Friday, October 15, 2010

Catalyst

Last week I got to go to Catalyst with my mom. I've always wanted to attend that conference and I was so excited that my mom was invited to speak at it. I was hesitant to leave my family again but Curt encouraged me to go. (I'm staying put for a while!) The conference was held in Atlanta, where my sister lives, and I couldn't wait to see her.

When we got to the event center we went to the green room for a little while. I got to meet several of my sister's Atlanta friends, including the beautiful Heather Whittaker and her fun family. I also met Brandi Wilson, Lori Wilhite, and Jessica Cornelius, who are all pastor's wives and have an online ministry called Leading and Loving it. They were such neat women. I saw one of these guys with a bowl cut and I had no idea it was to be funny. I was just thinking "What in the world is wrong with that guy?" Ha! I also got to see the lovely Lindsey Nobles, who is one of my buddies from the Guatemala trip. She was looking like a total hottie in her heels and cute hair cut. We laughed about how much better we looked than on our trip and agreed that this is what we really look like. Amen. Don't judge unless you've been in a developing country recently. It was great meeting Lindsey's friend and hotel roomie, Bianca Juarez. I've enjoyed getting to know her on Twitter and through her blog recently.

Mom's turn to speak came quickly. First, Kari Jobe led two songs - "Healer" and "Revelation Song." What a blessing it was to hear her sing. I recently went through a very difficult time and I could hardly reconcile all of that with the fact that I was now standing in that place with a sea of people worshipping God. It was overwhelming, but in a good way. I thought Mom did a great job speaking on insecurity in ministry. Melissa and I were so proud of her. Afterward I got to meet Jon Acuff very briefly and he chatted with Mom for a while. If you are not reading his blog yet (where have you been?), it's a lot of fun and you especially need to check out his Wednesday posts. They seriously preach.

We left a few minutes later and missed Francis Chan's talk, which I heard was amazing. In fact, I tried to download it a few days ago for $2.99 - and even linked to it on Twitter - and Curtis clued me in to the fact that it was the one from three years ago. Awesome! Only me! Well, it was still a great talk. Sorry if you're one of the ones I led astray.

I hope that Curtis and I will get to attend Catalyst together next year. I was only there for the tiniest bit of it but I would love to get the full experience sometime. We got to meet lots of attendees in the hotel (we even saw my aunt and uncle!) and everyone was so kind and gracious. It would have been neat to hear everyone's story. If I can be honest, I thought this conference would be way too cool. Everything I heard about it online made it seem that way. But I walked away feeling very blessed by the genuineness of the leaders and attendees I encountered.

(By the way, I heard about some guy getting shot out of a canon.?! What was that about? Maybe Travis would like to try that at the next Living Proof Live.)

Melissa took us to The Melting Pot for dinner and we celebrated our togetherness with fondue. After lots and lots and lots and lots of eating, we went back to the hotel and crashed. Melissa stayed in my room with me, so it was a slumber party. The next morning we drove to a part of town where you can walk around to all sorts of fun shops. Our first stop was a place called Belly that has homemade bagels. Praise the Lord. Apparently parts of the new Katherine Heigl movie were filmed there. It was super cute. Our friend Janet met up with us for lunch and shopping. Mom treated each of us to a few fun things. Melissa and Janet bought the same sweater, so they're going go to have to coordinate when they wear it!

They day flew by and soon we were in a taxi cab heading to the airport. I sat by a woman on the plane who ended up being my brother-in-law's co-worker. What a small world. I enjoyed visiting with her. She and the guy on the other side of me slept most of the way, which is good because I was reading the end of Radical and crying like a baby.

And that is a story for another day.

PS - Thank you to everyone who donated money for Aid Sudan's hand-held radios. Y'all are awesome!


23 comments:

~S~ said...

Sounds like an awesome weekend with your sister and mom. I would be toally jealous, but my sister is coming in tommorow! :)

Beth said...

That book (Radical) is amazing.

Marc and Charity said...

Sounds like a fun, fun time!! I would love to go to Catalyst one year too.

Dionna said...

Glad you had such a great time. I'm dreaming of getting to go to Catalyst someday. :)

amberburger said...

oh man. i totally would have loved to go to Catalyst. V and I talked about how many differnt groups of friends of ours were there and that most of them didnt know each other! weird. It was like the gathering of our friends from all over the US! We had LOTS of MO friends including the Kearns and Zack & Jen Atchley. Then our awesome friends of Project 7 the Merricks and their crew from Dallas. Y'all and lots more! I was enjoying it via everyones twitters! hehe. I am so glad you got to go and spend time with your mom and sis!


Loved your post about the hand held radios! did you guys know that Vernon's first "job" that related to Sudan was via AidSudan? He worked with the Houston Sudaneese Refugees and organized soccer leagues and gatherings for them! woah that seems so long ago!

Anyway. love you friend. miss you and your sweet family. I hope Jax is better soon.

-A

Shellie Paparazzo said...

That is a great idea! Travis out of a cannon! I'll be at the next LPL, so that sounds like a great idea to me! I want to see that!

Lindsey Nobles said...

Loved seeing the "real" you!

Can't wait til we get quality time in December!

Carrie Beth said...

Radical is inspiring. I am only about halfway through the book (because I am trying to read 3 other books at the same time for various bible study groups I am in) but it is very convicting.
Catalyst sounds awesome! I appreciate Kari Jobe's beautiful voice and heart. "No Sweeter Name" is one of my favs of hers.
Hope you had a great birthday!

brandiandboys said...

loved meeting you, amanda! so glad you girls got some fun time together on friday.

Melissa Repetski said...

Hi Amanda, I'm curious about this book Radical. WIll you do a book report for us? Who is the author?
Melissa
Ontario, Canada

Patty said...

In my Wednesday night class we are discussing Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love. We are having some deep discussions. Y'all look so beautiful. What a great picture.

Shelli Littleton said...

Those are three beautiful girls in that picture! Thanks for bringing Catalyst to life. My friends in Valdosta, GA, always get to go. Lucky them! And you got to hear Kari Jobe in person!!

bethany said...

I am about half way through Radical and reading it with Marla and her blog. That book causes me to come unglued sometimes...but it is a good unglued! I know that I'll need to read it again :)
So glad that you got to spend some quality time with your mom and sis. Looks like you gals had a teriffic time!

Deidre said...

I've always wanted to go to Catalyst. Someday.

Radical is making me think. I'm 3/4 way through and had to take a break. A lot to ponder....

Karen Campbell said...

Thanks for sharing your fun time. I am trying to avoid my grad school homework this morning and that "bowl cut" link you shared made me laugh out loud! That was soooo funny! What in the world?? Ha!

Travis said...

Show me the canon. I'm soooo on it.

:-)

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

hey! I met Heather Whittaker last wkend in Austin! We keep bumping into the same bumpers :)

Wendy said...

Thank you for this post! I am so out of the loop (ministry wise) of what is going on outside of my little world since I have two young now. I have a lot of people to look up and a new book to read. Glad you got to go.

My husband and I have a goal to go next year to Catalyst. Of course, it would help if I make sure that I am NOT pregnant or nursing.

Lindsee said...

I'd like to amen the "this is what we really look like" comment. So true! I'm so glad you got a taste of Catalyst. I'm praying it works out next year for our staff to go again!

MarytheKay said...

Oh, a weekend with your sister and mom?! Heavenly! I was right there with ya--sharing a room with your sister, and then shopping the next day with your mom... Love, love these girl weekends!!!

Also, I checked out the Bowlin' video. Maybe I just don't get out much...It was the first I'd heard/seen of it... Please oh please tell me guys are not going to start getting bowl cuts?!! But, I WILL say that JUST YESTERDAY I sat a couple of rows behind a tall guy with a bowl-cut of sorts. I thought it was soo strange. But, now, I'm wondering if he has seen the video!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow, Catalyst sounded like such an inspiring event to go to! I have just recently gotten into Francis Chan's writings, and just finished his second book...Radical was a challenge to say the least...I'm still processing on both of them...I need some fallow ground broken up though. Some new things springing forth for God's glory. A little less self-absorption and some more selfless giving and living.

Blessings always to you, ((HUGS)), Love in HIM,

katiegfromtennessee

Marla Taviano said...

I would looooove to hear more about how God used Radical to wreck you. Plotting (w/hubby's permission) a way to take a trip to TX sometime in the near future...

Whittaker Woman said...

Oh my, I feel so loved! Thank you so much! Loved getting to meet you makes me look forward to DEC! H