I just returned home today from my yearly girls getaway...Hearts at Home. This is the fifth time I've attended this fantastic conference for moms in Bloomington, IL. I used to kind of have a "take it or leave it" attitude about this conference (and most things like it), but in the last couple of years I've realized how beneficial this one really is for me, my family, and my friendships. Hearts at Home, if you're not familiar, is for moms...ANY moms - not just young moms, not just stay-at-home moms....ALL moms. Almost 5,000 women attended this year, and let me tell you.....the sound of 5,000 women singing praise to God makes me literally weep. Every time. I could go on about the music (Christy Nockels!!!) or the speakers or what great workshops I attended and great things I learned about mothering and relationships and being a child of God. But I won't for now.
What I will say is that the Hearts at Home organization does a stellar job of pouring encouragement, challenge, and renewal into 5,000 vastly diverse women. There is something for everyone. It is a top-notch organization....completely run by part-time staff and volunteers. Amazing.
And then there's the whole 5,000 women singing together thing. Tears. Not a sound can come from my throat. Every time. And that all these women have joys and heartaches and passions that God sees and hears. There are no words....
And then there are my friends who are sitting next to me, who laugh and cry with me, who listen to my heart and share theirs, and sometimes we don't make sense. They are beautiful women, and I my gratefulness for them grows deeper with each passing year.
And then there are the children I come home to....they endure all the extra tight hugs after a weekend apart, they tell me in great detail everything they did while I was gone (including all the junk food Dad let them have :), and they have no idea how my heart longs to be the very best mom I can be for them.
And finally, there is the man who captured my heart 13 years ago...who encourages me to do this weekend away and doesn't need me to make lists or leave casseroles in the fridge, and who smiles at me with quiet confidence when I return, knowing that my heart is full.
So thank you to Hearts at Home.....see you next year!