There's nothing worse than being away from my daughter or my husband, but I had the innate pleasure of attending a women's conference this past week with some amazing ladies I work with and those from our industry. I reconnected with old acquaintances, met new amazing ladies, and enjoyed some much needed quality time with my current peers. Directly following that conference we went into our executive retreat for the weekend. To say it was a long few days is an understatement but I want it to be clear that I'm not complaining, it's just hard being away from my family for more than an 10-12 hour work day.
However, I can honestly say that this was the first weekend that I actually enjoyed myself and time, in a really long time - even though it wasn't with my family. And, honestly, I felt and feel guilty about that. The keynote speaker for the conference was Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the best selling book "Carry On, Warrior" and blog "Momastery." WOW! That's about all I can say, WOW! Okay, we all know that's not the truth! I always have a lot to say...thus the reason I decided to write a blog about my experience.
During the morning of the retreat, we listened to a speaker named Jay Pryor. He was interesting. At first I was wondering why in the world would they choose a male speaker for an all female conference. Then, he began speaking and sharing his story and how he was born a woman and began the process to transform to a man in 2001... If I'm being completely honest..at that point I felt my "religious radar" (for a lack of a better description and to really get my point across) go up and wondered what in the world could I possibly learn from this man and then I became very judgmental and had to check myself. Have you ever done that? I mean, honestly! None of us are judgmental, right? Right!!
What I learned about myself this past weekend was so enlightening and scary. I am approaching 44 years young and one would think that I would "know" myself by now...right? Wrong! We ALL are a work-in-progress daily if we're just honest about it. And honesty is what I've decided to write about going forward. I've spent my whole life searching and wondering who I am, who God designed me to be, what IS my purpose, and what am I supposed to be doing with my life. I truly thought once I became a Mother that all of those questions would be answered, but in truth, the questions only got bigger and became more relevant. I realize that I have a very small mini-me that I have to be a role model for and one that I have to teach to grow up to be a strong independent little lady in a very violent and unpredictable world; a world that is dominated by men and insecurities.
Jay was actually the perfect segueway into the keynote speaker (Glennon) and her presentation. They both spoke on honesty and truth about who you are, your own insecurities and flawed lives, and how we all live in a bubble of a made-up world at one point or another in our lives...or our whole lives. I definitely related. The first part of my childhood I lived in a pretend world while the second half of my childhood (my now) I feel like I'm trying to live a fairy-tale. I want perfection, I hold myself to a high standard of "now," and I am constantly judging my own success, failures, family, life and all other things and people around me. I never said I was perfect; and I never claim to live a perfect life, but that doesn't mean that I don't want perfect. But in reality do any of us know what perfect looks like or do we live a perfect life? No! I don't care who you are, the answer is No!
This weekend reconfirmed what many have been saying for years that I need to write a book...... Soooo....this is my declaration that it is not just started but that I will complete it! I've "started" it a hundred times and get discouraged because I think, "who would even want to read my book?" "who would actually buy it let alone read it?" If for no other reason, I am going to write it so every other hopeful Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, can have hope in knowing that you do not have to be perfect and that no matter what storm comes your way, Sunshine will eventually follow! I want to teach my daughter how to "unlock" her inner beauty and accept her just as God designed her and not have to worry about imperfections and what others think - but in a way where she is still humble and respectful toward others....this is going to be a hard, long journey...but I know it will be so rewarding and I'm definitely up for the challenge.
This is the first of many "truthful" blogs to come your way... I hope you'll enjoy them...but more importantly I hope you'll be able to relate and take something magnificent away from them to make your imperfect life more lovable!
"Pretty words aren't always true....and true words aren't always pretty."
"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)