I just had one of the best weekends EVER and I want to share it with y'all. I was invited by Lifeway to come to Dot Mom and be apart of a group of bloggers they brought in to attend and meet with. I was SOOOO excited. And it was one of the best conferences I have ever been to. I want to share a little about the people and what I learned and tell you more about it because it's coming up again in February in Dallas and I'm hoping to go with a group of friends.......and you should go too!!!!
Amanda and we ended up on the same flight in! Our friend Keely who works for Compassion was there to represent them and she came and visited us. We have been on two trips with her and she is one of my Favorite people ever. She reminds me so much of Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin - just that pretty all American full of energy and fun - I just love being around her.
Thursday night they took the bloggers to dinner and a few of the speakers. It was SO much fun. The special guest of the weekend was Korie Robertson. In case you are one of the few people not watching - she is on "Duck Dynasty". We love that show and I was so excited to meet her. I got to sit at the table with her and she is SOOOO nice. I got to be around her a lot this weekend and she is someone I would love to be friends with. She's such a neat Christian and mother. She shared a little about taping the show and how she helps make decisions like when the show wants her to chew out her husband about something in front of her in-laws - she wouldn't do it because it was disrespectful. She doesn't want to be like normal TV that shows wives not respecting their husbands - she wants to show a true Christian home and that is possible to love your husband. :-) I even got to see her husband Willie at the airport briefly! (If you aren't watching their show - it's on A&E and starts back next month - it's HILARIOUS!)
My friends Sophie and Melanie were the emcees of the weekend - and they were SO SO SO funny! They really should have a show of their own.
Me, Amanda, and Keely being goofy in the Lifeway photo booth. They had all kinds of neat booths set up. A lot of amazing organizations were represented there.
We had a long break for dinner Friday night and one of our local friends Robyn took us to this awesome Mexican place downtown where I had the best shrimp quesadillas of my life.
I got to see/meet several blogger friends while I was there - some I had known before and some new friends. It was really neat. I like Dot Mom because it's not huge - around 1000 women so it's intimate and fun!
I wish I had taken a picture of her - but Melissa Greene who used to be in Avalon led the music and she was PHENOMENAL. I want her to come to my house and just lead worship every night. It's amazing to be in a room full of Christian women singing "Oh How He loves us" and just feeling his presence. And Melissa had this amazing Ombre hair that I'm semi obsessed with.
There were some amazing speakers at the event. Vicki Courtney who has written several books like "5 conversations to have with your son/daughter" spoke on Saturday. I got to know Vicki and she was such a neat person. She spoke on not raising a generation of selfish, narcisstic kids and how we need to go from having kid centered homes to God centered homes.
There were two counselors who came in and spoke and they were ah-mazing. Sissy Goff and David Thomas. They spoke on being an intentional mom to girls and to boys - two separate talks. It was so great.
And Jen Hatmaker (pictured above) was someone who inspired me so much and I got to visit a lot with her and I just really really like her. She's so funny but she's also so passionate about Christ and she lives out her faith in big ways. If you haven't read her book "Seven" - beware! It will change you. I put it off as long as I could. Her husband pastors a church in Austin and they do a lot of work with the homeless. They recently adopted two children from Ethiopia and they just have a neat story. She shared something that has been in my head WORD FOR WORD for the last few weeks. I think I'm going to have to do a separate blog post on this. I told her later that I felt like God has been pounding the message in my head and she just hit the final nail. She also spoke to the bloggers Thursday night and left us with a challenge that is eating at me big time so I will have to share more on that once I figure out what it looks like for me.
Courtney is a blogger I have gotten to know over the last year (green shirt). She is SUCH an encourager. She makes the neat scripture alphabet cards I have shown y'all. She was there with her friend from college Kelli and I spent some time with them Friday night visiting. So fun!
One of the best blessings of the weekend was just getting to spend time with Amanda. We roomed together in the jungles of the amazon last year so a few nights at the Birmingham Sheraton were just a bonus. :-) She is just a friend I adore and admire. I am so honored to call her friend.
I also got to meet Heather who is a blog friend I have had for a while. She is a real life friend of Amanda's and they used to live in the same town but Heather moved away so it was great for us to get to spend time together.
I can't tell you the happiness that this picture brings me. My dear "internet friends". These are the first blog friends that I ever had. I have loved them for around six years. I never dreamed I would ever get to meet any of them and now I have been around them several times and they just make me smile. They are just "my people". I wish we all lived closer so we could share lunch more often.
Dot mom was full of amazing sessions and then you got to go to breakout sessions on every topic you can imagine: Home schooling, organic eating, military families, special needs, raising teenagers, teaching your children the Bible, and about 30 more. There was a place for everyone. I left feeling revived and encouraged. I so want all moms to experience this.
I hope I can see y'all in Dallas in February!