Highlights of the week – April 30 – May 8, 2005:
· Saturday: I snuck in to Saddlebrook to visit my amiga, Kathy, for the afternoon. We had a great time…went to the warehouse and had dinner by the pool with the ladies. Saddlebrook is NICE!
· Sunday: Slept in and then made my way over to Orlando. I honestly should have just stayed home and not paid the money for a crappy hotel bed and some momentary lonely feelings, but I was away from the everyday. I guess that was worth it. I did get to watch the Extreme Home Makeover from St. Pete…oh man, did I just cry. It was amazing!
· Monday: Went to the outlet mall, bought my mom’s Mother’s Day gift (and some stuff for me) and just chilled really until people started showing up for the conference. We had the opening banquet that evening…got to sit with Kristy, Des and Lee. Probably the most enjoyable part of the week was having the Skit Guys to perform. They are hilarious! If you haven’t seen them, you’ll want to if you ever get a chance! Then we had the always somewhat enjoyable by the end Get-To-Know-Each-Other Game night. My roomie for the week was Lorelie…so even going back to the room was fun.
· Tuesday: Obviously Tuesday and Wednesday were basically filled with sitting in main session and breakouts. Everything was very informative (maybe not to what I’m doing exactly, but I still learned). The main great thing about this whole week was getting to talk to friends that I don’t usually see. To find out what is going in their ministries and their lives, and telling them about my stuff.
o The biggest part of my Tuesday was visiting my best friend, Eli. He lives right next to Sea World and so we were able to go out to eat (Outback cheese fries baby!) and stroll Downtown Disney (while it was pouring down rain). There is a whole long history that I won’t get into, but I will confess that in the almost 9 years we’ve been close, I have never really talked about Jesus with him. There is the fact that he is Jewish that made a barrier for me, but God can overcome those barriers easily! Well, I have not had the guts to say much (some stuff here and there) to Eli until the total conviction I had on Tuesday. There I was right smack in the middle of a Christian conference and I was going to step out of the “bubble” for a few hours and see my non-Christian friend, and really not mention anything about my whole purpose for being in Orlando (oh yea, and my purpose for living). My stomach was in knots the whole night. I literally was nauseous by the time I was getting ready to say good night and had not said anything yet. Eli opened the door to let me outside and I stopped him. He could tell I was serious (cause if you know Eli, there is maybe a 10% mass of seriousness in his body) and so shut the door. After rolling and tossing ideas in my head all night, I finally asked, “What does it mean to you when I tell you I pray for you every day?” Being the honest person he is, he told me he didn’t know. The conversation went on for maybe 15 minutes…then we hugged and I left. I drove down International Drive not knowing if there was anything positive that will come out of that conversation…mainly cause I felt like I was speaking some foreign language. Oh God, Please do a mighty work in his life. You have put us together on this life journey for very specific reasons and I pray that somehow he will come to understand You in a way that will be very personal and moving. Amen.
· Wednesday: More sessions…McNair Wilson was our main speaker. Very good…he spoke on creativity and how to harness our own creativity to better our ministries. Rock on! He also did one of his one-man shows for us. That evening I went out with the boys (that would be Lee, Luke, Ross and Ben) to Bahama Breeze and then met up with Marty and Joy for dessert at Friendly’s. Great times…but something didn’t settle well (maybe from an accumulation of the week’s meals and events) and so I was in and out of bed and, to say it in a lovely and lady-like way, hugging the toilet all evening.
· Thursday: Thank God for Annie…she went and got me some Sprite and a dry bagel in the a.m. I tried to go to the last breakout session, but wasn’t able to pay too much attention (but I do recall during a group activity, someone came up with a Salvation Army Sex Shop where you get them in the door and then have the opportunity to teach abstinence…. hmmm. Love to know your thoughts on that!) I ended up going up to Marty and Joy’s room to take a nap before I made the trek home by myself. I missed the last banquet and saying good-bye to most people, but I badly needed to rest. God willing, I made it home. I honestly wanted to pull over at least 30 times and just take a little nap. I got home, slept for a few hours and then felt even worse. Thank God for parents…they came over and took care of me, thinking they actually were going to have to take me to the emergency room. Thank God they didn’t have to!!
· Friday: Slept and slept…and then got the strength up to go to Ben’s graduation party. It was nice to hang out with everyone and celebrate with Ben.
· Saturday: Slept some more and then went to Eli’s mom’s Retirement Picnic. 30 years as an elementary school teacher! Crazy wow! Even though I was still kinda out of it, I just sat there thinking about retirement. I can’t imagine…I’m just starting my ministry, hooking into my passion, and there she was retiring. Wow. It was nice to see Kara, Beau, Eli and Anna…but then I just went home. I was supposed to have people over to watch Phantom cause it came out on DVD last week (yea!!), but noone came. I’m actually kinda grateful cause I felt lousy. I did watch most of Phantom…oh man, I love it I love it I love it! J
· Sunday: Honestly didn’t feel well again, so I slept in and then went to my parent’s house for Mother’s Day. It was a nice relaxing time. Then we went to Clearwater’s Say It with Music Youth night…Tampa Praise Band played very well and Ben did the devotional. My nieces sang in Singing Company but Emma started bawling and walked off during the last song. Oh the emotions of young children…how they ebb and flow.
So obviously, I had no real contact with what was going on with the warehouse during the week, but I was always praying over what could be happening. Earlier today, I heard from Bill that there still is no word from Tom, the owner, but that he and Major Mikles came up with a strategy to speak to Tom. Please, if you have a spare moment, pray over Tom and Linda. Pray specifically asking if the warehouse is where we should be. I hate to think that way, but we need to be ready for whatever God has coming our way. Pray for a revival in Ybor City! Oh can you even imagine? Thank you sooo much for those of you who are faithful with your prayers! I cannot tell you how much they mean to me, and to each person being affected.
So, I know this was way long, but I had to get it down…even if it was only for me. I’m excited for all of you who are down with school and have either a short break, or a summer break! Exciting! Yea, I don’t get that…lol, but I am going on vacation in June.Anyhoo…Peace for the day.