I had the opportunity to attend Time Out for Women this past weekend. I’ve always heard such amazing things about it. You probably have too. I’m here to tell you that it’s all true! It was an incredible experience. It was my “Rexburg” for the weekend if you will. 😉 It was my overdose of the Spirit that reminded me about what is important. It started out with John Bytheway on Friday night. Enough said right? He is a brilliant speaker. I loved Friday night. But where it really hit me was Saturday, when a beautiful lady named Emily Watts spoke. Let me just jot down a few of the notes I took:
“Live for today.”
“Recognize the goodness of the Lord everyday.”
“It won’t always be like this.”
“In a world gone dark, God’s covenant children have light.”
“The only light you have in the tunnel is the light you carry with you.”
Her talk was titled “The light at the end of the mom tunnel”. So obviously, she talked about being a mom. I have been a mom for 14 months now. It’s a wild ride. It’s filled with all sorts of emotions and worries. It’s also filled with the most beautiful love I’ve ever experienced. It has helped me understand our Heavenly Father’s love differently than I have ever been able to understand it before. Being a mom is amazing. Being a mom can also be really hard and really scary and really frustrating. But it’s worth it. Every single moment is worth it. Even when it gets incredibly hard, the kind of hard I haven’t experienced yet, I know it will still be worth it. So…back to Emily Watts. More than once she mentioned that “It won’t always be like this” and she meant that as a way to encourage us moms to keep on going, it won’t always be like this, the things that seem really hard and really big right now, won’t always be really hard and really big. Someday they won’t even be anything at all. So…I kept hearing those words “It won’t always be like this” and I thought of my sweet 14 month old and I thought, “Oh my gosh, it won’t always be like this! He’s gonna get big and grow up and leave me and get married and he won’t be my sweet little baby. but, but, but…I want it to always be like this!” Do I love changing stinky diapers? No. Do I love cleaning “petrified cheerios” off the floor? NO! But yes, I love it all. I love the journey. I love watching him grow and learn and play. I love when he gives me loves and silently gasps in excitement. I love it and I’m going to keep loving it…even when he’s big…and old..and married…but it just really made me realize how important it is to “Live for today” and to not take it for granted. I need to stop worrying so much about the things that don’t matter. I need to recognize if it’s something that will still matter in 20 years or if it’s something that will make me think, “Man I wish I wouldn’t have worried about that so much!” I need to enjoy the journey. Live for today. Enjoy my baby. Diapers and messes and all!
Moving on. Next speaker/performer. Hilary Weeks. Wow. My heart about burst with every song she sang. I will own every one of her albums someday. Right after Emily Watts spoke, Hilary Weeks spoke and here are some notes I took:
“It’s not the length of life, it’s the depth.”
“How deeply are we loving?”
“How deeply are we giving?”
And then she told a fabulous story about a guy she met on a plane and she showed him the song “If I Only Had Today”. Then she sang it for us. My mind went back to Emily Watts and “It won’t always be this way” and I thought of my husband and my sweet baby and I thought about what I would do if I only had today. I wouldn’t do the dishes or clean the bathrooms or sweep the floors. I would spend all my time with my husband and I would hug and squeeze and kiss and love my baby until all my time was up. “It’s not the length of life, it’s the depth.” “How deeply are we loving?” “How deeply are we giving?”
I am not without weakness and trial. I am so far from perfect. According to me, I’m pretty far from good. I struggle with feeling like a failure most days. Thank you to Emily Watts and Hilary Weeks for reminding me what is important. Because I’m gonna try a lot harder to love and give more deeply. I am going to try not to be so hard on myself when I don’t get it right. I’m going to try to live for today and love my husband and love my baby.
Robert L. Millett was next. Here are a few notes:
“Let Him care for you.”
“Let Him worry for you.”
“Try to obey him in a new way, a less worried way.”
“We cannot do everything we are asked to do, at least not right away.”
“Be patient with yourself. God is.”
Right? Thank goodness for that. If God had my patience, we would all be doomed. I’m grateful for a Heavenly Father who is patient with me.
Next up, Elaine Dalton. “Make your homes the most comforting place to be.”
Our job as wives and mothers is kind of huge. What we do is important. I hope my family always has a place to come home to where they feel comforted and loved.
Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt:
“You are his perfect mother.”
“God’s gifts are enough.”
Some of God’s gifts include: The gift of asking, listening, being able to weep, avoiding contention, avoiding vain repetition, not passing judgment, caring for others, offering prayer, bearing a mighty testimony…etc.
We have all been blessed with gifts from God. I have a hard time recognizing my own. The last one hit me and is what made me remember that I started this blog. I may not have a mighty testimony, but I do have one and I was reminded on Saturday that I started this blog so I could share it.
Next up, Emily Freeman:
“The Lord knows such a person as you.”
As me? It’s not always easy to remember. Heavenly Father is there. He loves us. He knows us.
So I learned a lot. I was reminded of a lot. I felt the spirit. A lot. I hope I can go to Time out For Women every year for the rest of my life. And I hope all of you lovely ladies can too. 🙂
The biggest thing I took home from the weekend is “It won’t always be this way.” And here is a video I made to remind me. Here is my way of freezing time. “If I Only Had Today.”