Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Teary Saturday

Saturday, May 8 was a busy day for me. It began with an early morning drive to Tuscaloosa to watch some of my sweet friends graduate and ended with a drive back to Birmingham to see my cousin presented at her sophomore candlelight ball. To say that tears were cried would be a bit of an understatement. Just typing this now has me a bit teary, but the events of the day are some that I don't want to I will be sharing.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you've heard of Miss Sarah Beth. She has been one of my favorite people since the first time I saw her and even though I knew the graduation ceremony would be 2+ hours, I knew it was something that I couldn't miss. I was impressed with my abilities to hold in the tears as they called out her name and she walked across the stage. Not so impressive was the sob fest that followed soon after when the band began playing the Alma Mater. It gets me every time.

I can't believe that I graduated from college three years ago. Sometimes I feel like it's been longer than that...other times I feel like it was yesterday. I clearly remember those feelings I had when I graduated. I used to think that college was the end all be all. You hear all your life that the most fun you have is in college. I'm not going to say that it wasn't a wonderful four years, but I also think it's important to point out---especially to those that are closing the chapter on the college experience---that the end of college is not the end of life. It is the beginning of something else. Yes, it will be different. There will be times where your bank account doesn't have as much money in it as you'd like. There will be times where you would gladly trade in your office days for a day of class, pool time, homework and an evening with your friends. But there will also be wonderful things when you have the money to buy something you've wanted for so long, or the days when work doesn't seem like work at all. Then there are the fun blessings of marrying off your best friend to the man of her dreams and then later visiting her at the hospital to hold her precious baby. College is wonderful...but life after college isn't too bad either!

After graduation, I got myself back in the car and drove to Birmingham to see my cousin, Allison, before she left for her candlelight ball. She has been planning for this ball for months and when she asked me a few weeks ago if I would come, I was beyond excited. I just love my sweet cousin and her friends and it was extra fun to see them all dressed up. We won't talk about the part of the evening when she was presented and I started tearing up. Nope. We wont talk about that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Atlanta...better late than never

The month of April was filled with so many wonderful moments. I've already told you about my weekend in Pensacola...and now, a week and a half after I'm back, I'm ready to fill you in on my time in Atlanta.

Since I lived in Atlanta for two years after college, I love getting the chance to go back whenever I can. When I heard that Beth Moore was going to be speaking at a live event in Atlanta, I knew I wanted in. I purchased my ticket and only became more excited as the event got closer and I realized that so many of my favorite bloggers were going to be attending as well.

The conference was on Saturday, but I made my way over on Friday so that I could get some quality time in with some of my favorite 3 year olds...and their families. :) I was blessed to get to watch Ella and Emma Kate while their parents attended a small group each week. They have grown and changed so much since those first days when they weren't doing much more than sitting up and crawling. After some time at the local jump house, playground and an ice cream treat, I dropped them back off with their parents' and headed a little further north to meet my roommate.

Technically, Christen isn't my roommate anymore, but she was by far my favorite of all my Atlanta roomies and that has earned her the title of being one of my lifetime roommates. I love getting to hang out with her because we both just enjoy being with each other. We are easily entertained and pretty much enjoy the same kinds of things...and she didn't make fun of me for wanting to go to bed early that night either.

I woke up extra early on Saturday morning and got ready to head up north to First Baptist Woodstock. I hate being late, so I actually ended up arriving about 30 minutes before they opened the doors. That turned out being a good thing because there were almost 10,000 people in attendance and the tickets were general seating.

I'm so glad I got there earlier, because it was during that time that I was able to meet those bloggers that I was hoping to see. It was so neat to finally get the chance to see and talk to people that I had been reading about for years. I was happy to see that every single person I met was just as sweet, or sweeter, than I thought they would be. I didn't take a picture with everyone, but I did get some with a few people. I'm guessing most of you will probably already recognize some of these faces, but just in case...

Kelly from Kelly's Korner. I started reading her blog almost two years ago. Her blog became wildly popular after the birth and extended hospitalization of her daughter, Harper, but she has always been one to communicate her willingness to pray for women...especially those that are single or struggling to get pregnant. Seeing that I fit into that single category, I was glad I got the chance to hug her neck and thank her for her encouraging words.

Jenna from These Are The Days. I stumbled across Jenna's blog about a year ago, and have not missed a post since. She is so funny...but so real. Her love for the Lord is something that she incorporates into her daily life so seamlessly. We're about the same age, and she leads some small group bible studies with high school and college girls, so I love seeing what's going on with that...and sometimes borrowing some ideas. :)

Lindsee from Lindsee Lou. Another blog that I stumbled across about a year ago. Lindsee lives in Texas and works as a Girls Minister for a church in her town. If I didn't love what I was doing, I think I would want to do what she does. It's so encouraging to see other people that are my age that feel called to "do life" with younger girls. In addition to loving her girls, she also loves my favorite show...Biggest Loser. She's good times. We actually exchanged a few emails earlier in the week and when she found out that I would be attending the event alone, she invited me to sit with she and her friend, Jen. So fun!

Jen from Jen the Newlywed. I actually hadn't read her blog before, but since getting back have done lots of reading and she is for sure a new favorite. She and Lindsee are best of friends, and like Lindsee, she is quite funny. Yay for new friends...and new blogs to read!

And, now back to the REASON I went to Atlanta in the first place...Beth Moore.

I've read most of her books, and have done quite a few of her studies in the past few years, but attending a conference was a first. I loved it. The worship was incredible, but I mean...when is it not incredible if Travis Cottrell is leading? Beth spoke on the topic of Insecurity...a follow-up to her book So Long Insecurity. I don't know a single woman that hasn't struggled with it at one time or another....but it doesn't have to be that way. She challenged us to work to combat the insecurities in our own lives so that we can teach the next generation with hopes that they won't struggle with it. I took lots of notes and have been reading over them all week...lots of good things to put into practice for sure!

It was a blessing to get to hear and see Beth, and to get to meet people that I had read about for so long. A weekend that I will never forget!