Last weekend, I attended the Hearts at Home conference for the second year in a row. Thankfully, no one had to go under the knife, and Kelli and I were able to go together this time, making it lots more fun than last year – a girls weekend instead of a retreat! I think it’s safe to say that we met our daily word quota over the weekend, probably much to our husbands’ relief. It was fun to have Heather meet us on Saturday morning, and for two of my friends who read each others’ blogs to meet in real life!
The theme of the conference was “Mom’s the Word,” with some of the main-session focus being on the weight our words have in our marriages and in our kids’ lives. The timing of this was perfect for me, as lately I’ve been feeling super-frustrated with my oldest child, which results in what I say not always being as kind or calm as it should be. One mom spoke of her son, now 19 and a Marine, and how she hoped the words she’d spoken into his life stayed with him through the rough times he was experiencing in boot camp. It just really made me think about how I need to be careful about what I say and how I say it. It also made me pray that I never have to send a kid away to boot camp…sheesh.
The other big “takeaway” I got from this weekend was a line spoken by one of the breakout session speakers, and it was really in closing and not a major point she was trying to make, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. Her sentence lead-in was something like, “I don’t know what kind of heritage you’ve been given…” and then went on to say that you can still be an amazing parent or you can sprout wings and fly to the moon or something like that. I clearly have no idea because by then I had tuned out and focused on those words, and came to the realization that THAT’S what I’m doing: creating a heritage. And I want it to be something of which they’ll be proud to pass along to their children someday.
One of the other sessions that I loved was Jill and Mark Savage’s presentation on their new book, “Living with Less So Your Family Has More.” Their talk/book outlines the attitudes you have to have to be able to live with less, and ways to focus on contentment. Jill’s books do a great job of breaking big ideas down into smaller, more manageable pieces in the form of lists (“8 Contentment Principles,” for example), which just works for me. I haven’t actually read this book yet, but it’s one that I’m going to want to add to my bookshelf.
Also, if you get the chance to hear Susie Larson speak, jump on it! I loved her presentation on her new book called “Growing Grateful Kids.” She’s the mom of three boys who are spaced about like mine are, and her stories of raising them, particularly her middle child, had me laughing so hard I was crying (and one time, just flat-out crying as she told a story about her oldest son).
Oh, and more than 100 kids were sponsored through Compassion International by moms at the conference! An amazing young man who was sponsored through Compassion spoke about how it changed his life. Love those stories.
All in all, a great weekend. The kids didn’t have time to miss me with all of the Wii, playing games, watching basketball, and going out to eat (Buffalo Wild Wings) they did with their dad!