the power of women

My heart is FULL of gratitude today! We had such an inspiring weekend at Time Out for Women. I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments with you. First of all, none of this would have happened if it wasn't for my WONDERFUL mom and dad who made our fabulous weekend possible! They literally paid for EVERY.THING. Anywhere we went, my mom would say "dad and I are paying!" I am truly grateful to them for  making this weekend possible.
Kris Belcher
"Our life's tests and difficulties can refine us; the rough spots in our hearts can be made smooth. We can become polished as we turn to the Savior. Kris's story shows how God used the challenge of going blind to help her see who she was meant to become. And you will see who YOU are meant to become too."
This lady is AMAZING!!! When she was just a baby, she was diagnosed with cancer in her eye. Later in life, the cancer returned to the other eye resulting in her completely losing her vision. Living a life as a blind lady wasn't going to slow her down though! She said "living in the darkness will NOT get you out of the dark!" In your life, there will be darkness- in her case literally. If we focus on the dark, our life will always remain dark and sad and lonely. If we LOOK UP and focus on the light, the happiness comes. Looking up towards our Heavenly Father will get us through any trial that we come upon. This doesn't mean our trials will simply just go away, it just helps us to get through it. It was a good reminder to find the best in bad times. When we live our lives "vertically", standing tall, shoulders back, looking up towards the Savior, ALL things are possible!
Laurel Christensen
"What do you get when you take a “worst case scenario” girl and invite her to try something called “The Optimist Experiment”? You get a woman who is passionate about sharing how understanding the power of faith in your life can help you better live God’s “best case scenario” plan for you."
Laurel was the Friday night speaker. She told us about her new goal to BECOME a runner. She struggles with her weight and wondered how it would even be possible for her to run a mile, not to mention the half marathon she had just signed up for. She took us through her journey on how she worked herself hard, told herself she could do it, and accomplished her goal. When she wanted to give up, she had someone in her face telling her "don't give up! You can do this!" Having faith can get us through anything! PRAY with faith, THINK with faith, and LIVE with faith. Face your doubts! Master your fears!
Macy Robison
"Enjoy a unique “cabaret-style” performance featuring music and musings with Macy Robison celebrating the women and mothers in our lives—daughters, stepdaughters, sisters, friends, teachers, wives, stepmothers, daughters-in-law and mothers. We’ll bring Macy. You bring the tissues."
This was a fabulous presentation of word and SONG! Macy is super talented! She sang about the funniest moments in motherhood. She spoke to us about how when she was little, she dreamed of her life consisting of   lots of children and nothing but happiness. It didn't turn out that way for her. But after a divorce and lots of prayers, she met her husband and became an instant mother of two step children. She counts her blessings everyday and then puts it to song!
Mary Ellen Edmunds
"We all know about the technological attempts to steal our identities, but how aware are we of the adversary's attempts to HIDE our identities? There is an all-out war trying to keep us from knowing who we really are. Know who you are and you will protect yourself from the ultimate identity thief!"
I've heard Mary Ellen speak one other time and she is one of the speakers that I was most looking forward to hearing from. She is HIL.A.RIOUS! Her smile is contagious and her humor is captivating! We were laughing so hard, we had tears running down our faces. She talked about "becoming" who we are. Packets of seeds become what they are meant to be. Who you are, you have been forever. A rose is a rose from the time it was. You are the one and ONLY YOU!
"Sometimes motherhood can seem as far away from "holy" as you can get when you're dealing with attitude from your teenager or scrubbing ball-point pen off the couch. Though holiness in motherhood does not come easy, there are a few simple tools that can make it a part of your everyday moments."
I was able to speak with these two ladies for a few moments after they spoke. They are so "real". If you've ever read 71Toes, then you know exactly what I am talking about! Being a mom is hard, and they don't sugar-coat it by saying otherwise. But what a privilege it is to be able to raise these children and help them become WHO they are... Children of God.  He entrusted these wonderful blessings to us! REMEMBER who your children are, who you really are, and who the Savior really is. This mom-daughter team is inspiring!

Hilary Weeks

"You said you can't imagine TOFW without her; happily, you don't have to. Hilary is not just a great songwriter and incredible performer; she is first and foremost a woman-a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a sister. Her humor and her testimony make every event perfect!"
Hilary spoke and sang throughout the entire day on Saturday. My favorite song of the day! Turn up your sound on your computer and enjoy the next four inspiring minutes!
I am grateful to be a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a Daughter of God, a friend, a leader, a woman! 

I asked my sister to snap this picture right before the conference started. We even stopped a crowd of people wanting to get through, just so I could have the "Time Out for Women" screen behind me. I guess I just wasn't tall enough! :)


Shay said...

I have been waiting for your post on TOFW!!! Wahoo!! Thanks for the BEST.WEEKEND.EVER!! Love ya SIS!

A Mother and A Daughter said...

You might not be tall in stature, but you are tall in character!!! Love your post today! So glad you had an amazing weekend. God is good to us! He takes such good care of us! And we are blessed to be women and all the goodness that comes with it! ~ Barbara

Grandma Carla said...

Love your post!! What a fabulous weekend. Soooo thankful to have been there will all of you! Even the "wrong floor" elevator pushing button was a hoot! Love you so much.

Rachel said...

what an amazing experience you got to have this weekend. Thank you for sharing the stories of all those inspirational women. I definitely need to stop being a 'worst-case-scenario' kinda girl! thanks!

-rachel w k

Kim said...

Looks like a great line-up. I went to highschool w/Macy.

Etcetorize said...

I'm so glad you posted the Hilary Weeks video. I've never heard of her but she has a beautiful voice and this song was something that really hit home today. Thank you~

Lolly Jane said...

So fun. Glad you went. My aunt-in-law is Sherri Dew so we've gone for free in the past with "backstage passes" lol. Such a good conf!