Anyway, I got up super early this morning and drove to Redmond for the conference. According to the tickets, the conference was from 8-5, so I got there at 7:30. And then discovered that the whole thing wasn't starting until 8:45! So that left time for standing in the very long coffee line. When I got up to the front of the line, a woman came up and asked me if I would mind ordering a bagel for her friend, who was at the end of the line, and was pregnant and feeling ill. I agreed and mentioned that I understood, since I am 5 months pregnant. At that, everyone in line behind me expressed their shock, since I am STILL not showing. Seriously, I'm glad I've had so many ultrasounds and heard the baby's heartbeat so many times, or else I wouldn't believe it either!
The conference finally got started off with a wonderful worship service, led by the group Temple. Then we had some great sessions with speakers, including Pam Tebow (mom of 2007 Heisman Trophy/2008 National Championship winner Tim Tebow), Sarah Taylor (from the local radio station), Lisa Whelchel (Blair from Facts of Life), Ruth Graham (Billy Graham's daughter) and Chonda Pierce (a wonderful Christian comedienne who I have been following for a number of years). All the sessions were great, and very encouraging. Everything was on the topic of hope during the tough times. I really appreciated the honesty of the women who spoke- they were open about their struggles and their tough times, but reminded us that God does not make mistakes and is not surprised by things that happen to us and that He always has a plan. Hopefully I'll be able to remember that in the next trial!
I even got to meet Chonda and take a picture with her, which was a lot of fun. I've been reading her books, watching her DVDs and attending her concerts for years, and it's been really interesting to watch her through that time and see how she has dealt with the things that happen in her life. Again, she's honest through the hard times, and also manages to find a lot of humor in things. When she speaks, you laugh so hard that tears come to your eyes and it's difficult to breathe. That's what I call a good time!
I needed to go to this conference, and I'm so glad that I was able to go. Things haven't been horrible this past year, but we've faced a lot of medium-sized challenges, and I've been feeling really worn down and empty. Today went a long way to getting me back on the right path and reminding me what my focus needs to be.
And tomorrow I get to go to church!! Hurray! It's been too long!
Here's my picture with Chonda.