Friday, October 5, 2012

Musings & Happenings: on conferences, faithfulness, family & travel

*I can't believe we're already five days into October. 
No, really. I mean, I can't believe it. 
I keep forgetting.

*Isn't that interesting? That I would forget a truth that's right in front of me.
It's written on every calendar. It's on my beloved iPhone every time I look at the screen.
Odd how it's so easy to forget such simple truth,
even when it's staring you in the face and surrounding you wherever you go.

(That's a sermon, right there.)

*In September I had the amazing privilege of traveling with the incredible Stephanie Henderson (Stephanie Henderson Ministries) to Paris, Texas, to lead worship for The Stiletto Project conference.
We had an absolute blast pouring our hearts into new friends, and I can honestly say I learned so much.
I'm continually thankful and blown away at the women God brings into my life. 
Strong in different ways. 
Varied in talent and influence.
This was such a gift, and I love how God stirs something inside us, but then HE creates the path. He doesn't require us to push and shove to accomplish something in our own strength.
He allows us to yearn for what He stirs, and then opens doors in His timing and moves us into it as we lean into Him.
Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Walking out our destiny...
"...Blessed is she who believed there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the LORD."
Luke 1:45

Amazing world changers of Paris, Texas.

Jesus with boots on and the Eiffel tower, Texas style.

Steph sat by this guy on the plane home.
"Angela, what are you doing? Angela. Seriously. Are you... are you taking a picture?"
Maybe. *wink*

*In September I also turned 36!!!!!!!! I came home from The Stiletto Project to find the house decorated with streamers, a cake on the counter, presents on the table, and Ian had even made "Happy Birthday" out of legos.
(Yes, it's sitting atop the ferret cage.)

(Click to get full panorama effect.)

I am one... blessed... mom.
I know there are many women who don't want to divulge their age for various reasons.
It's kind of a thing, "Never ask a woman her age."
But, I'm proud of my 36 years. Honestly, I think the enemy creeps in often and tries to whisper, "You're to old for _______." OR, "You're too young for _______."
Really? REALLY?
Well, which is it?
Am I too young? Or am I too old?
The truth is NEITHER! I've walked this earth for 36 years and am going to take ownership of every single one of them.
Do I get a little discouraged sometimes with new wrinkles or my body doing odd things as it ages?
Yes. I'm a normal woman.
(And, man. Some of this stuff is odd.)
But, the TRUTH is I am exactly the right age for what God is calling me to do, 
so I'm gonna CLAIM IT.
And you should, too.
As I claim my age and battle scars and wars-fought-wisdom, maybe some of the younger women looking at me will realize age isn't something to deny but rather something to grasp and dwell in.
Because, really, age doesn't matter. It's what we do with the years we've been given.
None of us is promised tomorrow. We're not even promised the end of today.
So, I'm gonna be thankful and shout from the rooftops that I'm here now...
and I've been here for 36 years.

*We had our New Life Leadership Conference.
I am so thankful to be part of a church family that serves, that loves, that is resilient, that works it out.
Isn't that what we're called to do as family?
We're not perfect... but we're not called to be perfect.
We're called to be in it together... for better or worse, through thick and thin.

Worship in the Living Room.

Worship discussion in The Tent.

Awesome friends and worship leaders came from Wales! Cath posed with me and Sound of Wales's new cd "Llef" (The Cry).
(Jon, I'm still disappointed you wouldn't jump in. I have no evidence to show Claire. WHEN you come back in Easter, you WILL be subjected to this.)  :-)

And look who ELSE was here for the conference...

Mr. & Mrs. Daniel & Hanna Hughes!!!
(Along with Hanna's parents, whom I did not get a pic of. Boo.)

They may have had to squeeze in the car on the way to the airport.

*Last weekend I had the beyond-incredible honor of leading a group to Women of Faith in Denver.
If you've read this blog for any length of time (even with it's pauses and whatnot) you know I've gone every year for the past however long.
(Okay. Twist my arm. 13 years.)
This conference has been a huge foundation in my life. One of the reasons I am who I am today.
Because any good investment made repeatedly and faithfully becomes a great investment.

I'm going to do a separate post on the HOLY COW FREAKING AWESOME time we had, but I just wanted to say here how blown away I was (am) by God's faithfulness to pour out blessings on His girls.
He just IS.
He just is faithful.
And He just DOES.
He just does pour out.

When we make the commitment to make the space in our schedules, we experience His faithfulness in SO many ways.
And those other 117 women who joined our group can testify to that alongside of me.
In fact, they can testify to the point that we already have 65 girls who've reserved their tickets to go NEXT September!!!
It's that crucial.
The fact that they're standing with me and declaring it just melts my heart to a puddle of snot and tears and love and God's faithfulness.

Click the panorama pic to see the amazingness. Thousands of women holding up their phones in worship and declaring, "I will follow you."
(Photo courtesy of the awesome Jessica Sheasby.)

Rockin' out with Cece. Look where I'm taking this pic from! I KNOW!!!
Best... seats... EVER!

(We have 150 for next year. Will your hiney be one of the ones filling those seats?)

*Amidst all of the amazing things that have been going on, our family is heading into a huge transition.
I don't mean to be vague here, but there are so many unknowns and things we don't have answers for that it's better at this time to leave it at simple:

We are staying in Colorado Springs.
And we are quite thrilled about it.

This in and of itself needs a whole blog post.
In fact, many posts.
But, for now please be praying with us into the adventure God has birthed in our family.
Way before Africa He began speaking, whispering, leaving impressions on our hearts about the future.
But in Africa and after Africa He made very clear some of the things He is calling our family to.
One of them is staying put, here in Colorado Springs.
Out of that, other things will flow.
And we could not be more THRILLED!!!!!

So, we covet your prayers as we navigate this season.
I'll go into more detail as the path of the adventure unfolds, but for now all we are doing is holding our arms wide open and putting one foot in front of the other where God leads us to step.
With very few things concrete. With no answers.
But He doesn't say, "Follow me and I will give you answers."
He says, "Follow me and I will give you LIFE."

So we are.
And He is.


And if you got those last two lines, you must either follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter, OR you've sat in my kitchen for a large chunk of the past year.
Or both.

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Susie said...

I am always uplifted, encouraged and smiling reading your blog posts- looking forward to hearing what HE has in store for you guys in the coming year!! With willing hearts!