Yep...I'm home from a really awesome conference alright. No more maid service, no more lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang's, no more girl chat until 2 AM and no more sleeping in.
Back to the land of "I have no idea what to wear to work tomorrow as I personally haven't done a load of laundry since Tuesday" (it's Sunday night, for those of you who haven't been scratching tally marks on your cave wall). I also need to go grocery shopping as I pretty much know the choices for breakfast in the morning will be eggs or eggs. (The milk smells funny...so, I had to even mark Capn' Crunch off the list of possibilities!) That stack of "to be graded" papers I just knew would shrink as the flurry of my red pen cut it down to size in no time - sadly, still looms large. My caveman didn't know about some money I forgot I spent last week, and I unwisely waited until tonight to tell him...just a few hours after he had spent the entire afternoon doing bills and preparing taxes.
Yep...I'm back! You see, for the past three days I've been "the speaker"...the "big deal"..."someone who seems to have some answers." It's cool to be able to go and share with others and try to impart awesome stuff that God has shared with you. It's both humbling and gratifying to have people come up to you and say, "I loved what you said!"..."You're awesome!"..."Maybe you can come speak at the next event my group is having!"..."You made me feel so understood and hopeful!" I pretty much drove the two hours back home to my cave on a cloud.
But, fortunately (and I do mean fortunately) for me...before my cloud engine even had time to cool down...the reality of my cave gave me a big, reassuring hug. You see, I had spent three days encouraging women through drawing from my own cave experiences. I had the incredible opportunity to remind people that God sees them...right where they are...dirty laundry, spoiled milk, unbalanced checkbook and all...and in the midst of it He gives them the love, hope and energy to carry on.
I smile as I sit here typing at my little table that barely can hold my laptop because it is already struggling to support a myriad of items as varied as a baby gift that should have been gifted days ago, a container of air soft pellets (remember, I have boys) and a turned-over bottle of Febreze (remember, I have boys). Speaking of boys, I just let one in the back door and I am now pausing to spray some Febreze...
Spraying accomplished. So, because I have laundry and you have a life...I'll sum this up: Conferences are fun. Taking a break from the cave is nice. Catching up with old friends and hanging out with new friends is spirit-lifting. Eating at P.F. Chang's gives my taste buds their very own mini-vacation. Knowing I may have encouraged others is amazing. Still, I'm back and I'm thankful...
Thankful for the people in my reality who create the laundry piled on the bathroom floor. Thankful for the people in my reality who need to eat...which will make for a Wal-Mart stop after a long day in RMS Room 310 tomorrow. Thankful for the people in my reality who create the papers I need to grade. Thankful for the person who tries to keep both our checkbook and me in balance.
Thankful for a God who gives me everything I need to bravely embrace it all. "To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me". Colossians 1:29