As it turns out, we've had 85 days of summer vacation (that's counting today). Eighty-five days to relax & rest and play. Eighty five days to rest after last school year & look forward to a new one. This is it. Today was the last day of summer. So, what on earth was I thinking going to Walmart tonight?????????????
Yes, I went. Along with everyone else in town. We elbowed our way down the school supply aisle for one last binder (they were out of the 1/2" size that we needed, so we got a 1" instead...yeah, we're rebels like that). We shoved through the crowd in the kids' department to find 1 new pair of jeans for all three kids. We steered the shopping cart wildly around crates of notebook paper and herds of children, walking glassy-eyed behind their parents. We stood in the dressing room area twice, waiting for all three kids to try on their jeans & pick just the right pair for the first day of school. It was almost 8:00 by the time we got out of there! Yikes! There went my plan for everyone to be in bed on time the night before the first day of school. Sigh...oh well, maybe next year.
(note: we didn't actually elbow or shove anyway...we're way too nice to do that. we use our good manners & politely ask people to move the heck out of the way when we need to pass them in the aisles ha ha!)
Earlier this weekend, I went to Women of Faith in Dallas.
As always, it was fabulous! Patsy Clairmont was funny & cute & spunky as always. Lucy Swindoll tickled us with her dry sense of humor & made us think with her depth. Sandi Patty was humble & honest and shared with us about a lot of hard times in her life and God's infinite grace to forgive & love us. Marilyn Meberg, my personal favorite WOF speaker, challenged us & made us laugh. (She has such a sweet tone about her, I can picture her being a very maternal, mentoring influence on all of us younger women.) Steve Arterburn (founder of Women of Faith & author of all the Every Man's Battle books) spoke on Friday night & was both hilarious & very good. Sheila Walsh touched everyone's hearts with her message about her relationship with her dad. Both Natalie Grant & Nicole C. Mullen blessed our hearts with their amazing talent & ability to get everyone in the crowd involved. I clapped and cheered and cried and laughed. I came home blessed & refreshed & touched.
As always, Natalie Grant's "Held" took my breath away. When she stepped on stage, one of my friends who knows how much I love her asked if I was going to cry. I laughed because, at that moment, I had no reason to cry! I just giggled & said "only if she sings Held". Fifteen minutes later, when the first notes were played, I was immediately choked up, but was thankfully surrounded by 4 sweet buddies who all pulled out Kleenexes & handed them my way. ::::sigh::: I am blessed!
Nicole C. Mullen did 2 of my favorite songs as well --- One Touch and My Redeemer Lives. Wow. Powerful stuff!
And so, we've had a full weekend. It's 9:30 now. All three kids are in bed, not necessarily asleep, but in bed. Tomorrow morning we'll get up at the crack of dawn & start our school year routine of leaving bright & early, fighting through the stinky morning traffic and taking one more first day of school picture. (don't worry---I'll post the pictures tomorrow!)
For now, I'll leave you with my WOF pictures from this weekend. The opening was done by Sheila Walsh & Sandy Patti.
There were lots of ladies who didn't get to come til Saturday, so they missed all of the Friday night stuff. See all those open seats??!! This particular area is where a friend of mine from Mesquite, TX would be sitting the next day.
Saturday morning, we were excited to see Natalie Grant come into the arena carrying her twin baby girls. They're 18 months old. She had one on her hip, dancing & singing at the beginning of the conference. That's Sandy Patti to her left & Nicole C. Mullen to her right.
She handed the babies over to her relatives who came with her while she did a concert for us. This was just prior to me boo-hoo'ing through "Held". Sorry about the slight blur. From that distance & with all the cool lights, my camera didn't focus well.
Nicole C. Mullen did a really cool concert with some young kids that now travel with her to dance & sing for the Lord.
On Saturday, my friend from the above empty seats found me! Yahoo! Hi Terry!!! It was fun getting to see you there!
Just to give you an idea of how many people were there---this is a shot of all the seats to the left side of where I was sitting, which amounts to about 1/4 of the total arena. Lots of Christian ladies!!!
In the closing session, Natalie Grant sang a song that included a verse of "this little light of mine". She had all the ladies in the arena pull out their cell phones to shine a light. Too cute! I got a quick picture before we took off. It's hard to see in this picture b/c AOL makes the pics so small for the blog pages....but if you can right click it & edit it on your picture program to make it bigger, you can see the little lights of cell phones better. :) Not that anyone wants to see it that bad, though! ha ha!
Time to get a shower & head to bed.