Sigh. I don’t know where to start. Around about a month ago I signed up late for Cherish2012. It’s a women’s conference. First off I signed up when I was still in so much pain I couldn’t balance all the meds I had to take. Crazy I know. Plus – I’m not the women’s conference ‘type’. I thought there’d be lots of…’fluff’, you know? I can’t explain it, just fluffy stuff. AND I’m so rubbish around people I don’t know very well. It’s like I’m socially schizophrenic, I turn from a confident woman into a ridiculously immature introvert that forgets the art of conversation. So why I jumped at the chance to go to Cherish only God knows.
But it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I’m not good with numbers (and these are poor images taken on the balcony) but this gives you a good idea of how many girls came to hang out for a weekend.
What grabbed my heart straight away was the effort that went into making us feel welcome and important. There were so many ‘little details’ that I couldn’t begin mention everything. They covered the place with tiny butterflies, paper pom-poms and a big message for everyone walking through the car park.
No massive reason for it, just to love us, appreciate us and embrace all things girlie. Each woman at the conference received a gift, delivered by a team of amazing suited-up guys who served us the whole weekend (the gift was a veeeery pretty candle holder).
Gifts – and no strings, it’s pretty counter-cultural right?! And another thing – no ‘fluff’ in sight!! Just a team of ordinary (but very annointed!) women who love Jesus pouring truth, affirmation and a spiritual ‘kick-up-the-butt’ to hundreds (?) of other ordinary woman that love Jesus too.
We even had a free afternoon to head into Bradford city centre for a bit of retail therapy!
Becky didn’t go for the batman top in the end . I shared the weekend with a handful of women – some that I already knew well, others not very well at all. I came home loving every single one of them, and blessed that I get to do life with these lovely ladies.
I couldn’t think how to get this picture in – but it can’t not, its too funny! Yes that is two grown women sitting in the boot.
I ‘ve gone through the notes I made from the weekend and I’m committing to work through them over and over until they’ve settled nicely into my mind and my heart. A weekend that made you feel special, where you are able to just be filled up afresh, spend time with some awesome friends and enjoy some ‘ mummy-off-duty’ time – Even the pain in my back couldn’t spoil it.
On the closing evening I had a tap on my shoulder only to turn around and see my old youth pastor standing in front of me. Tears, laughter and lots of hugs followed and it was the perfect end to a very memorable and special weekend.