Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dot Mom

Many months ago my friend Paige, who is the director of women's events at LifeWay, told me about this new conference for moms that they were putting on in Birmingham. She asked if I'd like to do a breakout and I feel sure I responded with my oft-given answer, "But I don't speak." She was kind enough to offer to put me on a panel, which was a little more up my alley.

The conference, Dot Mom, finally happened last weekend. Y'all, it was a blast. They are doing it again next year and I really, really hope to attend.

I can't say that my participation in the panel amounted to much more than head nodding or head shaking, but what I received from attending the worship times, main sessions and breakouts was tremendous. We heard from Angela Thomas, Angie Smith, Vicki Courtney, and Priscilla Shirer in the main sessions. Melissa Greene, who was in Avalon, led worship. On Friday night she did a mini Avalon conference for us and I decided I need her to sing "Adonai" to me every night before I go to sleep. That wouldn't be weird, would it? Sophie and Melanie, AKA Boo Mama and Big Mama, were the emcees of the event. They were darling and so fun! I felt like a proud little sister watching them on stage. I heard amazing things about all the breakout sessions and I wish I could have gone to every single one. I got to sit next to Angela Cottrell in our panel discussion for moms of kids under 13 and listen to the incredible wisdom with which she answered the ladies' questions. I could almost see when she would hear the Holy Spirit give her something to say. It was awesome.

I walked away from this conference feeling free and encouraged as a mother rather than feeling like I wasn't good enough. Honestly, the last thing I needed was to bring home a long to-do list that I cannot live up to. Instead, it was like I took off a heavy backpack and came home with a bounce in my step.

A huge added bonus was that my dear friend Heather came from Nashville and I got to see her for the first time since her family moved away in July. I'm so thankful she came! We got to have dessert at Cheesecake Factory on Friday night with Robyn (hostess with the mostest) and Fran. I will not soon forget when Heather sweetly coerced the valet guy to take a series of pictures of us. Nor will I forget that Heather ordered two pieces of cheesecake to sample and later confessed that she didn't like cheesecake. Bless her, Lord. Then we had a minor/major scare when a man in camo sat at the table next to us and we saw that he had a gun in his jacket. We left speedily. I feel certain that we burned as many calories laughing (as well as running away) as we ate in dessert.

A girl can dream, right?

Here are a few pictures that I either took with my phone or stole from a friend. At the end is a recap by David Lowe.

Who knew the Duggars would make a surprise appearance?

Sophie, me, Melanie and Angela

My mom sent these flowers to my hotel room and I almost cried! I felt so close to her the whole weekend. I love you, Mama.

Fran, Robyn, me and Heather. Thank you Mr. Valet Man.


3girlsmom said...

"I walked away from this conference feeling free and encouraged as a mother rather than feeling like I wasn't good enough. Honestly, the last thing I needed was to bring home a long to-do list that I cannot live up to. Instead, it was like I took off a heavy backpack and came home with a bounce in my step."

You just found the words I haven't been able to say for a week. EXACTLY.

Love your recap. Loved hanging with you. You are a blessing. Next year, you need to stay at my house. Because the laughing that takes place at 1AM is something NOT TO BE MISSED.

Still laughing at Heather spending $15 on cheesecake when she doesn't eat cheesecake.

War Eagle! ;)


Fran said... are absolutely beautiful and I adore your heart and love for all things Jesus, friends, women, momma's and fun. You did a fabulous job on the panel too! Such wisdom from all 3 of you.

Thanks for letting Robyn and I have fun with you and Heather. I clearly see why she is a favorite friend. LOVE her crazy self to pieces. I'm sure there were 900 pictures taken with her phone. ;)

Dot Mom was flat out awesome! I cannot wait to go back next year.....hopefully dragging some gals from Jackson.

Take care of your sweet are one amazing momma.

((hugs)) and blessings to you!

Sunni said...

I'm so proud of you! :)

Sounds like an amazing conference. I would love to go with a group of my friends next year.

Oh, and the Duggars! I would have been beside myself. :)

Bobble Mama said...

I saw an ad for dotMom in a Home Life magazine someone gave me back in the Spring. I immediately sent a plea out to 5 of my dearest friends, asking them to attend with me. In the end only 3 of us were able to make the trip, and it turned out to be one of the truly best weekends of my life! I came back home to my family feeling lighter and brighter than I have felt in quite sometime. I cannot wait till next year! I'm pretty sure there will be more than 3 in my party!

Kiki said...

So glad it was fun and proud of you for braving the panel!

I can't wait for next year! I'll really need a getaway by then!

E. Tyler Rowan said...

So good to see you, Amanda! You did more than nod...but I agree, Angela is so very wise. Thankful for what she has poured into my life this year. I am better for knowing Angela...better mom and wife. Hope you enjoy your tea. If it's not your favorite, I'm sorry! It is one of my very fave kinds. I love it with milk and a touch of sugar or sweetener.

The Brannan Brief! said...

I didn't know that's where you went!!! I have some sweet friends from NOLA who were there. I would love to go next year!

Unknown said...

This really sounds like an amazing event! What a blessing!

Brittny said...

(ROBYN!!!!!! So crazy to see you on here! Amanda, we have never met, but I follow your blog every now and then.) I heard about this conference on Rick & Bubba the day before it happened so I couldn't make it. I'm so glad that it was such a great experience. Will have to look into it for next year. : )

Brandi said...

It was so nice to hug your neck after all these years.


Erica said...

That is so awesome! What an opportunity. "Adonai" is one of my absolute, favorites, so if she comes to sing to you, PLEASE invite me over.

Melissa F. said...

It's good to hear that so many walked away feeling encouraged! Praise the Lord. He really is the one that does the work. Thank you for sharing Amanda.

Mandy said...

It truly was an amazing time. I came home feeling so refreshed and joyful. Rather than mubbling nasty words under my breath while I fold the 10th load of laundry, I thank God for clean clothes. I learned to find joy in the mundane tasks. I also learned to "be the sunshine", not be afraid of the deep, to get help cleaning my nets, and to get comfortable with chaos. I can't wait for next year!!!

Shellie Paparazzo said...

I'm glad it was encouraging. That is the last thing any of us mom's need is a list of to-do's, right! We got plenty of those waiting for us at home! We need to be encouraged to keep on keeping on! We get plenty of "you should do it this way" or "you really shouldn't do that." We need someone telling us we're doing great and keep it up! That's what we really need!

connorcolesmom said...

It was probably the most relaxing and wonderful conference I have been to in a LONG time!
I brought a friend with me whose daughter is dying from a brain tumor and to be able to spend that time with her was priceless!
It was so good to see you "in passing" as well.
Have a great day!

This Is The Day said...

That looks like so much fun! I had never heard of this conference before but it looks wonderful!

I LOVE the name of your blog Amanda! I am totally sporting the baby bangs right now!

We have missed you around the LPM blog, thanks for posting the link to yours!