Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Abundant Life

My cup runneth over and over and over! Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to attend She Speaks, a conference for Christian women who feel the call to write, speak, or lead women's ministries. I chose to attend the writers' track in order to begin to fulfill a call on my life that God has been nurturing for a few years. I went with no agenda other than to be open to everything that God wanted to show me and wanted me to learn. Wow! God showed up in a mighty way.

I made lots of new friends, friends who share the desire to spread God's message through the written and/or spoken word. A gal who normally chooses to pay extra for the privilege of rooming alone, on this trip God prompted me to let Him choose my roommate. He blessed me with a dear, dear new friend. It was almost uncanny, the way we have so many things in common. From the moment I walked into the hotel room, it was as though we were long time friends who had simply not seen each other for awhile. Kay, I am abundantly blessed to be able to call you friend. Can't wait to see what God unfolds for us as our friendship grows. (Love that IKEA thing too, girlfriend!)

Other new friends are my newly formed online writers' critique group. Seven new friends from several different states will join me to encourage one another, pray with and for one another, and give each other feedback on our writing. Sisters In Ink, I love you muchly already!

I arrived in Concord, NC on Friday as one of several first time conference attendees. I left Sunday afternoon with a heart overflowing with God's love and a renewed confidence in His calling on my life. Then life...

...a phone call as I was driving home to tell me my daughter-in-law was going back to the emergency room for an ongoing problem that first arose on Thursday night. (Both times while I was traveling for this conference.) Monday...a return trip to her doctor who decided emergency surgery was necessary. Hubby & I took over kid care while son stayed with DIL at the hospital. School was ready to start and there were still supplies to purchase. So I joined the crowd of moms at the local stores to fill up our carts with the necessary pencils, paper, etc. Youngest granchild is not quite three years old so he was a bit ruffled by mom & dad being away. However, we managed to keep him entertained so it seemed more like just another fun time with Papa & Mama. DIL's surgery was successful and she is home recovering nicely. Kids are in school with all supplies purchased. Hubby & I are tired but thankful that we were here to help. After all, this is what family is all about!

One of the speakers at the conference reminded us to expect an attack from Satan since he is always looking for opportunities to try to discourage us or cause us to stumble when we have stepped out in obedience to God. She encouraged us to be prepared ahead of time by growing closer to God, soaking up His word and spending time in prayer.

There have been times in the past when I have come home from a mountain top experience such as this, encountered a life storm, and become almost instantly pulled into the poor me syndrome. This time has been different. Though at times over the past week I have felt like I have been on a speeding train, there never was a time that I felt life was out of control. Never a time when I thought, "Oh my, I am too exhausted to go on." Never a time that I felt resentment, frustration, or other negative emotion. I believe that is due simply to God's preparation in my heart for what He knew was coming. If you've been keeping up with this blog, you know I have written before about the difference between the busy life and the full life. This week has been absolutely the full life. How I've responded to it has been the abundant life promised to us by our Savior.

And that is something to shout about!


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