Over the weekend, I attended Women of Faith Imagine in St. Paul, MN. It was a refreshing time with other women. I enjoyed the speakers and we laughed and cried together. I got to attend with complimentary tickets from Book Sneeze, Thomas Nelson publishing's review program, for whom I've reviewed books on this blog.
The Xcel Energy Center acoustics were great. No matter where you sit, you can hear and see well.
On Friday, we enjoyed Sheila Walsh and Dr. Henry Cloud during our sessions.
Guess I forgot to take a picture of Dr. Henry. His sense of humor and his wisdom were both a great part of the day.
I just can't get the hang of self-portraits. Here's me on the right and my friend Terri on the left. As you can see, she's much more photogenic when it comes to self-portraits.
In the evening, we heard Mary Mary, a sister duo perform. Their "urban" sound was something outside of what I usually listen to, and it was a nice change from my usual.
Later, we got to hear Grammy winner Natalie Grant perform. What a big voice she has!
The Women of Faith worship team is awesome. I love the harmony and they have amazing voices. I liked that they mixed hymns in with the line-up.
For our Friday evening and all day Saturday seats, we had our own little balcony on the club level. I loved having the space to move around. And that floor had nice amenities.
|The View from Our Balcony|
A few thoughts about the weekend:
I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to attend this conference. I had attended years ago when the Friday daytime seminars were held at a local church instead of at the stadium. It was really nice to have everything all at one spot. Plus, I noticed the attendance for the day session was way higher than I remember.
When I've attended in the past, the Friday session was much more of a note-taking in-depth sort of a seminar. This was different from the rest of the conference which was more inspirational, but not a deep theological study. However, this time, I noticed that the Friday session was more of an extension of the rest of the conference--an inspiring and biblically sound session, but not a deep study. And that's okay.
Women of Faith is different from other conferences such as Beth Moore studies in that it has a different purpose. It's a great place to bring a friend who needs encouraging, or a place to be uplifted and recharged yourself. But the goal isn't to provide women with a deep Bible study. Women will be moved by the stories of the speakers and as women laugh and cry together and they'll hear of God's faithfulness.
I was moved by Angie Smith's story of her little girl Audrey who lived less than a day. And by Sheila Walsh's testimony and frankness. Lisa Harper had an incredible story of God's grace, and Nicole Johnson got real about her life too.
Luci Swindoll made us laugh and cry and she gave women the opportunity to pray to receive Christ. I thought the explanation could have been a little more thorough so the women understood the step they were taking.
We even got a bonus performance when Nicole Johnson's little boy Elliot a.k.a. "Michael Jackson" got on stage and danced to "I'm Bad" for us. He's got a future in show business and I think Nicole has her hands full! That boy likes the spotlight.
The one thing I noticed about attending a conference like this now as compared to when I was much younger is I'm at a different place spiritually. I no longer need it for the hype or an emotional high. Instead, it was a shot in the arm of encouragement that has helped me get unstuck from a place of complacency and normalcy. I needed the rock solid reminders that I matter to God and his plan is good for me. I'm so glad I went!