I was blessed to get to attend Time Out for Women this weekend with a few women from my ward. It was an incredible experience. I definitely feel like a better mother after the two day event.
Time Out for Women began Friday night:
Michael McLean entertained us in his lively AND spiritual way. I laughed and cried throughout all of his performances. I especially liked the song about being happy while singing with the Beatles! :-)
Jason Wright, author of Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters, talked to us about blessing others and looking for opportunities to serve everyday. He told stories about his own hero, his father, to illustrate his points. It made me reflect on how totally awesome my own dad is!
Mariama Kallon discussed prayers, service, forgiveness and enduring to the end. There wasn't a dry eye in the audience as she discussed her life in war-torn Sierra Leone before she joined the church. She is a living testimony of the divine purposes of humanitarian work.
Mercy River performed throughout the day. Mercy River is made up of three women who love tight harmonies and sharing the gospel through beautiful songs.
Dean Hughes was the first speaker on Saturday. Dean Hughes wrote two series of historical novels about the World War II era an the 1960s called Children of the Promise and Hearts of the Children. He talked about "self talk." He helped us to learn new skills to help us stay focused on our beliefs. My favorite phrase he shared was "Life is not a contest!"
Deanne Flynn discussed how mothering is an attitude, a mindset - and in mothering, sometimes we don't have to "think big" to have the impact we want to have in our homes. It is true that "by small and simple things" great things can happen. I loved it when she said that we shouldn't concentrate on undone tasks. We all have "offerings" to make and offerings can be simple like: time, talent, example, etc.
Brad Wilcox, one of my favorite motivational speakers in the Church, gave his discourse about the miracle of redemption. He said, "We often think of 'Savior' and 'Redeemer' as synonymous, but they actually describe two separate aspects of Christ's mission. We know what Jesus saved us from, but do we think about what He saved us for? The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed, but that we can be changed."
Wend Ulrich was my favorite speaker this weekend. She is actually a private practice psychologist. Her message of learning to become happy really spoke to me. She gave us seven proven happiness enhancers: 1. Stop worrying about your weaknesses. Instead build on your strengths and spiritual gifts! 2. Don't try to get motivated to exercise. Instead just do it. Motivation FOLLOWS action. 3. Stop trying to find friends. Instead develop the skills of friendship. 4. Don't try to feel happy. Instead try to feel grateful. 5. Celebrate failure. Instead of saying "I told you so" say, "What have you learned?" 6. Don't get help with your problems. Instead helps someone else - serve. and 7. Don't endure to the end. President Hinckley said, "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." She told us to delight in tiny and simple pleasures.
The conference ended with Emily Freeman. She talked about "Writing the Name of the Lord in our Hearts." When we do take the Savior's name upon us, we recognize that He has "engraven us on the palms of His hands."
It was truly an amazing weekend. I feel rejuvenated. I feel like a better mom. I received inspiration throughout the conference, and I am anxious to put it into practice as a mother, wife, church volunteer, and home school educator.