
7. By the end of the movie, the mom needs to refill said soda cup with Diet Coke that she does not share.
8. I am not the only mom whose youngest child is not interested in movies yet.
9. I'm pretty sure that Patrick Warburten provides his voice for at least 75% of kid's movies these days.
10. Even if I spend most of the time chasing Julianna, I still like going to the movies with my kids.

10 of my favorite animated films (in no particular order).

1. Beauty and the Beast
2. A Bug's Life
3. Monsters, Inc.
4. Lion King
5. Hoodwinked
6. The Little Mermaid
7. Chicken Little
8. Cars
9. Shrek
10. Robin Hood

Don't forget about the Free Family Movies this summer at Regal Theaters. They start at 10:00am. Here's a list of this summer's free movies at Riverstone in Coeur d' Alene.

Space Chimps (G)
Madagascar 2: Escape To Africa (PG)

Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Veggie Tale Movie (G)
Evan Almighty (PG)

Kit Kittredge: American Girl (G)
Nim's Island (PG)

Horton Hears A Who (G)
Inkheart (PG)

The Tale Of Despereaux (G)
Kung Fu Panda (PG)

Everyone's Hero (G)
Surf's Up (PG)

Doogal (G)
Journey To The Center Of The Earth (PG)

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G)
Bee Movie (PG)

Mr. Bean's Holiday (G)
Alvin And The Chipmunks (PG)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mother Knows Best

So does she? Find out here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


It's been a long week. Long and tiring. And busy.

It all started last Wednesday with Adam going into the hospital. He and I only got a few hours of sleep in that 24 hour period and have been trying to make up for it since.

Thursday we got home at about 1:00 and after a short nap, I took Josh to his first baseball practice. He was thrilled. And he did great. He is really looking forward to the season.

Friday was bike day with our church's children's ministry. It's the boys' favorite Fun Friday. Adam was disappointed because I wouldn't let him ride his bike. ( Wednesday night.) But he did ride his scooter some and had fun anyway.

Friday night was more much needed rest.

Saturday morning we went to a couple of garage sales looking for a used lawnmower. Didn't find one but came home with a pet carrier, a Little People dollhouse for Jules, 13 cd's for Arrty (Happy Father's Day to him!), and....two six week old kittens. Yes, I know, I am officially that lady with the cats.

Saturday night brought our first Summer Theater show. I was so looking forward to it. The show was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I had never seen it before and loved it. What a great show! I love all the styles of music from rap (yes, rap) to country to Calypso. And as usual, the acting was great. I just love Summer Theater!

Sunday was church as usual and then lunch with my dad and my sister's family at Mackenzie River Pizza Company. It was good food but better company. Sunday evening was family time.

Yesterday I was trying to clean since our Bible study group was meeting at our house but I was still tired. I did get it done slowly but surely. We also went to visit Kathy's son Thomas in the hospital. (Mom, she's copying me!!) He has pneumonia. Yikes. Keep him in your prayers. And Kathy, too. She is so bored and they don't have good coffee at the espresso stand downstairs.

Last night I went to bed feeling bad and woke up feeling even worse. Some kind of 12 hour bug I guess. I'm thankfully feeling better now and getting ready to go to my parent's house to see my mom who's been on vacation for two weeks. Welcome home, Mom.

Phew!! Just reading that made me tired all over again. Maybe the next week will slow down. Maybe not. I'll just take a week without a trip to the hospital.

And if the cuteness factor at our house wasn't already high enough...

Friday, June 19, 2009


Okay, so here's how I spent Wednesday night and Thursday.

Wednesday Adam was complaining of a tummy ache and didn't want to eat (which I realize now started on Tuesday evening). Throughout the day he wasn't quite himself and complained off and on of the pain. I really didn't think much of it. He had a little cold and cough and I thought it all went together. Until about 4:00 when I saw him walking down the hall very slowly, hunched over so it wouldn't hurt. I asked him where it hurt and he pointed to his right side just under his belly button. Uh oh. I felt the scar that I have there just to make sure I remembered right. Yep.

So after Arrty got home I told him what I was thinking and we googled appendicitis. Lower right abdominal pain...check. Loss of appetite...check. Hurts to walk...check. Doesn't feel better after a few hours...check. So Adam and I headed into town to the after hours clinic at 7:00 Wednesday evening. We got right in to see the doctor and he asked his questions and did his exam and told us that he thought it was appendicitis but that we'd have to go to the emergency room at the hospital so that they could do blood work and an ultrasound to make sure. I was worried, but had expected that diagnosis. Adam was worried and did not expect anything like that at all.

So at 8:15 we walked into the e.r. and checked in. I called Arrty, my dad and my sister to tell them what was going on. Then we waited about half an hour before going back to an exam room. During that time Adam asked me how long we'd have to wait. I told him that I didn't know but that we were going to be doing a lot of waiting throughout the night. Once in the exam room, they had Adam put on a way to big hospital gown. (Which, by the way, had a "property of Shoshone hospital" tag in it. Umm...we were at Kootenai Medical Center.) He is very modest and was a little disturbed about being so exposed. I teased him that I would ask them if we could take it home since I knew he loved it so much. From there it was a parade of nurses and doctors and lab technicians. Temperature taken, blood drawn, examinations. I was so glad that my dad had come down to be with us. After the blood test and a very painful ultrasound, they finally determined that it was, in fact, appendicitis. They were calling a surgeon. Yikes. I knew it, but until then I was still holding out hope.

Then the real fun began. They got Adam all set up with an IV, which he was very curious about, and prepared him to go up to the operating room. Dad said a prayer with us and I was glad again that he was there. The surgeon came into the room and explained everything to us. (When the surgeon explained how they were going to remove his appendix, Adam looked at me and whispered, "But I like my appendix." Typical Adam.) Then the anesthesiologist came in and explained his part. They were both really good with Adam and talked to him in words he could understand. Then up we went. When we got to the big double doors, the nurse who had wheeled Adam up told us we should say our goodbyes. No!!! my mind screamed. But I walked over and laid my hand on his cheek and told him I loved him and that it was all going to be okay. Dad kissed his forehead then I kissed his forehead and they wheeled him in. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Just in the doors stood the operating room nurse. And she told us we could come in to the little lobby. I was relieved that I didn't have to let him go yet. But knew that we'd have to go through the goodbyes again. And we did. And it wasn't any easier the second time. The worst part wasn't knowing that they were going to cut into my baby or knowing that he was going to be in pain afterwards. The worst part was knowing that he was scared and that I wasn't there to hold his hand. What got me through it was remembering that he was going to be asleep soon. And remembering that he wasn't alone. I might not be holding his hand, but God was. And better yet, He was holding his heart.

Dad and I went out to the empty waiting room. It was 11:40 pm. We talked and waited. And waited and talked. We met the night custodian and let him vacuum under our feet. And since we were right next to the birthing center, we saw one expectant mom walking the halls to speed things up. And we saw one expectant mom being wheeled in screaming, wishing things would slow down. We reminisced about the five births that we had experienced in the last 9 years just down the hall from where we were sitting. We talked about those children's pasts and futures. And I was glad again that Dad was there with me. And that he is such a big part of my kid's lives. At 12:33, I looked at the clock and told Dad that they had 7 minutes, then I was going in to find out what was going on. Surely an hour was long enough. After two minutes, the surgeon came out and told us everything had gone perfectly and that there was no doubt that it was Adam's appendix causing all the trouble. I was relieved but still anxious to see him. He was going to be in recovery for awhile though. So we waited some more. Dad wanted to be there to see him when he came out, but had been up since 4:30 Wednesday morning and had to be at work by 6:00 Thursday morning, so at about 1:15, he headed home to get some much needed sleep. I was so thankful that he had been there through everything. I don't know what I would have done without him.

Finally, after another 45 minutes, the recovery room nurse came to get me. I had been staring down the hall saying, "come on, come on, come on..." for what seemed like an eternity. I knew Adam was fine, but I wanted to see him and hold his hand again. He was still sleepy. Very sleepy and hardly knew what was going on. They wheeled him up to the pediatric ward and got him settled into his room. He was only half awake during it all even when they took his blood pressure and temperature and oxygen levels. He hardly stirred even when they gave him a breathing treatment since his oxygen was a little low. I just wished that they would leave him alone and let him sleep. At 3:03 am, I fell exhausted on the chair/bed they had brought in for me. But I didn't sleep for a while. I lay there listening to my son breathe and watching the numbers on all the machines he was hooked up to. I lay there praying the prayer of thankfulness that a mommy prays after something like this happens to one of her children. After I was asleep for what felt like a nanosecond, Adam called my name and needed to get up. (I won't tell you why, because he wouldn't want me to mention it. Remember, the modesty thing.)

So at 4:00 am we were up and around. The nurse came in to help. Then she took Adam to Andrea's Closet to pick out a toy. She did not know what she was getting herself in to. It takes this child 5 minutes to decide between a vanilla or strawberry milkshake. And she opened a cupboard with 50 toys and told him to pick. At 4:00 am. When he had just had surgery. And was still medicated. Let's just say it took awhile. He finally chose a building set. And we went back to bed. (I was thankful for that building set the next day. It gave Adam something to do and was a distraction from all the other stuff going on.)

Over the next three hours, I vaguely remember the nurse coming in to check on Adam. All was going fine. At 7:30, the surgeon came in to check on him. I sat up still half asleep and tried to act like I was going to remember what he was telling me. Luckily the nurse repeated it later after I had been awake for awhile. The next few hours went quickly. Adam ate fine and took his meds fine and was up and around so a little after noon, we walked out of the hospital. It was 17 of the longest hours of my life. We got home and all got some much needed rest.

Today Adam is doing fine. He has three little bandages on his tummy, which are annoying him, but isn't in much pain. Through this whole thing, he never shed a tear. He never uttered a complaint. He never whined or argued. It was pretty amazing. He was so brave. I am extremely proud of him.

So I guess I've made it through some kind mommy initiation thing. I just hope I never have to repeat it.

As a very big aside, I have to mention how God was working through all this. We had not had health insurance for the past nine months. Until June 1st when our new policy started. I just knew it was time even though our individual policy is costing a lot. Good timing? No. God's timing!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things I've done over the last 24 hours...

1. suspected
2. worried
3. prayed
4. listened
5. held my middle baby's hand
6. waited
7. and waited some more
8. and prayed some more
9. paced
10. breathed a sigh of relief

I'll explain tomorrow after some sleep.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Remember a couple of weeks ago when I went to Women of Faith and I posted this? Well, in that post, I mentioned Lenah Kavata. Lenah is a 7 year old girl who lives in Kenya. She lives with her mother, sister and brother and is part of a World Vision community. She likes to draw and play soccer and her birthday is in August. Here's how I met her.

Each year that I have gone to Women of Faith, I have walked by the World Vision table and seen the pictures of children from all over the world who are part of the program. They are children who have needs that my own children will never know. They need food and clean water and an education. They need prayers. Every other year I walked by with a little guilt hanging over me. But a few weeks before the conference this year, I had this thought about World Vision. I didn't expect it. There was no reason to think of it. But I did. Then and there, I started praying and soon decided to sponsor a child this year. I knew it would be good for some child far away. And I knew it would be good for my own children to help them practice generosity and gratitude. A lesson the whole family could use a few lessons in.

During the first intermission on Friday, I was walking near the World Vision table and one of the representatives asked me if I would like to sponsor a child. Yes. Yes, I would like to sponsor a child. Then she pointed me toward the table and told me to pick a child. I looked down and was staring into hundreds of eyes. Little eyes like the ones I look into every day, only these eyes were not twinkling like I was used to. For a minute I looked from face to face and could not decide. How could I pick one? How could I pick the child whose life I was going to play a part in changing? The ladies behind the table must have seen my struggle because they tried to help. Did I want a boy or a girl? Did I have a specific country in mind? Did I want a child whose birthday matched mine? None of those things really mattered. So I said a quick prayer and asked God to lead me to the child whose life I was supposed to be a part of. I walked up and down the tables looking at each face. None of them was the child I was looking for. Meanwhile, the lady who had been helping me went behind the table and pulled out some other packets with pictures. How about this one? This one? This one? Wait, that one. Let me see that one. I took the packet in my hand and there she was. This little girl whose eyes twinkled just the tiniest bit. And who was the only one in all the pictures I had seen who was almost smiling. Almost. She was the one.

So I filled out the paperwork and committed to sending $35 a month to a community in Kenya so that Lenah and her family will have food and clean water and an education. Since then I have prayed for this family and for World Vision. I have also learned a lot more about the program. Our family will be able to send letters and small gifts to Lenah. And she will write back. We can also email her at the World Vision center in her community. We can support World Vision in other ways like providing animals and tools and books and sports equipment to communities around the world. It has already been a blessing to our family and will be for a long time.

When I came home and told my family about Lenah, they were very supportive. The boys looked at her picture and were curious and excited. Then this week when we got our welcome packet and learned what we could send, we had a great time shopping for stickers and colored pencils and other small things to send with our first letter to Lenah. And Josh volunteered to write the letter. Josh does not like to write and so I was thrilled with his interest. So today we will send our first letter off to Kenya. And we will appreciate, just a little more what we have here.

If you are interested in learning more about World Vision, they have a great website where you can sign up to sponsor a child or see what they are doing for God's children around the world. Take a look and consider supporting this great ministry.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I don't really have anything to say. I just wanted to post since it is now 3:36 AM. Julianna woke up about an hour ago coughing since she has a little cold and decided that it was time to play. She is now back in bed, but not sleeping and obviously neither am I. I'm off to rock her back to sleep. Hopefully. And get back to bed myself. I have an early morning meeting with Kathy...and the book man.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Can I just say that I love my sister friends? They are the best. They make me laugh. They let me cry. They understand me like few others do. They know that what happens with sister friends, stays with sister friends.

Yesterday we spent the evening together celebrating Marci's birthday. As a change of pace from our usual dinner and a movie, she suggested that we go downtown and walk the Mudgy and Millie trail. We are always up for something new, so off we went. We read the book as we went starting with the oldest reading first and then continuing in order of descending age. I won't list the order, but I will say that I was next to last. :) So, there we were, five grown women standing on Tubbs Hill reading a children's book and then taking pictures with a moose statue. And loving every minute of it. We walked the whole trail without even cheating by walking through the baseball field. As part of that, we walked around the boardwalk where I mentioned that on the southwest point of the boardwalk is where Arrty proposed to me. Ahhh. I know. Very sweet. Well, if you know Marci, you know she loves a good story, so on her suggestion, we sat down at one of the little tables and all shared our proposal stories. By the way, we pretty much did whatever Marci said because it was her night. We even took our shoes off and waded in the lake. Which was cold. And wonderful!

The trail ends at Independence Point which is one of my favorite spots downtown. But the last few times I've been there it has been overrun with teenagers. Now, I'm a little afraid of teenagers. I often joke that I didn't even like teenagers when I was a teenager. I'm trying to like them more by getting involved with the youth group at church more, because as much as I try to deny it, my children are getting closer to that stage by the day. But I couldn't help thinking things like, "Didn't your mama teach you that if you wear a belt, people won't be able to see your underwear?" And, "Aren't you too young to be holding that girl's hand?" And, "Do you kiss your grandmother with that mouth?" And, "Do you know what that tattoo is going to look like when you're 50?" I thought of my own kids and sighed. And prayed.

After our walk, we were going to dinner. Because that's what we do. We had planned to go to a little coffee/sandwich shop that was having open mike night. But when we got there we found out that they stopped serving food at 4:00. So we went to The Beacon, a pub on Sherman, that none of us had ever been to. No one told us, however, that it was a sports bar and that the basketball finals were on. It was a little loud. Okay, it was a lot loud. I thought that we should cheer for the team that everyone else was cheering against, but it turned out that both teams had a pretty good group of fans. So we just ate our food (fish and chips for me) and drank our Diet Cokes (tea for Marci). And laughed. Because that's what we do. I have to admit though, that when the Lakers tied it up in the last few seconds of the game, our table of 30 and 40 something moms, cheered just as loudly as the 20 somethings that filled the rest of the room.

After dinner, we discussed dessert. Because that's what we do, too. Gooeys, 351, Chili's, Applebee's? Someone mentioned Blizzards at DQ. Which is what we decided on. Just so you know, DQ closes at 10:00. It was 9:25 when we got there. If you get there at 9:25 and the girl behind the counter has a too tight ponytail and no smile, be prepared for grouchy to be served with your ice cream. "Can we still get Blizzards?" "Uh, I guess. I was getting ready to clean the machines." "Okay, can I get a chocolate Heath Blizzard?" "SIGH." And so it continued for the other four of us. When I ordered I was especially friendly and overly nice. You know, heaping burning coals and all that. The ice cream was good, though.

It was a great night filled with laughter and fun, just like always. And so much better than sitting in a dark theater not being able to talk. Because, talking, well, that's what we do.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 of Julianna's nicknames. Yes, she has more than 10.

1. Jules
2. Julesie
3. Jujubee
4. Juje
5. Junebug
6. Juma
7. Snuggle Bug
8. Shnooka
9. Punkin
10. Angel girl

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Big 1

In case you missed it, Julianna turned one last week. On Saturday, we had a birthday party for her. It was lots of fun. Here are a few pictures.

The birthday girl eating lunch.

1st birthday cupcake. She wasn't so sure about it.

Jules wanted to share with Aunt Ada. Aunt Ada decided to get her own instead.

Getting ready to open the presents. I just wanted her to keep this little candle
headband on for a picture, but she ended up leaving it on for a long time.
Cute, huh?
It was a good time spent with family and friends. And Julianna was such a good girl during it all. But as soon as all her guests left, the birthday girl took a well deserved 2 hour nap. And her mommy took a well deserved 20 minute nap. So, until next year, happy birthday sweet girl.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 places I've been in the last week...

1. in the presence of greatness
2. at the slowest restaurant on the face of the earth
3. to Costco...twice
4. at the center of the universe
5. 900 feet underground in a gold mine
6. in the oldest standing building in Idaho
7. panning for gold
8. hiking on Tubbs Hill
9. to Stickman's house
10. at peace

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Julianna!

If you look at the ticker just to the left, you will see that my daughter, my sweet, funny, adorable, amazing daughter, is one year old today. One year ago she officially entered our world and it hasn't been the same since. She is a complete joy. She has been such an easy baby to care for. (Which was my deal with God, if you remember. "Okay, God, if you want me to have a baby at advanced maternal age, she better be an easy one." Yeah, that deal.) And she is so easy to love with all her cuteness and silliness and smiliness. So today, after one year of knowing her, I can't imagine my life without her. She has made my heart, and our family, complete.

In honor of her birthday, I'd like to tell you a little about Miss Julianna.

She is a dancer. Even when I was pregnant with her, I called her my little dancer. Josh was a kicker, Adam was a roller, and Jules was a dancer. Right after she could stand holding on to furniture, my mom asked her if she was going to dance. And she did! I didn't even know she knew that word. And now, whenever she hears music of any kind, she dances.

She loves buttons. Not the kind on the front of a shirt. But the kind on electronic devices. Buttons like you find on a remote or cell phone or dvd player or stereo. And she gets a little irked when she's not allowed to play with those buttons.

She is cute! And it's not just me. Since the day she was born, I have been getting stopped by perfect strangers to admire her in all her cuteness. People always comment on her eyes. They are big and blue and sparkly.

She is funny. She reminds me a lot of Adam. She loves to play and make people laugh. And she has that fun, silly, personality that charms the socks off all who know her.

She is active. She is only still when she sleeps. She loves to explore and move and play and does so all day long. (And sometimes at night.)

She speaks! She says mama, dada, hi, Adam, woof-woof, and meow. (But she only speaks when she feels like it. Not when I ask her to.)

She loves animals. She is fascinated by any kind of animals and loves to look outside at Jake and chase the cats (much to their chagrin). And she loves to hug her stuffed animals. It is sooo cute.

She loves books. Which I love. I'm hoping she'll be my book buddy since the boys would rather be, well, pretty much doing anything besides reading. I'm already saving some of my favorite books for her.

She is a gift. Not only that, she's the best kind of gift. You know when someone gives you something out of the blue that you didn't even know you needed but once you have it you use it everyday. Julianna is that kind of gift. I didn't even know I needed her. But now, after only a year of being her mommy, I don't think I could make it through the day without her.

So, today, as I think about the last year and smile with the memory of those early days, I will also look forward with great anticipation to those to come. Filled with even more love and laughter and wonderfulness with Julianna.

Happy birthday, baby girl. I love you.

Monday, June 01, 2009


I spent last weekend with some of my favorite mom, my sister, my sister-friend Kathy...and Sandi Patty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Luci Swindoll, Patsy Clairemont, Marilyn Meberg, Sheila Walsh...and 7,000+ sisters in Christ. And I made some new friends. Like Lisa Whelchel (yes, Blair from the Facts Of Life), Henry Cloud, and Lenah Kavata (more on her to come).

You see, I spent the weekend at Women Of Faith. A conference for, well, women of faith. The first year I went was 2006. The Friday four days after my car accident. My back and neck and shoulders and heart hurt. I was scared to death to drive, so I rode with a friend. I didn't want to go...but I did want to go. By the first three notes of the very first worship song I was in tears. And not like quiet running down you cheek tears. Big, sobbing, wish I could sing but I can't tears. Because at that moment it hit me. I had been saved again. I felt His arms around me and remembered that I had felt the same thing four days earlier as my car flip-flopped off the road. So there I stood, with my body aching and my heart beginning to heal.

I've gone every year since and love it. Each year brings forth a different response. But no matter what the topic. No matter what I hear. I am inspired. Inspired to be a better person. And this year was certainly no different. Each person who spoke shared their story and how God was with them through their darkest hours. And even if my darkest hours seem like the middle of the day sun compared to theirs, my darkest hours seemed like midnight with no moon at all dark to me. And so I thought about those times and how now I can look back and see that there was always a glimmer of light. And I realize who that light was. And is.

Okay, now let me say that I want to sit on the porch. Every year that I go and see those amazing women sitting on the "porch" I want to be one of them. I want to travel around and inspire and touch other Christian women. I want to be a part of what is surely life changing for some. And I want to be friends with such an amazing group of sisters. Wait...I just realized that I have a porch. And I have some amazing sisters. Hmmm, stay tuned for more on that thought.

I was struck as usual at Women of Faith, by the goodness of God. Not only by the speakers, but by the mere fact that thousands of Christian women can sit for two days straight and do nothing but praise Him. And by the fact that He is there, working in the lives of each and every one. Wow. But this year, the most amazing and inspiring moment for me was seeing Steven Curtis Chapman perform. It's true that he is an amazing songwriter and performer. It's true that he does wonderful things for God's kingdom. It's true that he supports and advocates for adoptions of God's children. All these things are inspiring on their own. But what got me most was that even though a horrible accident one year ago took his baby girl, Maria, he was able to stand on that stage and sing of the glory of God. That, my friends, is a true testament to faith. And faithfulness.

So another Women of Faith has come and gone. But the wonderful thing is that it's not gone at all. I will ponder what I heard. I will use what I felt. I will move closer to my Lord because of two days of spending time with him. And 7,000 of his daughters.

And just so you are prepared, I have about 100 more posts about my weekend running through my head. Get ready...