What an incredible weekend. After over a year of planning, Imagine 2010 finally arrived! I don’t even know where to start. The majority of the group met at 6:30 Friday morning at the church to begin our weekend. Surprisingly everyone was awake and happy as they loaded their luggage and boarded the bus. At 7, or shortly after, we closed the doors and headed for KC. The ride was great, we could talk and laugh and have a great time together.
We arrived and got everyone inside. Unfortunately, the pre-conference doesn’t have assigned seats, so it’s nearly impossible to keep a group of 60 + together inside the Sprint Center, with 5,000 other women. However, everyone was fine and with at least one other person and everyone seems to have a great time!! 🙂 I know I did! Sheila Walsh was great as always, and Marcus Buckingham was better than he was in Dallas! I really liked him!! He showed us that most people believe that between their strengths and their weaknessed if given the chance to work on them, they should work on their weaknesses. Marcus says….pick the strengths! In your children….figure out where they naturally excel and ask them to step it up on those things. Let them know that you see the greatness in them, and help them hone it in.
We left the pre-conference, boarded the bus and headed to our hotel. It was great. The staff was ready for us, that had everyone pre checked in and all I had to do was hand out room keys. I love it when things are made so easy for us. Everyone only had a few minutes to go relax. Amy, Jenay and I headed straight to the banquet room to get ready for our group dinner. We had to put out doorprizes and get everyones name ready for the drawing. Everything went insanely well. Better than I ever could have hoped, to be honest. Everyone gathered in the banquet room….we visited until everyone had arrived. Then we prayed and ate dinner. It was awesome, I thought the Embassy did an incredible job!!! The dinner was great, the company was even better! Mrs. Gillilan, one of our high school teachers stopped by with her daughter, Hayley to visit for a little while. It was fun to see them both! We gave away a BUNCH of doorprizes, and had a great time!!
The evening conference was great. We got to hear Lisa Harper, who is very funny and a great inspration. By the way Tara….Lisa says….burn your spanx ladies! 🙂 We also got to hear Mary Mary in concert, and they were awesome.
The evening conference was over around 10 and we headed back to the hotel. I was
tired exhausted!! On the way back to the hotel, I was sitting with Terry Gilmore, and she asked me if I was going to go work out. A little reluctantly, I said, “I’ll go if you go” and she agreed. So I ran up to my room to change clothes. I walk in and instantly notice that there are two huge glasses of milk and 6 gigantic cookies on a platter with a note from Priscilla (my hotel contact) thanking us for choosing to stay at the Embassy. I changed clothes and quickly scribbled a note to Amy telling her I was going to the fitness center and to enjoy the milk and cookies, praying they would be gone by the time I returned. I also had a ridiculous headache so I ran up to my Mom’s room to get some tylenol before going to meet Terry. In the meantime, I talked her and Nancy into coming down with us. I ran down to meet Terry and they come a few minutes later. Mom and Nancy used the spin biker and Terry and I hit the treadmills. I haven’t been on a treadmill since before I had children. I walk on the road….not a machine. So it took a little bit to get in rthym, but once I did it was great. Plus it was fun to do it while I could chat with some great women!!
Around 11:45 p.m., I think, I headed back to my room. I walk in and Amy and Jenay look at me, giggle and say, “we ordered pizza.” Seriously….what is wrong with these people. Filling my room with junk food. Ugh, I have a hard enough time!! I said, “I think I am going to grab a shower.” When I got out of the shower, I could smell the pizza. It smelled amazing. So I went out to join the girls for some overdo girltalk…and I couldn’t resist. I had to have a piece of pizza….but of course justified it with the 2 miles I had just put in. Not the greatest philosophy, but oh well!! 🙂 It did taste really good.
I knew we would, exactly, go to bed early….but who knows…. We talked for hours. It was great. I was laughing harder than I’ve laughed in I can’t remember when. Luci Swindoll told us this week that we should fall over in a heap laughing at least once a day. That’s just what we did. It was so uplifting! 🙂 Finally about 2:30 a.m. we decided that, maybe, we should get a little rest. But, even as we got into bed and turned out the lights, we were still chatting and laughing. We finally all went to sleep, and thankfully the hotel was really comfortable, and I slept great. Though it wasn’t quite enough.
Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast. It was good, I thought. Loaded our luggage all back into the bus and and headed over for Day 2 of the conference. It was amazing. The morning was a little tough. We heard from Karen James telling the story of her life and tragedy of losing her husband, Kelly, in the Mount Hood climb a few years ago. I think everyone in the arena was in tears with her. It is such a sad, but such an amazing story. We also saw Nicole Johnson perform a drama touching on the reality of abortion and not dealing with the hurt, and shame and guilt that something like that can bring to the surface. More tears!!!! Natalie Grant performed, amazing!!! She is one of the most talented women I have ever seen!! I love her music, it was great. She sang her song, Held (my favorite of her)….more tears. Ha. Don’t get me wrong, there also was a huge amount of laughter. 🙂
As the conference got close to the end….during breaks women from our group kept coming up and telling Amy or I what an amazing time they had….how they were putting the 2011 conference on their calendars and they would “be there!” I have been so blessed through this process! God has shown himself in amazing ways to me during the planning of this event, as well as DURING the actual event. I was moved in many, many ways and am SO thankful that because of learning to trust God with more and more, I was able to enjoy the speakers and the music and the worship….instead of worrying about every little detail. God is SOOO GOOOOD! 🙂
After the conference we got everyone loaded on the bus…and headed homeward. Everyone was talking and laughing and enjoying the ride back. I spent part of it reading over evaluations that we had asked the women who were in our group to fill out. Most of the comments were very good, most everyone seemed to have a great time and even be planning to join us again in 2011. That was very encouraging to me! We stopped at Concordia to get some dinner, which took a little while, but everyone finally got something to eat and loaded back up. I ended up changing seats at this time, and was sitting with Susanne Wills from Callaway Christian Church. I was glad to get a moment to sit with her, as I hadn’t gotten much chance to talk to them all weekend. They had a great time also, and as Susanne and I talked, she started asking me questions about what I did as a group leader, and what did it entail. She told me that she had been feeling God nudge her toward signing up to be a group leader. I told her if she was filling his pull, then she might as well give in. I had already tried resisting and it wasn’t an effective choice. So, I emailed our KC rep, Stephanie as soon as we got home last night, and am waiting for her reply regarding our addition of a group contract. We already expected the group to be bigger in 2011, but it may be considerably bigger, with the addition of another bus. God is incredible! To God be the GLORY…all of the GLORY! He is the only reason why we had such a wonderful weekend. HE is the reason that everything went smoothly…and I am SO thankful that HE is in control! So as we close out of Imagine 2010, we look forward to Over The Top 2011. Hope you will decide to join us!