Ever heard of DotMom?
I read about it quite some time ago and saw they were going to be in the Dallas area. Alex had a business trip to Dallas, so I signed up for the conference and tagged along.
We headed to Dallas on Thursday evening.
When I woke up the next morning, this was the view from our balcony.
Frisco was such a nice town.
Though Frisco made my hair frizzy.
What's up with that Frisco?
On Friday morning, I was lazy and ordered room service. They offered to bring Starbucks to my room.
I didn't argue.
And contemplated never leaving this place.
After breakfast, I threw on my boots and headed downstairs for the conference. I got tickled that first day. I have never seen so many different boots in my life.
It was like we had a dress code. No boots, no skinny jeans, no way...get out of here.
Every other woman there must have assumed what I assumed.
When in Texas - you gotta wear boots!
I've never gone to something like this alone. I usual travel with a pack of other women. :) That's how I knew that I NEEDED to go. The fact that I didn't care that no one I knew was going. I needed this break.
I needed encouragement as a mother.
I was there to get something.
I needed a fresh Word.
I needed to worship.
I needed to laugh.
I needed to cry.
And boy did I cry.
Boo Mama and Big Mama emceed the event. These women are hilarious.
They made me laugh until I cried.
Travis Cottrell led worship.
Need I say more?
One of the things he said to us that first day was "no one needs anything from you this weekend, just rest, abide in the Lord."
And then I cried again.
This beautiful young lady spoke on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. Which is something we participate in every Christmas. Y'all, I can't even tell you what her testimony did to my heart. She shared about how she was given up by her mother at the age of two. Her mother couldn't afford to take care of her. OCC came to her orphanage, I believe she said she was 11 years old. The one thing she had always wished for were her very own hair clips. Hair clips. She said you had to share everything at the orphanage, even bath water. They would give up their meals just to be the first to take a bath, so their water would be clean. She opened her shoebox from OCC and what was at the top of the box? Hair clips. They shared the story of Jesus with her and she ended up being adopted by one of the OCC workers that came to her orphanage. She came to the U.S. at the age of fourteen. She encouraged us to continue filling shoe boxes because it isn't just providing hair clips to little girls who have nothing, it's sharing Jesus with children that would otherwise never hear the Good News. Needless to say, my goal on the number of shoe boxes we fill this year has gone up.
There were lots of breakout sessions to choose from. Man was it hard to choose only four!
I walk into my first breakout session of the weekend and run into Sarah and Megan. They were kind enough to invite me to sit with them. They're both so funny...they act like sisters! I met up with them for worship and main sessions. I also met up with my friend, Hillary and her friends from NWA. Those are a beautiful/fun bunch of girls.
One of my favorite breakout sessions was led by Angela Cottrell. She was so soft spoken and just a true sweetheart. It was obvious she loves her children very much and has a heart to teach them God's Word. She spoke about teaching scripture to your children in easy, fun ways. It made me excited to come home and start using some of the ideas she shared.
I also went to one on "When your husband is gone." It shared tips on how to survive when your husband travels for his job or is deployed.
The other two I chose were on discipline and intentional parenting. They were all so good!
Angie Smith opened the conference. I had the chance to talk to her for a few minutes while in line at Starbucks, the second day of the conference. She was just really genuine and started tearing up as I was sharing how her talk really hit home for me. I thanked her for making me cry like a baby in front of everyone. She encouraged us to keep a journal of what we're saying to our children throughout the day. Our words have such power and even though I might not come right out and say, "you aren't important to me" that may be exactly what my three year old is hearing or feeling when I say "shhhh" for the 800th time. She shared some personal things that she was doing as a mother that needed to change. I sat there crying because I realized I was doing some of the same things and realizing how that must make my sweet Amelia feel. It broke my heart. And I needed that.
Vicki Courtney shared her amazing testimony and gave such wise words on marriage and motherhood. She spoke about giving up the fairy tale. She shared the story from John about the woman at the well. She encouraged us to go back to the well...that place where He changed us. For many of us, it wasn't our salvation experience that sparked that change. I was five years old when I came to know the Lord. I understood fully that I needed Jesus but I hadn't lived a whole lot of life from birth to five years of age. When I stopped and really thought about when that change happened in my life, where I dealt with my "stuff", and the initial spark happened in my life and our marriage, it was around our 11 year marriage mark. I could go on and on about this one...it was so good. I'm going to be looking for some of her books/Bible studies. She's funny too. I guess that was criteria to be a speaker at this thing. Beautiful, wise, funny...every speaker had me laughing and crying.
Priscilla Shirer ended the conference and I just have to say, girlfriend can preach! I bet her Daddy is so proud of her. :) She spoke out of John, about Jesus' first miracle of turning the water into wine. How our best will never be good enough and it doesn't have to be. God takes up the slack! He fills the gap. When we get to the end of our resources (which is what many of us do) and finally turn to Him, He gives us His best. Every time. It was so good!!
One of the highlights of my weekend was having lunch with Mel and her daughter, L. She's precious and has been such an encouragement to me over the years. And after struggling with infertility, God blessed each of us with two sweet girls. I wish we would have had more time to chat!
We couldn't leave Dallas without eating at III Forks. Mmm...so good!
I loved having a reason to dress up in something other than yoga pants!
This pic is terrible...it was so dark in there.
Ikea was right across the parking lot from our hotel. I had forgotten how overwhelming this store can be.
I found a few things...nothing too exciting.
The trash can is actually going in the garage for dirty diapers. HA!
The little white pots are going to be used for organization.
And I needed something for spring outside on the porch. I let Amelia "plant" them last night. Fake grass is something we can actually keep alive.
We ate at Cristina's before leaving town. The veggie tacos were really good. Carrots on a taco...who would have thunk it!?
To say I was excited to see these two is an understatement. My Mama-heart was aching to cover them in kisses and give them squeezes!! They were pretty excited to have Daddy & Mama home too.
Thanks to my parents, my sister, and my Uncle & Aunt that kept the girls for us. Without y'all, we wouldn't have had such a wonderful weekend away!
Love to all,