Saturday, October 14, 2006

Contagious Joy

Bottom Row, Left to Right- Amy, Lisa (not mrsquigs), Michele, Me, Christy, Kristine Top- Kris, Nancy, Shannon - (BTW - I was the one setting up the timer on the camera which is why I got to be "front and center" - next time I'll have to work on establishing a back row location to run to once I hit the button!)
Our Group in the concourse at the conference
Here's a picture of Christy and I not missing a minute of the Duck game in the MAX on the way back to the hotel....

I just returned from 36 hours spent in Portland attending the WOMEN OF FAITH conference with 8 very good friends. The theme was CONTAGIOUS JOY - and it truly was a joy being with these gals, staying at the Embassy Suites (ooh, la, la - fancy.....), and riding the Max for the first time. The decision to attend the conference was relatively last minute, and clearly God blessed the details - even arranging for excellent seats in the Rose Garden.

The highlight of the experience for me was listening to Robin McGraw (Dr. Phil's wife). She did a great 4 point presentation of 4 choices women really need to make - my abbreviated version:

1. Make the choice to accept Christ as your personal savior and live to follow and glorify Him
2. Make the choice to be positive in your view of yourself and your life
3. Make the choice to take care of yourself - in all aspects - your husband and kids need a healthy you, not a martyr or a person who sacrifices herself constantly
4. Make the choice to accept your husband for who he is....

Item # 3 was a big focal point that I think many women feel like they are allowed to ignore - that somehow it is acceptable and honorable to wear yourself thin to the point of being emotionally and physically ill - However, Robin told the very sad story of how abruptly her mother's life came to an end - and it occurred as she was literally pulling a pumpkin pie out of the oven that Robin had requested her mom make for her..... always doing for everyone else, never taking care of herself. Sometimes, I think women think it is selfish to take a bath, escape reality, hire a babysitter for you to have a "nothing" day - but, in the big picture, if it keeps us healthy and balanced - your kids will love you for keeping yourself alive to be there even longer in life for them.

At the end of Robin's talk we all applauded- and then to the entire Rose Garden attendance's surprise - Dr. Phil himself walked down the aisle to join his wife on stage. He congratulated and praised his wife, made comments about their dedication to promote Jesus Christ as Savior in the best way they could with the platforms they'd been bestowed - then ended it by saying that in the filming of 800+ shows, Robin has walked Dr. Phil off stage every single time. He said it was the least he could do to escort her off stage..... It's been a while since I've routinely tuned into Dr. Phil, but the level of respect I have for both of him has just skyrocketed ten-fold. Very cool.

One of the speakers read a wonderful comparison piece that has apparently been cruising the internet popping into forwarded emails. I thought it was very convicting and worthy of sharing-

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones.

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it
What if we flipped through it several times a day
What if we used it to receive messages from the text
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it
What if we gave it to kids as gifts
What if we used it as we traveled
What if we used it in case of an emergency
What if we upgraded it to get the latest version

Yup, that hits home......

Finally, I left my camera at home, but Christy (who deserves much praise for taking care of much of the details of this adventure), took hers and when I get access to them - I'll try to add them to this post.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the weekend and are able to experience contagious joy......


StephieAnne said...

Jodi - loved the email and the visit too - made our day!

I want to clarify in what I think Robin was saying- I really think she was staying was do whatever it takes to keep yourself healthy - not necessarily giving everyone an excuse for a spa day every month with girlfriends...., but not overextending yourself and your body for everyone else so that there's nothing left of yourself - much less any quality to give to your husband and kids. The important thing is that you become a woman that will be "in it for the long haul"-

HollieHobbie said...

I wish I had gone! Maybe next year I will plan ahead better and join you guys! I bet it was a great time all around....the speakers, the friends, the food!

StephieAnne said...

Hollie - it's the same weekend next year, so start planning now..... We're very serious about returning again, Oct. 12-13- I think in the spring we'll try and order tickets to get good seats and reserve hotel rooms so that the prices aren't through the roof.....

HollieHobbie said...

what a great group of gals! And great looking too! I am so jealous that I wasn't there. Let me know when you start making plans for next year....if you don'r mind me crashing your party.

StephieAnne said...

Of course not, Hollie! What's up with your trip to Eugene? Christy said you might not be coming - say it ain't so!