Hearts at Home

I returned last night from my first Hearts at Home national conference…and it was amazing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this group, it’s a Christian organization that exists solely to encourage moms, through conferences, books, blogs, etc. It was founded by Jill Savage, a mom of 5 and wife of a pastor, who’s now the author of several books and is still the head of the organization.

So, I was supposed to spend the weekend with my friend Kelli, but her husband Joe’s emergency appendectomy kept her home…I definitely missed having her with me, but completely understood, of course, that she needed to be home taking care of him! So I looked at the weekend more as a retreat than a girls getaway, and I still had a great time. I stopped in to see my cousin Darren and his wife, Kim, and got to eat a carryout dinner of Flat Top Grill, one of my favorites! And I slept in a king-sized bed by myself. That was nice, too. And, thankfully, there were a couple of girls from my church there that I knew, and they made sure I had someone to sit with on the big sessions!

The big day of the conference is Saturday, where there’s an opening speaker and then four breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Many are parenting-focused, obviously, but some are just about taking care of mom, too (something I’ll be blogging about in a few days, as time permits), and then a closing speaker. The whole day was just so awesome and encouraging for moms who are in the thick of parenting kids of all ages. I chose to go to a couple of breakout sessions on discipline, one on birth order, and one of Jill Savage’s presentations called “My Heart’s at Home,” based on her book of the same title, which is about having a blueprint for your family. It was excellent. I’ve got to get the book now to fill in the details she didn’t have time for in an hour.

It was so much bigger than I was anticipating…it’s held on the ISU campus during spring break. There were over 4,600 women in attendance from 31 states! Those moms have a total of nearly 13,000 children…so when you think of the impact that a conference like this can have, helping moms refocus on their jobs and leave with tools to help make them better at what they do, it’s huge! Also really exciting to me was that H@H partners with Compassion International, and 85 children were sponsored by the moms in attendance at the conference (notice my new button in the sidebar for Compassion…if you’re thinking about sponsoring a child, click on the button…you won’t regret it).

I left a little early on Saturday evening to get back to my kiddos…Bennett had started running a fever on Saturday morning, and I wanted to be able to tuck him in. Jack Henry joined him today with a fever (he even fell asleep on the fireplace hearth – don’t worry, it’s covered with protective pads so it was apparently pretty comfy!), so we’re all trying to recover from our weekend. I’m so thankful that Matt is such a great dad, and was willing to give me this time away to recharge my batteries. It was just what I needed.

Reading back over this post sounds so blah, but there is no way to really do the conference justice by writing up a quick blog post…you need to experience it yourself, whether you stay at home, work outside the home, have 1 kid or 19 (one of the moms at the conference had 19 KIDS, I KID YOU NOT). Plan on going next year – it’s March 12 and 13, 2010!

12 responses to “Hearts at Home

  1. Glad you had a good time!!
    Sounds like a very cool conference!!

    Yucko on the return of the fever into your house – Kate had 99 before bed – hoping it is just teething related and not the start of me being off work all week – AGAIN!

  2. thanks for being such an amazing friend & understanding me ditching you this weekend.

    sign me up for next year! joe’s appendix is gone…so I should be good to go!

  3. That sounds awesome . . . what a great opportunity for you!

  4. i hadn’t heard of this before but it sounds wonderful. i can’t wait to hear more.

  5. Sorry you had to come home to little sickies; hopefully, this won’t be major. It sounds like the conference was well worth the trip and gave you a great mommy tune-up!

  6. Jill (thebaglady)

    You had me at, “And I slept in a king-sized bed by myself.” Some friends of mine go & I was hoping to go this year, but it was Luke & Morgan’s last basketball game.

  7. sounds cool–i’m sure you met some amazing people too!

  8. Nicole,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the conference! It was a great weekend!


  9. I have never been able to attend, but got the CD’s from a few of the sessions last year and I now have them on my iPod and listen to them often. I really enjoy having them “in my pocket” when I’m having a moment or need a little inspiration!

    Glad you had a good “retreat” weekend!


  10. Nicole – so want to plan on this next year!

  11. Nicole-

    Bloomington, IL? I basically work on ISU campus. Being as though I will be a mom by the time the conference comes next year I would love to attend. Be sure to remind all of us!!!

  12. I would love to go again next year. I went when Sloan was about 18 mths. old and loved every minute of it and swore I’d go back every single year. Two babies and several years later, I’ve not been back but could REALLY use it now! I’ll have to keep that weekend open. Glad you had a good time. See you soon.

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