Monday, October 3, 2011

dotMOM: Main Sessions

As promised, I'm back to tell you a little bit about the main sessions at the DotMom event I attended last weekend.  They were all fabulous.  Whether or not you are a mom, the challenge and encouragement that each speaker brought can apply to your heart and your life.  I will also link to the speakers' respective blogs, so you can check out their stories and maybe follow along with their ministries for yourself.  Please note: I am just jotting down a quick summary and some takeaways, but will in no way do justice to the giftedness, humor, and anointing of the actual ladies/their teaching. :)

Angela Thomas kicked off the first afternoon talking about Matthew 5:14-16.
"You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." 
The light of Christ in us fills our homes, and points our children to Jesus Christ.  We don't have to manufacture the light (the light is Christ), but we are called to shine.  We do have to, as Paul told Timothy, fan into flame the gift that's been given us.  We have to be determined to care for our soul.
 And a few other things I loved that Angela said:
- Realize not going to go back (ie- to what "quiet times" looked like in college or pre-kids) ...Figure out how to get with God in this season!
- There is an art to leaving some things undone so greater things can be done.

Angie Smith spoke Friday night.  Perhaps you have read or heard of her book I Will Carry You?  she has a deep, beautiful story.  You just need to check out her blog.  Go ahead.  I'll wait...
 A few of my favorite things that Angie had to say:
- Are we telling our kids what we want them to do for God... or are we showing them?
- Motherhood is not our highest calling.  Our highest calling is to glorify God.  (Motherhood is one way we do that)
- She spoke about the safe, quaint images she held of motherhood and family life (as if playing safely on the seashore), and the call of God to live (and encourage our kids to live) passionate lives for Christ, braving the deep waters and risking brokenness.

Vicki Courtney shared about the balance of being a good mother and a child of the living God, focusing on the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.  Martha was distracted by all the doing, while Martha chose to sit in Jesus' very presence. 
She shared three qualities of Mary:
1. We must make time to sit and listen
- Greek word for listen suggests a continual listening , to give in to the listening of... Martha sat at Jesus' feet hanging on every word, while Martha was catching it on the go. :(
- Referenced boundaries with the constant noise of twitter, facebook, email, pinterest, etc.  (Ouch).
2. We must aim for enough rather than too much
- verse 40: Martha was distracted by "much serving"
- Take inventory of average day- have I learned to give enough, or am I chasing too much?  What is it for me that I have to reign in?
3. We must make Jesus our primary affection
- verse 41: "...but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her"
- What is my primary affection?  Do I know how to sit at His feet?  Is He my primary affection?

Priscilla Shirer delivered the last session of the conference.  She shared a specific message that I know spoke directly to the current realities and hearts of many people.  Using the story of Simon and Peter in Luke 5, Priscilla shared that God sees, cares about, and steps into our circumstances.  She equated our attendance at the DotMom conference to Peter and Simon taking a break to clean and mend their nets after a long stretch of fishing.  We were not there to escape our lives, but instead to be refreshed and revived and ready to return.
I really just wanted to pass on one of Priscilla's points.  She talked about having "Netwashers" in our lives, friends to journey with you, to come alongside you and help you wash and mend your nets, especially at times when, like Simon and Peter, your best efforts are coming up empty.  Love that.  A few days after the conference, Priscilla posted a blog about what she wished she would have added to her message, and I think it's such an important reminder.  She talked about how so often instead of stepping in to help other weary moms hold up their nets and wash them, we stand off to the side and criticize them, especially in what they choose to do differently from us.  I was so grateful for the reminder to be in it together, no matter what.  I know I want to be loved and upheld unconditionally, and hope to offer the same kind of sincere support to those around me.  And I think that call to oneness can apply to all the roles in our lives.  Priscilla's follow-up blog post also gives a great overview of her actual message.  You really should check it out!

As you likely noticed, there were some common threads running throughout the sessions, and it is probably easy to see why I said my main take-away was about choosing sit at His feet!  I love that the "mantra" of each session is somewhat passive: let your light shine, brave the deep waters, sit in His presence...  My days are filled with the busyness of tasks and doing... a toddler to bathe, dress, diaper, comfort, feed and clean up after (and repeat)... messes, laundry, errands, patiently correcting and redirecting...  But my highest calling is in Christ.  To be.  It is His light, His power, His life in me.  Thank you, Jesus!

Hope you were encouraged by the glimpse into the main sessions of the conference, and I hope you will visit some of the linked blogs.  They're great!  Next up: I'll be back with some quick notes and thoughts on a couple of the breakout sessions.  Thanks for reading! :)

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