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women of faith in columbus ohio!

we had a blast at women of faith in columbus this weekend! the good friends and good food alone was great, but there was also an amazing lineup for us at nationwide arena:
lisa welchel (yes, blair from the facts of life, and a scrapbooker too!), steven curtis chapman (who won the dove award for artist & songwriter of the year just the night before!), mandisa (who rocked the house and has such a great story involving simon!), sandi patty (eat your heart out mom!), marilyn meberg (who i so want to be my grandma!), luci swindoll (who amie leaned over and said i would be like when i grow up because she doesn't care about what people think either - i can only hope to be half as cool as luci!), patsy clairmont (so funny and just a riot!), sheila walsh (700 club, heart to heart, and a great accent!), allison allen (a very talented actress), and steve arterburn (the founder of WOF!). amazing i tell you!
a very fun part of the weekend for me was following the speakers on twitter and facebook from my phone! they were posting from the event, hotel, dinner, cabs, it was so fun! and a few of my friends and i were posting to each other too (only on breaks of course!) :) it was a very technologically connected thing, which comforted us since none of us brought laptops (and that's very hard for digital scrapbookers)!
the theme was a grand new day, and it sure felt like it! the women of faith worship team was energizing, besides great, and i thoroughly enjoyed singing and worshiping my rear off (can you do that?) though i would have loved to sing a lot more. singing with 17,000 women rocks!
on the WOF website it says this: "Our speakers are real women who share stories from their real lives." and that is so true. all the speakers were very real, very vulnerable and shared info that was personal, and very practical for women. it's easy to look at celebrities (especially Christian ones) and say ah they're famous, they're holy, they're on God's speed dial, they don't have MY kinds of problems. so it was refreshing, almost surprising, but completely encouraging to hear them speaking of broken marriages, financial trouble, addiction, grief, weight struggles, abuse, hurt, not knowing who you are, trying to be who you aren't... all very real issues that the audience obviously connected with. (from the tissues i went through, i obviously connected with much!)
added to all that realness was solid Bible teaching and encouragement, lots of success stories and resources, and a WHOLE LOT OF LAUGHTER! (many of my tissues were needed for laughing, not just crying!)
there are so many inside jokes that you wouldn't get unless you were there, like red scooters, why luci almost got fired, marilyn's book called what's up, lisa taking photos of her injured husband with the paramedics (though my scrapping pals will all get that one!), mandisa's snuggie she wore, and sheila's snuggie she didn't, and so much more! but yeah, you had to be there so i won't tell you about them. ;)
and oh the music! steven curtis chapman, how could that not be amazing? great singer of course, great songs of course, i'm sure you can sing them all, but he seems like such a great husband and father too. you've probably heard of his young daughter maria that he lost last year, so to hear him sing cinderella was just a killer. as an adoptive parent too of course i feel like i have an inside connection to his family, but there weren't many there who took that song in stride! it was good, in a heart-wrenching way, and you could see how much his family was depending on God.
mandisa was awesome and had us all dancing! she did a great diana ross, and tina turner, and whitney houston. of course my deliverer was great to hear/see/sing live! and she has such a great story (great on this side of it anyway) that makes the powerful words of her songs even more meaningful. and it was very cool to hear about some of her experiences on american idol, especially with simon!
goodness, all that, plus great books, bags, necklaces, lunch outside on a GORGEOUS day, and being surrounded the whole time by a GREAT group of girls was just an awesome weekend for me!
here's our whole group at the cheesecake factory (i highly recommend the adam's peanut butter cup fudge ripple cheesecake!). 10 of us stayed with debi's gracious sister-in-law jodi friday, which was so much fun with all the girls! we had some great snacks (pms dessert is so yummy and so fitting for a house full of women!), and great conversations, and not much, but great sleep.
we headed home after the event on saturday and all agreed we'd sure like one more day to enjoy the event and process all the info! i'm sure we'll head back again next year. april 30-may 1, it's already on my calendar! if you've never been to women of faith, i recommend you click on over now and find an event near you. you'll be so glad you did. unless you're a man, then you probably wouldn't...


My2Gs said…
I was there too! Wasn't it fabulous!!