Saturday, July 21, 2007

Go Girl Conference


I’m just getting back tonight from the “You Go Girl!” conference, hosted by my good friend, Pastor Andrea Fruscella, co-pastor of First Coast Christian Center in Jacksonville, FL. I decided to take my life coaching ladies to the event. Only six of them could go out of the group but it was so worth it for all of us. I am coming back with my head and my heart so full.

Janet Pascal did the music. Andrea’s message (aptly titled, “You Go Girl”) was awesome. I loved it. And I heard the ministry of Dr. Debbie Dunlap for the first time and I was more than blessed, I was so challenged. I have so many things to work on, I don’t know where to start. She said some things that were absolutely revolutionary to me. Her messages were about depression and anger but they were more biblically based than anything I have ever heard. Rare is it that I go to anything where I haven’t heard of some re-mixed version of the message, but in this case I actually got something new. Basically her outline that she gave out of her message on depression has become a prayer list of sorts for me. I haven’t even gotten home yet, but in addition to my regular prayer list, I plan to pray her message into my life every day. All of the ladies said that Dr. Debbi's ministry impacted them so much especially the messages on depression and friendship. We all have so much to work on! But the good news is, we have the rest of our lives for Jesus to do this in us. Praise God for His grace and patience. This conference was not one where you ran the aisles and shouted, but it was such a deep, "time for a change deep in your heart" type thing and very introspective.

We stayed at Hampton Inn and Suites. We had a fantastic time. I stayed up with the ladies in my room talking until 4 am but it was so worth it! We need that “girl time” from time to time especially with like minded people. I am so refreshed. Rare is it that you go away as a leader and come back refreshed. You are usually so tired from dealing with stuff with “the sheep” but realize I took the cream of the crop away this weekend, not just anyone – these are ladies that have been in the life coaching group for over six months now and they really are at a whole other level. I am physically tired but so emotionally and spiritually refreshed.

Andrea called all the co-pastors, women pastors, pastor’s wives and staff pastors up to the front to honor them. Each were presented with roses and she honored them for their ministry. Then she asked me to greet them and speak to them about the Unstoppable Conference, which was my joy. I was able to share my heart about it and then she asked me to pray over them. We did that and then Dr. Debbie was supposed to preach again at that point but changed her mind. Right after my prayer, she said, “women pastors, pastor’s wives…stay right where you are…” She said God changed her mind about preaching and that she wanted to “interview” us. She went down the line and interviewed each one about the main thing God has taught us or done for us. It was really awesome. After that Janet closed in song.

Andrea really promoted Unstoppable this weekend at the conference. She had flyers up in the restrooms in each stall…she had them at the info center, the registration table, and people were talking it up. When I walked in, a greeter came up to me in the foyer and said, “Mam’, have you received an invitation to the Unstoppable Conference?” I said, “um, yes as a matter of fact, I’m leading it…” J I thought that was so funny. But it always tickles me to have something like that happen. I’ve shown up to preach somewhere and been standing around and someone came up and said, “do you know our guest speaker?” I love the look on their face when I say, “yes, she’s been the closest person to me for 40 years, I mean, we’re like best buds.” Ha ha!!!

It rained all the way home. It was pouring so much we had to drive 45 mph all the way home but thank God we were in good company. Just talking, laughing and having a great time. Candy helped me prepare a little surprise for service Sunday to everyone's delight. Hopefully I can pull it off! We'll see...

We stopped half way on the way home at Wendy's for dinner. While eating, Pastor Andrea called my cell phone just to talk for a few minutes again and get my thoughts...and thank me for being there. I told her again how great it was...what a great job she did. What an incredible person she is. I just enjoy her friendship so much.

I was so looking forward to getting home to Larry. I missed him. I'm not real good at being away from him. The Hampton Inn beds are so comfy… (although I like sleeping in them with him better!). They are the same as the Hyatt beds (I checked with the management because they felt so much the same. I know, I’m weird like that.) But anyhoo, I have only been away a little more than 24 hours but I really do long to just hug my husband and nuzzle up to his neck and just hold him there… and I long to see my Savanna and shout, “Savannie Bannanie, Bobbernina Girl!!! Momma missed her angel pangel, sweetie peetie prinny pie! Jordan Andrew…Momma missed her peachy, her prince, her spridle. Dustin Michael…Momma’s chocki woki souvlaki, captain, Dusty Busty, Baby Cake! I’ll make all them stand there for at least 1 minute while I hold them. It’s tradition. They can’t break the hug til’ I say so. I never saw Dustin tonight - he's at Stephen's but I talked to him on the way home...he bought a bass today and is real excited about it. Savanna's at Morgan's but we stopped by because Lar picked me up there tonight and I showered her with some hugs/kisses before going home. Jordan's home and me with big hugs asking me to check out his boo boo's from paintball and an ant hill he fell into. Momma fixed him up with some Benadryl, he's going to be good as new.

So it’s like this. I’m home, unpacking, ironing the family’s Sunday clothes (never got to it before I left) and the rest of the time, I don’t care about the house – I just want to snuggle with my family and go to sleep. The house can wait til tomorrow even though we have newcomers, I guess I will just resign myself to a few hours of racing around getting things ready, although I will have less time because we go from worship rehearsal, Christian education, worship service, the Spanish outreach meeting, and then newcomers. It’s going to be a full day, but that’s alright. Next week is going to be a lot quieter because the kids are at camp. Everybody and their brother has called Larry and I to get together next week after work. That’s fine by me…we’ll have some more encouragement from our comrades in ministry, which is always needed for all of us who serve in ministry.


Good night for now. It's good to be home.

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