I've so been wanting to record so many of the things that I've been learning, but have fallen way behind in blogging. Things have kind of taken off since my last post. More about that in a later post...
Andrew and I just attended the ARC All Access Conference last week. Not only did we get to know 13 of the leading guys and gals from our new church, hear great speakers, and experience some awesome worship, but we enjoyed 3 days and 2 nights of being Albany free. Now before you think I'm a horrible mother, Andrew and I have only been out of town together and away from her overnight, for the two nights we were unpacking after moving to MS, hardly a fun two nights! I love my daughter and I love being a mom, but being a mom (or a dad) is a lot of work. There was something very freeing about getting away, not having to ask someone is they had to go potty every 30 minutes, not having to cut up someone elses food before eating, not having to dress someone, etc. Even stops at the gas stations on the way to Baton Rouge, were so much easier without having to explain to a 4-year-old why the don't really need sugar wafers or trying to coax her into going potty on the non-continuous toilet seat. I think we both just enjoyed the time of being together. Getting to chat in the car. Walking around the mall alone. The late night talks after getting back to the hotel. And experiencing the conference together. Overall, just reconnecting. Stuff just seems to get in the way at home on the day to day. It was a time of renewal for us as a couple.
We got in on Thursday night about 11 p.m. and I was so excited to see my little one, that I kept trying to wake her up. She's a hard sleeper like her Momma and her Papa, so she never even flinched. Since we got back, I feel like such a better mommy. I feel more patient, more thankful, and more energetic. I think sometimes when you are facing the same things day to day-good or bad-they kind of become routine and sometimes we forget the joy we once felt. We miss the sweet moments. Or we just get into a rut and miss special moments. It was definitely a time of renewal for me as a mother.
I feel the same way with the spiritual impact of the conference. Andrew and I talked from Baton Rouge all the way back home about all we learned. Some things we had heard before, some things were new, some things we needed to be reminded of. Before we left my pastor told me, "You're about to get your tractor cranked!" After the first day I had to admit to him, "I didn't know I had a tractor, but it's definitely cranked!" Like with the time I spend with my daughter, when sometimes I get overwhelmed or get in a rut, and I miss out on the joy of being a mother, I think sometimes that happens with our spiritual lives. I've realized before that when reading my Bible or spending time in prayer, that it feels a little more like a routine then coming from joy or a compulstion to do so. And sometimes working at a church, it becomes more a "job" than a lifestyle. One of the speakers, Priscillar Shirer (who if you have never heard of, check her out!!!) said that once we have experienced the awesome presence of the Holy Spirit, we will never be satisfied to settle for less. How true! This time of spending so much time in the presence of my Holy Spirit, I've craved to see His presence even more. It's been a renewal of the joy of my salvation.
I think we all need a little renewal. It doesn't take long for the day to day to zap our joy, our patience, our love, our energy, or our passion. Sometimes we just need to step back, step forward, or just get really still and know that He is God and rest in that.