So off to Sydney we flew for the most amazing women's conference I've ever been to. And we got to do it twice! The first weekend it was held in an arena and the second weekend we repeated the conference at Hillsong's main campus. In between the conferences we had several days to explore Sydney and hang out with friends.
Here are my Top Ten favorite things about the trip, in no certain order:
1) I got to hang out with my mom for two weeks! (Well this one really is my number one.)
2) Since I had my own hotel room, I experienced more alone time and silence than I've had in years. And I read books! My mommy-mush-brain eventually disappeared and I felt like my old self again. (The mush-brain is already back though.)
3) We got to spend lots of time with some incredible women like Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Bobbie Houston, Julie A'bell, and so many other wonderful women in leadership in the Hillsong family. All the global pastors came in town for the first conference and it was a blessing getting to meet them and hear the stories of God's work across the globe.
4) One night we had dinner in the Sydney Opera House. I have zero pictures of that night but I will remember it forever.
5) Mom and I trekked across the Harbour Bridge over and over again. It was so gloriously beautiful at night and incredibly striking during the day.
6) Australia met all my tea drinking needs. There was an electric kettle in my room at all times!
7) Our host, Tom Bachtle, was incredibly gracious, kind and hard-working. He is a pastor at Hillsong and also a teacher at their college.
8) Australia was BEAUTIFUL. The people were beautiful too and very warm.
9) We fed kangaroos and petted koalas.
10) Christine, Priscilla, Mom and I visited Bondi Beach and had the best time walking/hiking/being obnoxious along the gorgeous coastline.
*BONUS* Do I even need to tell you how wonderful it was to worship with Hillsong for 2 weeks? Seriously. We learned a bunch of their new songs which won't be released until this summer. It will be a long wait!
These are some pictures I took with my phone. I have a bunch from my camera that I need to upload this week.
Here I am in my very special eye and neck pillows for the 14 hour flight from LA. My mom was so proud to sit next to me.
On our first or second night, Christine took us to dinner at this beautiful restaurant overlooking the harbour.
Mom and Priscilla were rocking the pink and black on this day.
Chris took us to feed kangaroos but she did everything she could to avoid contact with them herself. I think she wrote an article for CNN and typed 50 emails from her phone while standing on that bench. Ha!
This is the BEST hummus that exists in the world. Oh my word! The Lord knows how many times I've thought about it since then.
It was served with this hot bread. Yum-o.
We enjoyed afternoon tea in the hotel lobby a couple of times.
Unfortunately, Mom and I were dressed almost exactly alike this night. I opted to change, but not before taking a picture of our dorky twin selves.
More pics to come!