I had the opportunity this weekend to attend a women's conference at my church. Eddie will tell you that it was not without drama. I don't necessarily love being away from my children. As much as they drive me crazy, I am crazier if I can't constantly watch over them and make sure all is well. I'm also nursing Will. We've almost reached the one-year mark (booohoooo!) and I am ready to give it up but I have not wanted to break the "no milk before one" rule because of the allergies we are dealing with for James. SO...I had to be prepared to leave him and leave him with enough to eat. Without going into all the details of that (hi, Dad!) I will say that the preparation to leave Will for any length of time is not glamorous or fun for me. :)
So...as you can see, I was really looking forward to this weekend.
It began on Friday night and after the what-d0-I-wear-that-doesn't-make-me-look-pregnant debacle (and James told me I looked like I had a baby in my tummy...fabulous!), I set off.
I won't lie and tell you that Friday night was fantastic. Our theme was about being filled to overflowing. But Friday night the speaker, Anita, began by speaking about feeling empty and being emptied by God so that He can then fill you. Friday night was not a feel-good night. It was hard to hear the things the speaker had gone through. It was harder to hear from another woman who spoke about what her life has been like. I went away from there feeling sort of down. Sad. It wasn't a pretty night.
The upside was that I got to fellowship with lots of other ladies that I don't see very often and lots that I hadn't ever met before!
Saturday morning I was up before dawn. And by that, I mean 6:15. Y'all. I cannot fathom how I used to wake up every day around 5:30 so that I could be at work by 7AM. (And by that, I mean 7:15-7:20.) OOOOOMMMMMMGGGGGG. That's too early. Fortunately, the reward for rising early was pancakes that I didn't have to make or clean up. So, win.
Saturday we had two speakers - the one from Friday night and another from a church member. Both were FANTASTIC. Empty the night before? Filled up on Saturday. We focused on the 23rd Psalm and looked at it in ways I hadn't focused on before. But the whole gift for me was sitting silently and counting all of my blessings. In my small group I didn't have much to say. Not because I didn't want to talk, but because I didn't really have anything to add. We talked a lot about feeling empty, being empty. I have been super whiny about life in general lately. I haven't mentioned it on here much because "Hello, Debbie Downer," but January was a trying month for me. I won't say much more than that but I was just in a whiny place. A "Why aren't things working out how I want them to..." place. And on Saturday in that small group time and in some time spent in prayer I became very mindful of the fact that God is protecting us from some big things. His timing is not mine. And hello, blessing abound! The women in my group shared about how they felt empty when they lost their husbands, when they divorced, when they lost jobs, etc. And thank goodness, I just couldn't add to that. Yes, I've had trials. But I've had way, way, way more blessings. Way more. So...consider my outlook changed!
Saturday night Eddie and I made plans to go out with some friends of ours. They used to be our after-church-lunch friends but since I have a baby that likes to eat every three hours it hasn't worked out in about a year. So we made plans for Saturday night. And then we found out they weren't bringing their kids and I felt like I might have a panic attack. I love my kids, but I don't want to be the couple that brings their kids to dinner with another couple whose kids had other plans. No, thanks. I called my sweet baby cousin, Susana, and she came through in a pinch. We had a fun impromptu date night out!
Sunday morning we got up and headed back to church! :) I think I spent 75% of my weekend in a church service setting. After church and Sunday School we headed to Tifton for the day.
Sadly, our trip to Tifton was to go to the funeral of one of my favorite friend's grandmothers. She was in her nineties and had been sick for a while. The service was wonderful! I never met her grandmother, but I sat there and listened to the description of this lady and thought how interesting it was that so many of her traits were passed along to her daughter and granddaughter.
One of the preacher spoke on power poles. I know that seems odd but he compared Mrs. H to a power pole. When you get out of bed and cook breakfast in the morning you don't think about the power pole outside and what it's doing to help make your morning easy! In fact, you probably don't even notice them when you drive past them on the road. They're not painted in bright colors. They blend in with the scenery. But they keep things going, don't they! When the power goes out that's all we can think about. He made the point that Mrs. H was like a power pole. She blended right in, didn't need to stand out, but made sure that things were working. We don't have enough power poles these days. Either no one wants to get the job done or they do it but want credit for it. He also read Proverbs 31. I have to say that if someone read that at my funeral I would take it as the BIGGEST compliment. It's definitely one of my favorite things.
We did enjoy visiting with my sweet friend for a bit at the visitation and after the graveside. And for a bonus we saw plenty of other Tiftonites we haven't seen in a while. And just for your information, when you grow up in a small town and know everyone and then you move away for five years and come back people get old. Think they thought the same thing about me? Another sidenote, I really mean the "older" people...not those that don't really wish to be old. This was a 90 year old's funeral, after all. Those people really are old. I commented on this fact to Eddie and he said, "Well, they are old." Ha!
We came home last night after dinner with Grandmama and Granddaddy and put the boys (who'd slept the whole way home) straight to bed. Since we'd driven the whole way in the dark it felt SO LATE. We were in bed and asleep by about 10:30. That has to be a record for us!
Sorry for the lack of pictures this weekend. I'll try to get better about that!