Monday, March 14, 2011

Hearts At Home

This past weekend I the the privilege to attend the Hearts at Home conference in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois.  This was the first year that I have been able to attend.  I have heard about it for several years, and have wanted to go but was always unable to afford it.  This year I was the recipient of a scholarship, from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, that paid for everything except my meals and gas.  WOW!  I was so excited when I was informed that I had won!  There was a large group on women from my area who went, in all 19 of us.  I was able to car pool with six other women, which was a huge blessing because it is a four hour drive!
We left Friday afternoon and had some wonderful conversation time during the drive!  When we got to Illinois we went to The Olive Garden for supper.  This was a huge treat for me because I LOVE The Olive Garden and rarely get to eat there!
This is Dana and her salad...I hope she doesn't kill me for posting this!
After dinner it was time to get down to business.  We went to the ISU campus for the Moms Night Out event.  It was awesome!  We had some worship with Katie Eck...she was great!  You'll be hearing her name!  Then we saw a stand-up act by Chonda Pierce.  I had never heard of her before, but she is an award winning comedian.  She was HILARIOUS!  I won't even try to repeat any of her jokes because I know that I can't do them justice.  Look her up, you will be glad you did!
Saturday morning we went back for the actual conference which started with a general session for everyone in attendance.  It was so amazing, inspiring, uplifting, encouraging ... I could go on and on!  There were two general sessions, one in the morning and one at the end of the day.  The general session speakers were Jill Savage (founder of Hearts at Home), Jennifer Rothschild (AMAZING!) and Brenda Paccamonti (director of resources for Hearts at Home).
Get R.E.A.L. in Your Marriage - Yvette Maher. 
  • When you seek counsel from a friend, make sure to ask yourself, "Is she Godly counsel."
  • As you grow closer to God, you grow closer to your spouse.  Draw a triangle and put God at the top, husband in one bottom corner and wife in the other.  As the husband and wife move closer to God (the top) they also grow closer together.
  • Obedience precedes emotion!
  • Ask yourself, "Do you want to be right more than you want to do right?" "Do you want to give life more than you want to get even?" "Does the heart of your husband safely trust you?"  "Do you do him good and not evil?"  "What am I taking away from or contributing to allowing him to be the man God has called him to be?"
  • Let your husband lead in his way.  Relinquish control to him.
  • Tell God what you want to happen in your marriage.
  • FORGIVE!  And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  Mark 11:25
  • Ask yourself, "What do I hold against my husband?"
  • Relinquish anger, resentment, unforgiveness, ungodly attitude and thought life.
  • If I had cherished iniquity (gross injustice or wickedness) in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.  Psalm 66:18
  • Ask, "Are my prayers compromised by anything?"
  • Identify both real and unreal expectations of your marriage and your spouse.
  • Invest in time together for laughter, meals, conversation and prayer.
  • Own your part and don't play victim.  Look in the mirror.
  • Keep molehills their proper size.
  • Discover each others contributions to your marriage.
No More Headaches - Juli Slattery
  • Sex is meant for pleasure but also for UNITY in your marriage.
  • Understand that your spouse is different...don't try to understand the difference...and accept it.
  • Communicate with each other honestly WITH OUT judging...there is no right or wrong...just different.
  • Compromise and make time for intimacy.
  • Sex is often marginalized.  You have no time or energy, it's just not as important as other things.  Break that cycle!
  • Sex IS important and it is good for your marriage and good for you.  It creates hormones that positively affect your body and that change your perception of each other.
  • Let go of the "debt" that you carry from past choices, past abuse, or what ever it is that keeps you from giving yourself fully to your spouse.  That debt is not yours ... The Redeemer paid it. -- refer to Hebrews 12
  • Momentary satisfaction "quick fixes" do not help in the long run.  You are building something together and God is building is us.
God Infusions: Secrets to a Spiritually Full Heart - Michele Cushatt
  • God's presence is all around us ... learn to experience it.
  • Create a margin.  We are constantly multi-tasking and there is no space between our load and our limit.
  • Simplify, live content, build relationships, set boundaries, laugh, cry, pursue wellness.
  • Create solitude.  Quiet ... savor the ordinary.
  • Unplug, turn off phone, daily vacation, mini-retreat, family sabbath.
  • See the beauty
  • Look for the beauty of God, it is all around us.
  • Gratitude.
  • Cultivate a thankful heart.  Rejoice in the Lord always.
One Size Does not Fit All - Connie Johnson 
  • I will admit that this one was not what I expected.  She had some great things to say, but a lot of it focused on self image due to weight issues which didn't speak to me very much.
  • She had good things to say about how to change the reaction in ourselves that causes us to feel worthless or bad about ourselves.
  • Identify the "trigger" that causes those feelings.  Fear, jealousy, etc.  Fear of what?  Jealous of what?  And so on, and then change your response by being proactive...have a plan thought out to put in place and seek support.
  • "You done have to subtract from yourself to add value to another."  I loved this quote!  Just because Susie Q is good at this or has that and so on, does not take away the value of who you are.
  • Find your passion and purpose in life ... God can turn weakness into strength!
  • "If we did all of the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves."  Thomas Edison
  • She closed by saying, "Go astound yourself!"  I loved that too!
I left Hearts at Home feeling encouraged and refreshed!  I am excited to really dive into what I learned and start applying it to my life!  Ghandi said that you must be the change that you want to see in the world, but I think that holds true for your personal life as well.
I am super excited to go back next year, and my best friend wants to go with me!  I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this conference and recommend to any women who is able to go next year ... GO!

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