You might wonder where I’ve been lately! Well, life takes over sometimes, but I just have to tell you where I was last week!

My sweet and adoring husband surprised me by registering me for the Designed For Life conference, and I spent several days feasting on life-giving words, imbibing heart-changing worship, and enjoying the delicious dessert of communing with sweet sisters in Christ. Oh, and best of all, I got to stay with my lovely daughter in her apartment (that sounds too strange since just weeks ago, she was still my girl at home — but it was oh, so fun!!!)

And I can’t resist giving you a condensed version of the conference!

Charlotte Gambill kicked off the conference with an inspiring message entitled “Feet First“. When she awoke from a deep sleep with that phrase echoing in her mind, she thought God was calling her to jump into a new area of ministry ‘feet first’. As she obediently agreed, and wondered how she would fit more into her already packed life, the Spirit of the Lord revealed truth to her heart.

And so, she fed that word to us as she reminded us that everything we do should be preceded with “feet first” time, spent at the feet of Christ, in worship, in devotion, in adoration, in humble obedience and reverence. Like Mary, we break our alabaster jar of our best treasure at the feet of Jesus, before we jump to our feet and hurry about our days and duties.

Then Debbie Lindell inspired us to “Just Be” who God created us to be, by modeling the beauty of what God can do with a willing vessel. What a beautiful and gracious hostess she is, planning this fun and inspiring event to bless thousands of women, to gather us to scatter us with renewed vision, compassion and hope for those we minister to in our homes and in our lives.

John and Helen Burns inspired us for our marriage. John reminded us about the five differences of the male brain that can be frustrating, but he has the awesome ability to: focus, be aggressive, strong, have a healthy ego, and yearns to be a hero. I hope I never forget his words, “Ladies, your husband only has one switch, and that’s you. He walked down that aisle to be a hero. If you can find out how to help him do that, you got him.” WOW!

Helen allowed the Lord to change the message she had planned to bring, and instead taught a message that could have come straight from the pages of Song of Rebellion, as she used Darlene Zschech’s phrase, “If your life was a song, would you inspire others to sing along?”

Nancy Alcorn brought the gift of mercy with her messages. She’s one tough lady, who manages to exude compassion in her no-nonsense approach to snatching girls from the clutches of evil, to be transformed by the power of God. “It’s not treatment, it’s transformation,” she says in her gruff, hard voice, that is softened by the tears as she tells the stories. I am inspired by the stories, and the faces of the girls who “chose life” and were rescued from a life of drugs, sex-slavery, suicidal, self-destructive behaviors, eating disorders, unplanned pregnancies and more of the evil that steals beauty from the hearts of our girls.

The hundreds of shoes for Mercy girls, over 300 Haiti children sponsored for food and education through Mission of Mercy, the “Be a Gift” where a car was actually given to one of the women who exemplifies faith in the midst of a family crisis!!! — gifts, gifts, gifts.

And the personally inspiring message from Charlotte on ‘The Long Way Around‘ where we see that God may want to bring others along on the journey to our answered prayer, picking up passengers instead of picking up the pain, where you get double for your trouble as you bring others along, collecting the people along the way, because we’re going to make the enemy pay for what he’s stolen, when all is redeemed and restored!

And all this was packed in between a carnival and a Group 1 Crew concert, and massages, and zumba, and coffee and roasted marshmallows, and confetti and balloons and girly-girl fun (which isn’t my usual comfort zone, but was fun nonetheless!) But hey, there’s time for tea and booknooks and string quartets another time!!!

And what fun to meet some new friends like Lynne, Linda, Ashley, and the girls from West Plains who invited me sit with them!!

Thank you Marc. You’ll never know the good it did me to get away. . . and to come home to a quiet house. . . for a couple hours. . . and then to a night of ‘home alone’ with you!! Love, love, love you!


p.s. And next year’s conference ‘A Love Story’ looks fabulous; let me know if you want to go, and maybe we can hang out together!