Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let's be honest....

When I decided to start this blog I had two thoughts in mind.

The first would be that it would be a great way to keep friends and family that aren't near by (and those that are sometimes) updated on the things that are going on with us while we are here at Seminary.

The other thought was that maybe I would be able to help others out there in the same position that I am in to understand they aren't alone. That while husband's are in classes and papers are becoming the priority this is only a season and hopefully things will get better.

With that thought in mind each time I sat down to write a new post I just couldn't get through it. I wanted each word to sound inspiring. I wanted to saturate each new entry with powerful words and motivation.

Well, guess what? That's just not me. I'm not inspiring. I'm not motivating. I am just not. So with that said its time I start being me. Its time to start being me.

 OK, now with that out of the way lets talk conference. IT. WAS. AWESOME!

The conference started with a small gathering that the seminary calls the "Grindstone."  They have one of these every so often and it is usually a speaker followed by a question and answer time. They are on a specific topic that we all face each day.

The Grindstone that was connected with the conference was a women only event with guest speaker Elizabeth George. She is a best selling author and speaker. Elizabeth has focused her life on teaching and training women to be women after God's own heart.  During her talk she explained that the best way we can be women after God's own heart in the 21st century is to spend 100% of our time worrying about what God thinks and what God wants us to be doing.  If we start with that everything else will fall into place.
Elizabeth George and Elizabeth Marshall

The next day, thanks to the fact that I participated in this conference for degree credit, I was able to participate in  a conference session. The session I was able to go to was called "Touching Lives through Taking Tea." The whole session was how to use the art of tea and tea parties to be a time of ministry for others around you. Now let me just say that I LOVED THIS! I love tea. When I was growing up I collected tea cups, tea pots, and mini tea sets. This was probably one of the most inspiring sessions I have ever gone to. On top of that it incorporates and is the essence of something I am really  coming to love: Hospitality.

The actual conference opened Friday Night with some wonderful worship lead by Angela Buck. To hear over 1000 women praise and worship God that first session was beyond breath-taking. There were several times that I had to just stop and listen because it was so beautiful.

The conference consisted of 4 plenary sessions over the course of Friday evening and Saturday. Friday night we heard from Michelle Duggar on what the 5 purposes of the home. She focused on the home being a teaching center.  Saturday's session opened with Elizabeth George again speaking on being a woman after God's own heart but this time going into some more detail. She talked about laying out your battle plan in front of the Lord each day and the importance of spending time with God on a personal basis.  The third speaker was our very own first lady of the seminary, Mrs. Dorothy Patterson.  We laughed together as she broke down the Proverbs 31 Woman passage. Lastly, Michelle Duggar came back for the final session, and after her lovely family shared their musical talents with the group, she took some time to go through the rest of the purposes of the home. With each area she touched on Michelle gave practical, hands on advice on how to have a God centered home.

Between each session was the opportunity to attend three break out sessions. These sessions ranged from how to develop a cottage industry to prayer and care for the aging. In each session women came out inspired by speakers who were able to touch on various areas of life. I was able to attend sessions on the importance of family meal times as well as ways to continue to nurture my preschoolers.

As I left the conference at the end of the day Saturday I walked home with this weight on my shoulders. Over the last few days I have been really struggling with what I need to do with all the information I learned and how I am to put them into practice. Over the next few posts I hope to take each session I went to and break them down. My hope is that as I share what I learned over the course of the weekend I not only give out some valuable information but I am also able to finally flesh out what is going on in my heart and in my mind.

However, no matter what comes of figuring out the information that I have I do know one thing: Homemaking is a lost art. It is really time that we start to come back to the home and focus our energies as wives and mothers on the precious gifts that God has given us. Having the opportunity to be home with my children each and every day is something that I never really thought of as being important until my son was born. A higher calling I could never have asked for.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"The Art of Homemaking"

I don't think I have looked forward to something as much as I am looking forward to this weekend in a very long time.

This weekend almost 1000 women will be gathering here on the Southwestern Baptist Seminary campus to hear tips, tricks, and encouragement from several women who have made homemaking not just their calling in life but turned it in to a true art form.

In today's society I constantly feel like I am having to defend my reasons behind being a full time stay at home wife and mother. A true homemaker. Men and women everywhere want to convince me that I am missing out on some amazing aspect of life if I'm not trying to be a working mother.

Let me tell you, I have been in the work force before. I am not missing anything.

Better yet, if I were to choose to still be out there working day in and day out I would be missing the most important thing of all: My kids child hood.

I would have missed out on both my babies first words, first steps, and each new day that presents both triumphs and challenges. I would have had to rely on someone else in the world telling me about all the wonderful things my kids are doing while I'm sitting at a desk somewhere.

No thanks.

That's why I'm so excited about this weekend. I am ready to hear ideas on how to make my home more efficient. Ways to use the gifts that God has given me to devote my whole attention to my family. I'm excited to hear from women like Elizabeth George, Michelle Duggar, and Dorthy Patterson about how they were able to make the challenges of everyday life work in a Godly manner.