Monday, September 10, 2012

Time Out For Women

I feel so blessed this morning as I contemplate the things I was able to experience this past Friday night and all day Saturday at Time Out For Women.  You know, I am just so convinced that as women we truly need this.  This conference just fills your soul with hope, joy, humor, inspiring music, spiritual awakenings and love.  It is physical, tangible and palpable on so many levels.

I  took note of how I actually felt lighter, happier, more peaceful and loved.  Loved by the people that matter most to me, the 2500 other women there, the speakers, my friends I came with and the ones I didn't and especially the Lord.  I felt the sisterhood we all share as women, mothers, grandmothers and single, married and widowed women.  It uplifted me in ways that made me want to be a better person, more dedicated to my values and beliefs, more willing to sacrifice and serve and lift up the hands that hang down.  It made me feel more like accepting that gift from others when I need it too. 

It made me realize we are all in this together.  By the very nature of our womanhood, we understand one another.  When we add to that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we share and is so much a part of who we all choose to be, it is just heavenly.  And now that it is over, I just have to bask in the light of reflected glory by sharing a few of the wonderful parts of the conference with you.  The reminiscing will be sweet.

The theme this year was Seek The Good.  Can't you just imagine what it would be like to be in room with 2500 other women all seeking the good?  Well, that was precisely what it was.  Women from all over the area, each with our own joys and sorrows, from every walk of life just taking a moment to experience a revival of the things that keep us going, make us happy, help us cope and enrich our minds and expand our souls.  It was such a profitable, well spent and wonder-filled time.  There are some very funny, and inspiring women among us!  They are ladies that love life and God and are simply authentic.  They are willing to share their life's lessons for the edification of others.  And there are men who come to do the same.  Talk about serve as Jesus did.  You'll find them at Time Out For Women.  The conference is held in various venues all over the country.  You'll find the schedule and a whole lot more here.

Mike and his Laurie

My absolute favorite of the presentations was done by S. Michael Wilcox.  I have heard him speak many times and he is one of the most spiritual men I have ever heard share his poignant stories and testimony.  He is one of the deepest, most poetic and eloquent men I have ever been taught by in my life.

 Less than two years ago he retired from his teaching profession and was all ready to dedicate his remaining decades to being with his wife and enjoying all the fruits of their labors.  They had successfully raised 5 children, were enjoying their little grandchildren and were planning many things in their "Golden Years."  His Laurie, was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer just a few months after his retirement and he buried her about nine months later in the bitter cold of winter, just after the holidays. 

Here is an excerpt from his presentation:

The road he has traveled over the past couple of years has been so difficult and so enlightening for him and he has shared this very personal and poignant story of his love for Laurie and the struggles of her last months of life in his newly released book.   He did this because he knew how many people this book would help not for the royalites or for any other worldly reason.  This book started out as his personal journal, his quest to make sense out of what had happened.   And it was his way to sort out his thoughts and feelings and to come to an understanding of the unthinkably hard loss of his beloved wife.

Anyone who writes can identify with this sorting out process and anyone who loves deeply can relate.  Whether your spouse is still alive or has passed on, I feel this book is essential to our understanding of the magnificence of our marriage relationship in Christ.  Jim and I have been reading it each night and believe me the tears have been flowing onto our pillows. His words resonate with our own feelings and give voice to thoughts buried deeply within us.

If you have lost your spouse this will be a really important work to comfort you and help you get through the pain of separation.  If you still have your spouse it will help you to work together through the thoughts of being left alone for a time in your future.  It will also help each of us be our best selves and to live our best lives possible while sojourning on this earth with our eternal companion.  I can honestly say, this is a book that is changing our life and I just wanted to share that with you today.  I love this great man with all my for the willingness he has had to bear his soul for the edification of all who come in contact with him.  He is healing more than himself in his journey.  God bless you and keep you,  Brother S. Michael Wilcox, is all I can say.  He will uphold you for you are truly a man of God in every sense of the word.


laura.elizabeth said...

I am SO glad you got to go this year and that you enjoyed it! I really want to read MSW's book, thanks for recommending it. I can't wait to attend TOFW next month in MA! It is going to be great!

Barbara said...

Bonnie, you are an exquisite writer. Thank you for your post; I haven't opened the book past the dedication (LOL), but I will tonight. Big hug!

Marie said...

What a wonderful conference to be able to attend. I wish they had such things for us over here in the UK. I ordered the book on my kindle as it's the only way I can get it. Can't wait to start reading! So good to see a post from you!! Love you!

Sister Susie said...

I just love when I meet with the ladies in my church too. The LORD is so Present among us! Since I retired I have been so blessed to attend our different functions with the ladies. What an enjoyment!

Our church just recently lost a beloved member to ALS. I pray for his wife and family who are now without him.

Thank our GOD, our beloved family and friends who trusted in Christ's sacrifice for their sins are now with Him awaiting us to join in the time GOD chooses.

Love to you and yours, Susan