Monday, November 5, 2012

a very talk-y weekend

I went away on the weekend to a women's conference* and had an exhausting, encouraging, very talk-y time.

I set some kind of record on Friday, talking for 8 hours without a pause with my dear friend Emma in Sydney. Then she drove me to the conference and I talked for what felt like 2 solid days (okay, so there was some sleeping) with lots of women from around Australia.

What's unique about women's conferences?
  • No one ever stops talking
  • everyone is so busy talking that all the seminars run overtime
  • there are no men sticking their heads in the door saying, "It's time for you to finish now!"
  • everyone is late for all the meals (because no one ever stops talking)
  • everyone leaves all the meals late (because no one ever stops talking)
  • no one ever stops talking.
I love talking but I am an introvert. So I arrived at the conference tired (after 6 weeks writing 2 seminars and an article and caring for a sick son) and left even more tired (after all that talking). It was worth it! As Jenny said, it was wonderful, enriching talking.

Memorable moments:
  • hugging / meeting / catching up with 3 of my bloggy friends: JaneJenny and Wendy
  • making some very dear friends who I can't wait to catch up with next year**
  • making lots of other friends that I can't wait to get to know better next year**
  • grieving about all the hard things we've gone through, and being encouraged by my friend Cathy to keep setting my hope on heaven
  • hearing about God's work all over Australia, illustrating Wendy's lovely words from Philippians 1 about our partnership in the gospel
  • seeing a bunch of women giving some great talks and seminars
  • leading a seminar with 20 women about helping our husbands (yep, it went well, thanks to God and your prayers)***
  • stepping into the airport arrival lounge to shouts of "Mummy!" and a kiss from my hubby.
Most memorable moment:
  • talking and praying with Bronwyn, who is dying of cancer, unless God has other ideas. I am so grateful to God for her joy in Christ, her bubbly warmth, and the privilege of being encouraged by her wisdom and godly example.
Less memorable moments:
  • that uncomfortable feeling when people know who you are and you don't yet know them (but what a joy to get to know them too!)
  • realising that I have a lot more to learn about packing
  • tiredness. Did I mention that already?
Ringing in my eyes are Jen's (or is that God's?) wonderful words from our final talk on Philippians 3:
  • stand firm in Christ
  • press on in knowing Jesus (don't tread water!)
  • keep your eyes on the glorious day when we'll know Christ perfectly and (finally!) be perfected in him.
I pray that we can all do this during this coming year.**

If you were there, what did you enjoy about the conference? Tell us here.

* The conference was for wives in AFES, an organisation that shares Jesus with university students across Australia.
** Yes, Tracey, I want to have a conference every year. And they all said "A-men".
*** Oh, and I have LOTS of ideas for future seminars. Bring it on!


Jenny said...

Oh yes, so much talking!! I had a very sore throat last night. But wonderful, enriching talking. Sooo lovely to meet you in person Jean.

Jean said...

:) Wonderful, enriching talking indeed.

Janelle said...

So, I am an extravert and I LOVED driving the long road home to Bathurst listening to Nicky's new cd over and over - and not talking ...but I couldn't help singing along just a little bit!

Deb said...

Was the information at your seminar ministry-specific? Or are we going to get a peek-in with some lovely blog posts on encouraging our husbands?

Gordon Cheng said...

Thanks for the report! Fifi hasn't told me everything yet. I might go wake her up and ask her.;-)

As for me, I got a wee bit of pruning done.

Jean said...

Yes, Deb, I hope so! Just have to work out how to post it and still let it be general and applicable to all...

simone r said...

"that uncomfortable feeling when people know who you are and you don't yet know them."

I love it when people know who I am and lots of stuff about me. It means we can dive right into being friends (or not!) Because they already know me, they are more ready to let me know them.

Jean said...

Yes, I love that too, Simone - especially when it's someone I already feel like I "know" online (I guess, then, the relationships are two-way). That's where the "hugging / chatting" etc came in! My bloggy friend Jane and I ran with our arms stretched out, like Lucy and the mermaid near the end of CS Lewis' "The last battle" (remember that?!). But at times it feels very uncomfortable to me. No different to the minister who everyone knows and who doesn't know them, except that blogging is sometimes a little more self-revealing.