Organized Chaos

Life as an Associate Pastor's wife: community, family and God

Update: WOF Imagine November 9, 2011

Filed under: Friendship,Inspiration,Ministry,Women of Faith — Jessi @ 8:00 am

Women of Faith: Imagine stage and arena full of women

A couple of weekends ago, I had an opportunity to attend Women of Faith: Imagine in Fort Lauderdale. I left my nice camera at home because I didn’t want to have to lug it around so instead I brought a smaller camera that didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I’ll chalk it up to User Error. The main focus of the Imagine conference had to do a lot with overcoming fears and hurts that may be keeping us from living life to its fullest. One speaker in particular, Dr. Henry Cloud, talked a lot about recovery and co-dependency. He told us a story about a dad who came to him and was concerned about his son’s drug and lifestyle “problems”. The dad had been feeding into his son’s behaviors by helping him and saving him at every turn. Henry asked the dad where his son was, and he said, “He’s in Colorado skiing.” Henry told him that his son doesn’t have a problem. The dad had the problem because he was the one taking on the worries of this other person’s bad behaviors. We should be givers, but there comes a point when we have to tell some people NO because we end up becoming co-dependent.

Left to Right: Me, Cathy and Sandy (Photo taken by Karen Bennett - one of the sweet ladies that Sandy introduced me to at the conference)

One really exciting thing for me was that I was able to bring a lady from my church with me to the conference. I had never met her (Sandy) until a few weeks before the trip. She saw my post on Facebook about attending the conference, and she asked if I was going with anyone, and things seemed to fit into place so that she was able to go with me. God works in such cool ways! I was a little nervous about going on a trip with someone that I didn’t know that well, especially because I was afraid that we’d have nothing to talk about. Turns out, I worried for nothing. Sandy introduced me to several ladies she knew from our hometown that were at the event. They welcomed me into their circle with open arms.

I have read a couple of books by the speakers at the event, but I had never heard them in person before. They shared their personal stories with us that make you ache inside, but also make you see that God gives hope and peace amidst the storms. Every story was unique, but one thing remained constant…God’s grace. I admire Angie Smith, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper and Nicole Johnson who boldly shared their stories and allowed God to use them to speak to other women that may be going through a similar situation. I can’t say that I’ve ever faced anything like these ladies have faced, but I know that there are women out there who have. If you’re in a place of fear, worry, anxiety, helplessness, etc. then I think you’ll benefit highly from this conference.

The lovely ladies of MaryMary

And lastly, I can’t forget the worship leaders and MaryMary who did an excellent job leading us in worship to our great God. Music for me is therapy for the soul, and being in an arena full of thousands of women singing praises to God is breathtaking.

Women of Faith is wrapping up it’s 2011 tour this weekend with WOF Imagine in Hartford, Connecticut. If you didn’t get a chance to attend a Women of Faith event this year, no worries. 2012 promises to be another exciting year for WOF with Celebrate, Women of Faith ONE DAY and the revolve TOUR: Dream On.


For a Season March 22, 2011

Filed under: Friendship,Inspiration — Jessi @ 12:21 pm

Sunday was the official 1st day of Spring, and the sights and sounds of new life after a frigid winter have my mind spinning. In particular, I’ve been thinking a lot about new and old friendships/relationships that I have formed, and there is almost a parallel to those relationships and the changing of seasons. Some of the friendships that I have today may not be the same friendships that I had in the past or will have in the future. For someone who loves summer, I’d be happy to have nice weather all year round, but that’s not how it works. Likewise, we change…circumstances change…people change…we mature (or for some become more immature).

My question today is do you find that your friendships/relationships are ever-changing? Do you see this as positive or negative?