Beautiful Day

Friday, May 4, 2012

Challenged, Inspired, and Blessed

We recently had opportunity to travel to our favorite conference of the year.  It's always a highlight to pack up our clan and take this mini-vacation.  Some years we actually piggyback a family vacation on the heels of the conference.  I love that because it's not a busy time of year for vacationing, thus the places we go are quiet.  And quiet makes for lots of thinking time and lots of nature exploration.  It's just a winner for us all.  But this year we have different plans, so we just went for the conference.  As usual, we were not disappointed.

The children had time with Grandma and an aunt and uncle.  This aunt and uncle moved to a new house last fall.  It has a gorgeous garden area to sit and walk in (when it isn't windy) and I would be out in it every nice day if I lived there.  The cherry blossoms and azaleas were particularly striking this time around.  Across the street is a field to play soccer in and then there are woods to hike in, which made for fun excursions for the children.

Warrior and I were challenged and inspired by timely messages from Dr. Voddie Baucham and a man we had never heard before--Philip Telfer of MediaTalk101.  As part of a Family Night presentation we were treated not only to amazing musical talent (we are ready for music camp!) and a dramatic interpretation about Titanic, but also to a preview of the film "Captivated."  It is a documentary all about the influence of media on our lives and learning to think critically about its influence.  Just the short film version was completely engaging.  The "thinker" in me was very engrossed.

Among my favorite messages of the conference were Voddie Baucham's exhortations regarding our marriages and "Education and Worldview."  Philip Telfer's "Understanding Worship in an Age of American Idol(atry)" was very much not what I expected, but very much exactly what I needed! (and for the record, no, I don't watch "American Idol" and that's not what the heart of this message was about).  I am going to have to write a whole post on that one because I sincerely want those lessons to stick.  I also greatly appreciated his message on "Regaining Focus in an Age of Digital Distractions."  Boy, do I need this!  I am forever in need of regaining focus.  There are indeed too many distractions and many of those can be related to this screen on my desk!! (And I don't even do social media except this blog).  I appreciated how Mr. Telfer purposely chose not to use any PowerPoint slides or any other media for this message to help make his point!  Very clever.

And on a very practical level, I was so inspired and blessed by a workshop given by Susan Bradrick, Emily Hageman, and Betsy Bloomfield.  My, oh, my these ladies are amazing!  I wish I could be a fly on their walls or something (I've wanted to do just that in the Bradrick's home for years!).  Their love for Scripture just pours out of them!  A dear friend and I both attended this workshop, which was actually geared toward beginning home educators.  We are both seasoned ones.  I went both because I wanted to hear these particular ladies speak (two of them are cousins of a very dear friend) and because I was hoping for some renewed vision in teaching my littles.   I was not at all disappointed and I was so thankful to be reminded of recapturing the purpose behind what we do---to fill these little minds with the Word of God and everything that is true, noble, right, pure, excellent and praiseworthy. And how much this needs to live in me first!  The enthusiasm of these ladies was so contagious!

The icing on the cake was to get to enjoy sweet little reunions with friends we usually see only at this event each year.  It was a delight to get to know some of them better and to share life together, if even for only a brief two days (and far too brief it was, indeed!)  Julianne is amazingly organized and hospitable and we were the blessed recipients of her well-planned lunch set-ups.

I will be taking some time in the days ahead to re-evaluate how I spend time with my husband and children, how to keep the media monster at bay (even for one who isn't a big media fan, but who IS a big information fan), how to spend time on what really matters and how to persevere with a heart of sola reformanda.

Soli Deo Gloria!


  1. I love our convention every year, too. It is next weekend!

    We have heard Philip Telfer and he is excellent! So is Voddie.

    Glad you had such a wonderful time!


    1. Deanna,
      I hope your convention is also a tremendous blessing of encouragement to you! Thanks for commenting.



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