Friday, October 14, 2011

Laughter and Tears - Women of Faith Conference

Oh, what an emotion-packed experience the Women of Faith Conference in Portland, Oregon was! From tons of laughter to some unavoidable tears, last weekend had it all!

Now the question is, "Where, oh where, to begin?" Well, let's start with the first part of the event. The Friday morning/afternoon sessions were "General Audience" seating, meaning that we could sit wherever we wanted (or wherever we could find room!). Here's the view from our first seats:

The Rose Garden arena? Yep, it's pretty big! Those large screens you see were really nice, though, for such a high-up perspective as ours.

These first sessions were all about Patsy Clairmont and Andy Andrews - speakers and authors that I had never heard or read before. Both of them were my mom's and my favorite speakers of the weekend. Oh my goodness - Patsy Clairmont!! Here's what the Women of Faith website has to say about her:

Pint-sized dynamo with larger-than-life stories

That just about sums her up! ;) She is absolutely hilarious, but also absolutely real and inspiring.

Here are some of the things I wrote down from her various talks:

~ When you wake up in the morning, say these 3 things: "Yes" (to God's plan for the day), "Thank you" (for this new day you've been given), and "No" (you can't do it all, so you have permission to say "no" to the things that will complicate your day).

~ Pride = "bad helium"

~ People can't bring stuff out of you (ie: the worst) that isn't already there.

~ "God has designed us with a will that is stronger than our emotions."

~ "Sarcasm is anger that has gone underground and come up in a clown suit."

Don't you just love her already? =)

So what about Andy Andrews? Here's what the website has to say about him:

A masterful storyteller with an inspiring message

He really did have some inspiring things to say, and here are a few of the notes I took:

~ What's one investment you can control? Reading. Don't think of it as $20 for a book - think of it as $20 for learning from someone's life.

~ By the very virtue of us sitting in the stadium (or now - sitting in front of a computer), breathing - we have more to come!

~ Fear is the misuse of the creative imagination God gives us.

There were some other fabulous speakers, as well! One quote I just had to write down from Sandi Patty goes like this:

~ "It's not that God said 'no' to my dream, it's just that He said 'yes' to a dream I didn't yet know about."

How beautiful is that??

Now, remember how I said that Friday morning/afternoon was "General Audience" seating? Want to see the perspective from our reserved seats Friday night/Saturday morning?

In case you're wondering, that's the back of Casey's head 2 rows in front of me! ;) And that's the stage right there!! We were seriously that close!

Here are a few more pictures from last weekend that you might enjoy:

Like Casey remarked this summer when we first met: we're both on the same side of one computer screen! ;) It was so fun to have a sleepover in the hotel Friday night with Casey and her mom!

Here's the four of us in the "concourse" - the area circling the actual arena, where all the of the booths and food shops were. From left to right: my mom (Brenda), me, Casey, and Casey's mom (Sue).

My mom and me with our box lunches on Saturday!

Overall, the conference was a blast! It was such a blessing to have this mother-daughter respite from our busy lives and to be moved and inspired by the speakers, music, and just being together with good friends and dear family. My mom was so sweet to come up from California just for the weekend, and we had a wonderful time together! We stored up special memories full of laughter and tears to look back on fondly in days to come, and we were reminded of important truths of God's love.

*With sincere gratitude to Women of Faith through the BookSneeze program (Thomas Nelson publishers) for providing me with two tickets - one for me and one for my mom - to attend the Women of Faith Conference in Portland, Oregon in exchange for posting about my experience.*

8 comments:

Casey said...

Oh loved your post! What a great time. I loved that we all stayed up until after midnight to visit. ;-))

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh how fun! And it sounds so uplifting. I would love this.

Amber S. said...

Casey,

Thank you! I enjoyed putting it together - and most of all, living the experience! :D It was definitely fun staying up late and chatting with you and your mom. ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Juju,

Yes - fun and uplifting for sure! I had a wonderful time, and I really recommend it if you get the chance to go sometime! :)

~Amber

Anonymous said...

Loved spending such great quality time with you, my sweet Amber! I had so much fun and the speakers were amazing, esp. Patsy Clairmont. Totally enjoyed Casey and her Mom, what fun, it truly was like a sleepover. Thank you for asking me to share this event with you. Very fond memories indeed! Love you with all my heart!
Love, Momma

Amber S. said...

Momma,

Oh, I loved it so much, too! Thank YOU for traveling all the way up here just to spend the weekend with me. :) You're the best! I so agree about Patsy and our sleepover with Casey and her mom. It was so wonderful spending that time with you!! Can't wait until we get to see each other again!

Love, with all my heart,
Amber

Lydia said...

I took my mom with me too! We drove to Seattle from Vancouver and made it a true girl's weekend getaway. Love that quote from Andy about investing in our lives through reading.

Amber S. said...

Lydia,

That's great! Isn't it just a wonderful conference for mother-daughter time? :) I love that reading quote, too!

Thanks for comparing notes with me! :)

~Amber