Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vacation Adventures

So much has happened in the past week that it feels like I've been gone a year. I have had an incredible week full of fun, challenges, being stretched, learning, laughing, crying, and loving. To start, our trip to Soulfest was great. We knew it was a true youth group trip when we had not 1 but 2 tires blow out on the way there. Then when we did arrive at SoulFest (7 and 1/2 hours later), no one seemed to know where to send us. We finally made it to our campsites - on the side of a ski slope. It took some time to set up all the tents on the flattest area we could find, and even then I think most of us slid down in our tents every night.

Anyway, it was a blast going to the concerts, having meals at the campsite, hanging out with all the teens, and going to a women's conference there. I really enjoyed Constance Rhodes who runs Finding Balance. She was a great speaker and challenged me in many areas. Specifically she talked about how we as women are constantly comparing ourselves to each other and the reason is that we are focused on ourselves. I was challenged to remember that it's not about me and that when we take our focus off ourselves and put it onto God, that is when he makes us truly successful.

As for the concerts, I'd have to say that Newsboys were my fave. I've seen them several times before but there was something about this concert that hit me. Peter Furler was open, honest, and talked about having a true hunger for God's word. He said that for a long time, he didn't really have a hunger and found it a struggle to read the Bible. So he began to pray about it, and that is when God's word came alive to him. I realized that I have been in a place of complacency, where I do read God's word but I don't hunger for it. So I am praying that God will put in my heart a desire to know his word and meditate on it.

On Saturday I had to leave all the fun of Soulfest to head to Minneapolis for the Creative Memories Showcase. As sad as I was to leave the group, I was very excited to attend Showcase and learn all that I did. Once I arrived I found that our hotel was not exactly in the best part of town and we had a tight squeeze with 6 people in our suite. There was only 1 double bed - everyone else had to sleep on the floor, a sofa bed (which felt like sleeping directly on springs), or a cot. Thankfully, my roomies were gracious and allowed me to sleep on the bed since I'd been camping the previous 4 days. Praise God!

At Showcase, we had the privilege of hearing Dewitt Jones speak and share his photography. He was amazing - not only the photos but his story as well. I enjoyed it immensely and of course did some crying as well. I also had fun shopping at MarketPlace, which is full of CM goodies and gifts that you can't find anywhere else! I'll use them for my hosts, downline, and customers (and myself of course). We also had lots of training, saw all kinds of new products, heard from consultants on the mainstage, and had a great time dancing on the stage after the closing session. Yes, we stayed there until about 11:30 (it ended at 10:30) dancing and having fun. Then we headed back to our hotel (again, in the not so great part of town) and finally got to sleep around 1am. Then I was up at 4am to head to the airport for my 6am flight. I arrived in Manchester aound noon and finally got home around 5pm. I'm happy to be home even though I didn't want all the adventures to end. Sometimes it's nice to sleep in your own bed... where I'm headed now.


Shan said...

Esther, so glad to hear that your time away was therapeutic and fun. Miss you tons and sorry i havent' gotten around to calling yet to catch up--busy week--started back to work, etc. Talk to you soon.