Have you ever had one of those weeks where you look at your calendar and think, “Ooops!!’ Yeah, that’s me this week. And why is it on those busiest of weeks I decide it’s finally time to clean out the fridge? I mean, entirely empty the fridge and find whatever it is that crawled into the back and died a few weeks ago. And on any other week I’d close the shower curtains and pretend the tub isn’t there. But this week, it’s there, staring at me with ugly, soap-scum filled eyes. And that jelly that’s crusted on the kitchen floor underneath the table? Time for it to go too. When I decide to clean the windows, you’ll know there’s no hope left for me.
You’d think I was pregnant and nesting. I’m not. Please read that again, and don’t start any rumors. I’m NOT pregnant. No, instead, I’m getting ready for a conference. And sending my kids off for a couple days with Nana and Papa. And sitting in the blazing heat for soccer camp every night.
I’ll be spending Thursday – Saturday at the Speak Up Conference with Carol Kent and her wonderful team. At the gentle prodding of some family and friends last year, I attended this incredible conference and God turned my world upside down.
I went to a fantastic goal planning session with Jennie Afman Dimkoff and dared to write down the goal of having a book written by April 2012. I had no idea that God already had plans in motion and that I’d sign a contract in November with a deadline of…May 1, 2012.
In a small group critique session, I met Cindy Bultema who’s become a dear friend, and ministry mentor, over the past year. I can’t imagine having traveled the past year without her.
I met Donna Fagerstrom who is a fellow writer for Circle of Friends, and also became a dear friend and encouragement to me. Donna and I were even interviewed together on Circle of Friends radio last summer. Donna has an incredible life story!
You remember those cartoons where a character’s eyes get really big and blink super fast with a little “blink-blink” noise of disbelief? That’s how I feel when I think back to last year’s conference. I can hardly wait to see what He has in store this year.
Another “blink-blink” of disbelief is that I’m teaching a workshop Friday evening and participating in a skit. I look over the list of speakers and their bios and I feel like the little girl wearing her mom’s shoes and pearls, hiding in the corner, hoping no one notices she’s crashed the party. If you are a praying person, I’d really appreciate it if you could lift me up this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I’m always urging my friends to be brave and to step out and try new things. Time to practice what I preach. I know that on my own I don’t have a whole lot to offer. My prayer is that I’ll be an encouragement and help to everyone God brings across my path this weekend.
If you’re on twitter, you can follow me at @amrhodes. I’ll be tweeting as much as I can from the conference. I’m sure I’ll be back on Monday with some fun only-God stories and possibly a fun give away! 🙂
Donna, Cindy, and me