The night before I left for the conference (last Wednesday), John took a trip to Sam's Club, in preparation for my absence. He came home with:
I suppose this is what happens when the woman of the house leaves for a few days!
Thursday morning brought with it a drive to Asheville, NC...to get to a flight that was delayed. I wasn't even able to enjoy the scenery since it was still dark out.
We checked in, went through security and settled in. I took several trips to the bathroom with the girl. She is an expert pooper and isn't shy about it. In the bathroom there was something I'd never seen before:
One layover in Detroit, and we landed in Chicago. I called Erin who was waiting for me. She watched the elevator with anticipation. Unfortunately, she was watching the wrong elevator. I walked toward her, still chatting on the phone. I told her I could see her, yet she wasn't looking in the right place. Finally, when I was almost within arm's length...she spotted us! It didn't take long for her to snatch Paysie out of the stroller and love on her.
We were shuttled to Hertz by a Chris Rock lookalike. Erin was convinced! After waiting in line, I met a woman who was also going to the conference. The Hertz lady asked us about the conference and then added...'So that's why everyone has been so nice today!' That's always nice to hear whenever a large group of Christians are communing. We picked up a cute little Hyundai Santa Fe, and we were off!
After checking into our hotel, we left for the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
The excitement was building. It was also easy to see the cars and vans heading to the conference...there were women everywhere!
Our ticket in was a hot pink True Women bracelet. Go pink :) I still haven't taken mine off. It's a great reminder to me to apply what I heard this past weekend to my day.
The amount of seats was overwhelming. 6200+ to be exact! There was a trifold screen up front, along with four other giant screens hung throughout the auditorium.
On each seat, there was a tote bag. Inside the bag was a kneeler, informational booklets, Piper and Grudem's book on Biblical womanhood, tissues, a handkerchief, a name tag, pen, marker, etc. The name tag was blank and you were to fill it in yourself.
When Erin started to fill hers in, she asked me why hers didn't look like mine. Um, she forgot to take tag out of the plastic holder first. We both had a good laugh, lol.
We saved our seats:
and went to check out the displays and bookstore that was next door.
We settled in our seats and Keith and Kristyn Getty began leading us in music and worship.
John Piper was the keynote speaker and really laid the groundwork for each message that followed with the topic of The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood. To sum it up in his thesis statement...Wimpy theology creates wimpy women.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss followed with an exposition of the doxology. Wow.
When the speakers were done, we closed in song, and exited the building.
Houston, we have a problem.
Where was our car??? Seriously, we couldn't remember where we parked. It's amazing how different everything looks in the dark. We wandered around for close to 45 minutes. We went up the aisles of cars. We went down the aisles of cars. Paysie fell asleep...which was good, otherwise we would have had to deal with a crying baby while stuck in the traffic of people leaving.
I think it was close to an hour of searching, until we found it.
It wasn't where we thought it was. Go figure.
We were so exhausted and hadn't had anything for dinner. We weren't up to stopping anywhere, so we were going to order in or get room service or something. Our hotel didn't have room service though. We went to sleep hungry. We were really too tired to care.
Erin had never been to Panera Bread, so I decided to introduce her to their orange scones.
Believe me when I say that it wasn't our last of this trip.
Mary Kassian was the first speaker of the day. She has written several books, one titled The Feminine Mistake. I will get this book! She went through the history of feminism and what women's true calling should be. After some more music, Karen Loritts came next. You can read Challies live blog of the morning here.
Ever see what lunch would be like for over 6,000 people?
Unfortunately, Joni couldn't attend due some serious pain issues she's been having. Please pray for her. She did tape her message this past week, but won't be leading one of the break-out sessions. Nancy did one instead, titled 'Devotions: Duty or Delight'. We went to that one.
For the second session, we attended Intentional Motherhood. Excellent...and the speaker is mom to 8...so she definitely knows what she's talking about.
You'll be able to hear most of these messages online soon!
We broke for dinner and decided to go to The Cheesecake Factory. We were very rushed, but dinner was sooo good. Best cheesecake ever...which I ate later. Yum!
While we were waiting for our table, we went to the mall:
Janet Parshall was next. She was great...speaking about Hannah. Joni's prerecorded message was played. She is such an inspiration. She just exudes joy...even in her daily suffering. Live-blogging here.
The next morning, brought a panel of the break-out speakers. Moderated by a man...we hadn't seen too many of them around those parts.
Nancy Leigh Demoss followed that with a message about what we are to do with what we have learned this weekend. That this really isn't just an event...but the beginning of a movement. Really excellent!
The reading of the True Woman Manifesto came next. Wow. I had read through it, since we received copies the day before...but hearing it read aloud and taking the oath, brought tears to lots of eyes.
You can listen or watch each of the messages here.
I've gone to many conferences and always recommend that anyone reading this to watch and listen. The True Woman conference is no different...but in a way it is. If you are a mom of young kids, single, childless, young, old, even if you are a man....I think there is a sense of urgency to get our churches back to Biblical Womanhood. Please please please...watch, learn, and listen.
And just so you can know what it's like to have gone to this conference...
Yeah, we were pooped...but still had enough energy to spend a night on the town in Chicago....coming soon...