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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So Long Insecurity Conference

This past Friday I hopped in the car and headed to Woodstock, Georgia, which is near Atlanta. Beth Moore had a conference on Saturday to go along with her new book, So Long Insecurity You've Been a Bad Friend to Us.

The first place I went was Pappasito's Cantina to meet some Siestas, Beth Moore's blog community, for dinner. It was thrilling walking up there. I know these wonderful ladies well from the internet, but I haven't had the privilege of seeing them very often. When I walked up I immediately noticed Jan, Fran, and Lisa. I was afraid they didn't recognize me but then I heard my name! I was lucky to get to sit by Lisa also known as The Preacher's Wife. She even let me try some of her guacamole. I hardly ever try anything. It was a little sweet- wasn't too bad. Everytime a different blogger walked in our little spot of the restaurant, people would scream. Yolanda and I were so excited to see each other! She didn't know I was going to be at dinner. Our little Siesta reunion was so much fun! I enjoyed the Mariachi band!

Tammy was so sweet to offer her house to us! We had a fun little sleepover. Kate was cracking me up so hard my stomach hurt. We woke up crazy early the next day to go to the conference. It was wonderful, as all of Beth Moore's conferences are. As soon as it started I knew I made the right decision to come to the actual site. The conference was simulcast to over 800 churches. Can you believe 300,000 women were watching? I could've gone to a church at home, but it was much more fun to be there in person. We sat on the second row on the right and Beth was in the next section on the first row during praise and worship.

We looked at Ephesians 4:1, 17-24.

Our acronym was:
S aved from herself
E ntitled to truth
C lothed with intention
U pended by grace
R ebounded by love
E xceptional in life

That day I ended up creeping around the Living Proof Ministries table where some of my favorite Siestas were working. I was so excited to see my Miranda Brown. Everybody loves her and rightfully so. We are the same age! I've actually never met any Siestas younger than me but I know they are out there! Miranda attended the conference with a friend, Kathy. So while Miranda was working the table again, I decided to introduce myself to Kathy. Kathy ended up inviting me to her mountain house to stay the night. I am so glad she did. Kathy and Miranda made me smile all night. Loved their stories! The house, in Big Canoe, GA, was so nice and the next day we had pancakes and bacon on the screened porch with a gorgeous view. I made one huge pancake and Miranda ate it! Kathy said everything tastes better in the mountains- she's right!

Look at this gorgeous view! I took a risk taking a picture while driving in the mountains! I'm used to driving in the flat Lowcountry!

The weekend was wonderful! It's amazing to have friends from all over the country who love Jesus so much and cause an endless amount of laughter!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Weekend

Had fun talking to random people at CSU's Elevate- Jesus time on Thursdays.

Someone stepped on me while I was dancing. I was more worried about my pedicure being messed up than my foot being hurt.

Had some Gentleman's Club passes stuck on my window- NO THANKS!

Stayed up too late again.

Had a black cherry popsicle for breakfast.

Watched the Blue Angels downtown Friday afternoon.

Drove a young friend to Bible Study.

Played with my super cute nephew.

Rocked out to NeedToBreathe's "The Outsiders" album. Loved the sunshine and wind whipping through my car windows. Oh yeah, one song is "Through Smoke" not "Through Snow." I made myself laugh.

Was forced to jump out of the passenger's seat to grab a bag from underneath my friend's car. I still say the median is for turning- not situations like that.

Saw a guy staring straight forward with this super serious look on his face and no movement whatsoever at the gas station. It was odd to be facing towards him.

Went to the NeedToBreathe concert with Kelsi. Very much enjoyed "Washed by the Water." Especially since they left their spots on the stage and came closer to us.

Spat my gum from the top of the stairs in the Music Farm and made it in the trash can on the first floor. And it wasn't even right under me- it was to the left! So proud.

Called a friend's name and had the strangers walking in front of us end up knowing the same friend.

Drove back and had someone stick his head out the window and yell at us. "Does he really think I'm going to pull over and talk to him?"

Got hummus and watermelon at Walmart at 12:30am.

Church! Oh no, Kelsi saw the same message last week.

Had delicious Pita Pit.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Music is Life

Excited about my music!

When I say "music is life" I think about that phrase differently now. You see, I have some new musically gifted friends. Music actually is their life. And I am so glad that I get to listen to them sing! It is such a treat! What is normal everyday life to them makes me smile so big. :D I can't even tell them how happy it makes me when they sing. Anyway, I love to listen to music. I'm much more likely to be anxious if music isn't playing. When I started driving my mom said "turn down the music so you can focus." I said "but it helps me focus!" To this day I have to listen to my iPod when we go on a car ride with more than 2 people. The movement and music combined just make my life. I love listening on the boat and I wish I could on plane take-offs! Being on a good roller coaster with awesome music would be the ultimate moment. The emotions music cause overtake me. I'll cry harder or my heart will do flips with happiness.

A few good music memories:

Singing "Ironic" at the top of my lungs with a friend on a top bunk bed in the 4th grade.

Listening to "Man in the Mirror" in my driveway as loud as I could stand. It wasn't over when I pulled in- I couldn't turn it off! "Make that change!"

Bustin' out "No Air" with my (sorority) big sister in her car as we drove through Five Points.

Freakin' out over Miley Cyrus' "Fly on the Wall!" Brooke snapped a picture as I jumped in the air (see above) :) .

Smiling as I listened to "The Rising" on repeat as the boat crashed against the waves on the river.

And at this very moment I'm on cloud nine listening to "Hurricane" by NeedToBreathe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLThjyfqkJg
I can't wait for my next song obsession!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Small Group

I just want to give a shout out to the Lovely Ladies small group girls! Love y'all! Thanks for being so awesome. I need some pictures with the girls who couldn't come this night!

Friday, February 12, 2010

October 2009: Memphis Living Proof Live

"Walking in Memphis, Walking with my feet 10 feet off of Beale" Beale Street!

My Memphis Bed

Beth Moore Living Proof Live Memphis, TN 10/10/09

This post will be sooooo much shorter than Siesta Fiesta because I was only in Memphis for about 24 hours. I would've loved to have stayed longer, but it was a very last minute trip... plus my friend, Kathy, was only staying for one night. I think I bought my plane tickets 2 weeks before I left.

Back at Siesta Fiesta, Kathy (kathypinkbicyclearkansas on the blog) and I looked at the program and asked each other which Living Proof Lives we thought we'd be able to attend in 2009. None of them were close by to me, but I had been to Gatlinburg, TN. So I said I might be able to go to Memphis. She said Memphis was pretty close to her so she'll more than likely be going. When I got back home from Texas I looked up on Mapquest how far Memphis is from Charleston, SC. And I found out it is a whopping 10 hours. What?! I was hoping to drive. I went to the Simulcast in September and it made me want to go to an event so badly! I'm so thankful for the simulcasts but it's a million times better to actually be there. Well, as time got closer I didn't know if I'd actually be able to make it. It turned out that I did indeed have that weekend off- I was so lucky it was a free weekend! Since going to San Antonio, flying seemed attainable. Before then, I would've just said I have to fly- no way! I'm so glad I don't think like that anymore. So I found a good price and emailed Kathy. She said I could stay with her and her friends.

So I convinced my parents to drive me to the Charleston airport early. I think my flight was around 6. I was kind of nervous flying by myself but not really. I made them stopped at the ATM on the way. They were like, what?!, you haven't gotten all that taken care of yet. Whoops. My dad let my mom and me out at the airport (it's pretty tiny) and I heard them calling to board my flight as soon as I got up to security. I went through it quickly and went straight onto the plane. I had my little bookbag so I was able to stuff it under the seat in front of me which was pretty convenient. I asked the lady I sat beside as we were in the terminal where she was headed. She said she was going to Maryland to judge a dog show. I thought that was pretty cool. Our flight to Atlanta was on time. I have been helping with a 12th grade girls Bible study so while I was waiting for my next flight, I started working on our Believing God study. I went up to go to the bathroom but did not want to lose my seat. So I left my study book in my seat and decided if someone stole it, they needed it more than I did. When I got back, the ladies (who looked to me like they might be the type to go to the Living Proof Live conference) asked me if I was going to Memphis to see Beth Moore. I said yes! Are you Siestas? Do you read her blog? Well, they didn't know who Siestas were but they did say they were going to Living Proof Live. And they ended up sitting behind me on the plane! Unfortunately, our flight to Memphis took much longer than planned due to the thunderstorm. Our plane had to stop in Huntsville, Alabama to refuel. I watched as many passengers started freaking out about being late. Well, I decided as long as I was there 30 minutes before 7pm I'd be ok. I was planning on catching a ride so nobody was waiting for me at the airport. One guy was mad bc he had a business meeting. I don't know why another guy wanted to get off the plane so badly but he would not quit harassing our very nice flight attendant. She said, "Do you really want to get off this plane? Bc I can have you escorted by blue flashing lights." That was pretty funny. I just sat there and did my Believing God study on my little tray. I had called Kathy at takeoff and she hadn't left her sister's house for Memphis yet. When we landed in Alabama, she was already in Memphis. I was so jealous. I called my mom too and she said, if you're stuck, then Beth Moore is probably stuck too. I said no way, I'm sure she left last night (I was wrong...).

We landed around 2:00. I saw a huge FedEx plane station on our way down. I had this master plan to catch a shuttle of a hotel nearby. I had routed out the hotels closest to mine. Of course, the first ride I tried to catch the shuttle driver was rude. So I gave in bc I hadn't had lunch yet! I was planning on riding the bus but it was awhile before it would be there. So I went to get some lunch... wow I can remember this lady being all impatient with the girl at Backyard Burgers and me going back to ask for ketchup and everything. Oh, little details. So I came back out and studied the bus schedule again- I had read the wrong one. I missed it! So I was so mad I just got a cab. Poor guy. On the way there the traffic going the opposite way was terrible. His eyes got so big! I hated that he had to get back in it. I had planned to go see the Peabody Ducks and Graceland but I got there about 5 hours after I had planned so there was no time. I wanted to enjoy Memphis. But I ended up getting him to drop me off at our nice hotel.

Kathy told me the room number so I went up there and knocked. Someone I didn't know answered the door. So I said are you Kathy's sister? It was kind of awkward. But fortunately she was! Susie said come in bc Kathy was asleep on the couch. I was so envious they had gotten there in enough time to take naps. I really could've used a nap. The room was a little different. A bedroom with the bathroom had half of a wall around it (the top was open). Then the living room with a fold out couch and kitchen was on the other side. Kathy told me more about her friends who were going to join us. Shortly after, with the Tyra Banks show in the background (makeover show! yay!), Willie and Belinda showed up. Kathy told me Willie is her childhood best friend's mother but now Willie is Kathy's best friend. They sing together in the choir. And Belinda is Willie's friend. I'm pretty sure I was at least 25 years younger than all of my roommates. And 50 years younger than one of them. So we sat around and talked for a little while. Normally, I would've been itching to go sit outside of the door to wait for a great seat. But I decided spending time with Kathy was more important and I was too tired to move. So when we decided to go Willie got the valet to pull her gorgeous BMW around. I volunteered to be squished in the middle since I was the lucky one getting to hang out with these ladies on such short notice. We parked and walked to the FedEx Forum arena.

We were really hot when we got inside... I guess bc there were so many people on the outside of the arena. So we went and got some seats in the nosebleeds. And then Kathy and I went to et the pretty pink "I Am Living Proof" shirts bc we were hot. She was so cute in her little pink shirt. I told her the whole weekend she is so cute bc she's tiny! I am definitely not tiny. We saw Fran. We wanted to talk to her, but I got really shy. So I ended up not talking to her. Fran is cool and since I didn't know her very well I was a little nervous to talk to her. But at least I saw her! She was talking with a circle of friends.

Kathy went to get some nachos and ended up missing the first couple songs- oh no! So I held her nachos for her when she squeezed back to her seat. I told her "don't worry, I won't eat them... all!" The night was fun, but I felt like I was watching TV, being so high up in the arena.

Before Beth came on stage, they had a slideshow. Oh, how I wish I could find it... ahh! I found it! http://vimeo.com/7043704 The end was so amazing in that giant area.

I was so exhausted from my trip, the only notes I took Friday were:

1.God abounds in love.
2. God guards His love. Proverbs 4:23
Guard love, blessing witheld
Beth Moore told us that she barely made it to the conference. It was stormy in Houston and in Memphis. She told the story so well. Poor thing. That was definitely stressful. Satan tried to keep us from getting a Word!
On our way back to the hotel that night, we went to turn on another street so we could park on the right side. She accidentally turned on a Trolley Road. Fortunately there was no trolley coming. So she went to turn around and ended up on the sidewalk. Thankfully, there wasn't anyone walking on the sidewalk. Bc nothing bad happened, we thought it was so funny. And laughed hard! Later that night, we had microwaved pizza from the hotel and they made me a bed out of couch cushions and pillows. After everyone got in bed, I heard our driver start laughing and she said to the lady next to her "Just thinking about the sidewalk!" And they busted out laughing. I laughed too but for some reason I was trying to hide my laugh.

I set my alarm for 5 the next morning. Bc I'm crazy! No, I wanted to be sure I got a good seat. Even though I was very tired. I left before my roommates. But before I went Willie made me promise to take a cab if I didn't see anyone to walk with... so I called a cab. I ended up paying him $10 for a 3 minute, $3 cab drive. But dang it, I was safe. There were about 10 people lined up at the door. I was wearing flip flops. It was pretty cold in the dark! It was fun to listen to the ladies talking. I just love the people who attend these conferences. Then I ran and got a seat on the second row that jutted out so it was like I was on the front row.

My notes from Saturday:
3. God teems with compassion.
Psalm 147:3
deep hurt, little healing
Psalm 38:5, Isaiah 1:6
"you are significant
Hebrew asab-wound idol-root
Idol of pain
4. Exodus 34:6-7 God is scandalously forgiving.
Ephesians 4:32- Forgive
5. God is inconceivably gracious.
6. God is abounding in faithfulness.
emet-faithfulness and truth
7. God is slow to anger.

After the conference, we said goodbye to Belinda and Willie. Then Kathy and Susie and I jumped in Kathy's Altima (which ended up being the car I got a few weeks later) and went to The Spaghetti Warehouse, which was really cool. It's like a train station inside. A wedding party even came through as we were eating. Then Kathy was so sweet to drive me by Graceland so I could at least see the outside. Thanks for driving me to the airport! Wow, what a quick trip.

I got to the airport early and decided to fly from Memphis early bc the airport in Atlanta is much more entertaining. It's huge and full of people! Then I flew to Charleston. No problems going back. I'm so proud of myself for going on a solo trip!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finally Went to Houston!!!

Houston, TX!!!!

Omni Room Service!

Siesta Lunch

Beth Moore at Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration 1/22/10

No one I wanted a picture with more than Beth Moore!

My beautiful mom and her delicious birthday cake

I took my Mom to Houston, TX with me for her birthday. I had memorized scriptures and the celebration for Siestas, Beth Moore's bloggers, who memorized their scriptures was the same weekend as my mom's birthday.

Thursday: Dad took Mom and me to the airport and I ran into a friend I've known forever- fun! I had to help my mom figure out how to get through security because she hasn't flown in awhile- shoes, jackets, liquids- go! I've flown 3 times in the past year and a half. All those flights were to see Beth Moore. She is a good reason to go places. I had only flown once before that when I was 10- my parents took me to Sin City :). We ended up being very early so I got Mom to help me practice my scriptures. It was wonderful. I have such a hate relationship with studying because that was all I ever did in school. Studying/learning scripture is a thousand times better. I love it! God's Word is amazing. Memorizing it helped me gain a greater appreciation for it. I told my Siesta friend, Miranda, we were on the plane about to take off and she said she was praying Psalm 91 over us. How sweet is she! Loved it. Unfortunately, we were delayed which made us wonder if we'd miss our connection in Charlotte. Well, the guy behind us was upset and saying words I do not ever like to hear. So I read my scripture, which happened to be Galatians 6:4-5 louder than I normally would have read. Once we were up in the air, I gave my mom an early birthday present I had picked up from my brothers and their families. It was money to spend at the spa. I didn't tell her about the scripture memory team early enough for her to memorize (sorry!) so I thought it'd be nice for her to go to the spa the morning of her birthday while I was at the church. She was a little nervous about going but that changed later. It was a pretty quick flight. The plane was so tiny we had to check our bags. So when we got off there was still a few minutes to catch the next flight. Little did we know it was pretty much the furthest concourse away. So my bag was the next to the last bag off the plane. I looked at the computer screen for the gate and started booking it. Mom was like are you sure that's the right gate- shouldn't it be closer by? Truth be told I wasn't sure but I was thinking I looked for the flight number so it should be. There are definitely not enough computers in that airport. So we checked really quickly again and kept moving. As I was walking quickly on the moving sidewalk I saw my mom's cousins. We shouted "hey! Where are you going?" They were headed home from Jamaica. I feel like we see their family everywhere- that's a good thing. They are wonderful. So we laugh as we finally reach our destination, where as soon as we get there someone is about to close the gate. So I say, wait we're here! Someone else told him it wasn't quite time to close it yet, so it really wasn't that dramatic. We made it! We had to crawl over the nice guy beside us. I let Mom have the window last time so it was my turn. Towards the end of the flight, Mom played with my new iPod touch. We wrote each other stupid notes and laughed. We had really nice flight attendants. I wore my pink Living Proof shirt for the flight and one of them said she liked it. :) One thing that was weird was a girl from baggage claim had on a Gamecock t-shirt- my college! So we made our way to the rental car place around 11pm (would've been 12 at home) and asked for a compact car. When we got up there they were out so we got had the choice between a midsize car and a small speiciality car! Small speciality car won! Light baby blue VW bug! Oh yes. I've always thought bugs were so cute. I was laughing bc at one point I said oooo, a nice new car and then I remembered, oh yeah, I have a new car. Haha. Anyway, it was fun. We were glad there was hardly any traffic on our way to the Omni. We drove up and were impressed. The pools and pond were very pretty. We liked the fire pit in the center of the tables outside, too. When we got to the hotel, Mom immediately gave her her name. I said, wait, it's in my name, which is the same last name anyway. It was funny. I feel like such an adult. I was so happy Mom wanted to come with me- she said if you buy my plane ticket of course I'll go. So I did. :) Going to and from Memphis by myself was lonely... I loved the how the bathroom had two sides of mirrors. And the shower had a line in it, which Mom figured out. I would've never guessed. It reminded me of Final Destination when they kid dies in the shower bc of the clothesline. Don't watch that movie! I had to reevaluate my life! Oh, sleepovers. I was so hungry when we got to the hotel. We didn't see any restaurants nearby- we hadn't really looked so we ordered room service! I'd never had room service. I was supposed to get french fries with my chicken sandwich but she called and asked if I wanted fruit. They had watermelon! So glad the french fries weren't ready yet- that fruit was tasty! It got to be pretty late but I couldn't go to sleep. I was too excited!!

Friday: Miranda wakes me up with a text at 10am. Thanks! It was time to get up. I slept in bc I could. Mom heats instant oatmeal using the coffee maker and coffee cups. We were glad we kept the room service forks. We later hide them in our stuff so we could use them all weekend (made sure to leave them before we checked out). Thursday night, I had been looking for pink boas (our way to identify each other), but I guess since we got there so late I didn't see any. So I was excited when we saw ladies with boas on the elevator! I saw Siestas, Patty and Georgia, in the lobby! I definitely wanted to have lunch with Miranda because I knew she wouldn't be able to stay long in Houston. Also wanted to meet Yolanda because I knew Miranda thinks so much of her. So Mom and I head over to Red Robin and get lost in the park on the way. What a loooong one way park. We were like, gee, it is Friday and a ton of people are at this park. Doesn't anyone have to work today? Haha... So we made it to the restaurant and I couldn't wait to get inside! I wanted to give Miranda, we met looking for roommates for this weekend and were able to hang out at Passion, a huge hug and meet Yolanda who I credit for helping me meet Miranda. Yolanda posted a comment with Miranda's email and so it all began. I immediately noticed Yolanda's bright pink rubberbands on her braces... I'm sure bc I'd been looking for pink so much! I don't think I ever had pretty rubberbands... So lunch was great. Yolanda's friend Beth is cool too! She made these really awesome laminated scripture cards- so pretty. We all ended up having burgers. I had a natural burger... aka plain burger. :) We talked about braces, how Miranda travels so much and promised to follow God, our states, the back of my South Carolina shirt, and all kinds of things. We go back to the Omni to get ready and saw Lichelle, Melana, and Tiffany in the lobby! Then I see Amanda Jones and am like oh wow- it's Amanda! I see her and immediately feel nervous bc she's pretty much a celebrity but better. She's so pretty and sweet. I had the privilege of meeting her and taking a picture in San Antonio. Then we go upstairs and Miranda, Yolanda, and Beth join us and I sign Miranda Brown's Fan Club poster... we had a thread on facebook started by Miranda, which led to the fan club... you may have had to be there. So then the 4 of us start practicing our verses. It was so much fun to hear them! I have read them but it is so much different to hear the inflection and power in voices. So amazing! Loved it. Then we packed in Miranda's car. My leg sat very close to the cooler. :) The girl was very prepared. Then we went up to Yolanda and Beth's hotel and met Valerie and Sherry and took pictures!

SSMTC: We headed to the church. Ever since I knew Beth Moore was Baptist, like me, I've wanted to visit her church. So excited to have actually gone. Anyway, I took some pictures for people outside of the church. We went inside and I was excited to see the pretty LPM ladies from the pictures I've seen. We saw the fabulous SSMT sign and loved how the flower was full of verses. I'm sad I didn't know to get a t-shirt. They were super cute- I love how there was more than one cluster of flowers. For some reason I got very shy and didn't talk to the Siestas like I should've. I knew some people but I felt like most of the people I met at Siesta Fiesta weren't there. I don't know why I was shy... sometimes it just happens. I ended up sitting by sweet two ladies from South Carolina- fun! They were sweet. When Beth Moore and everybody came out all the Siestas were so excited, of course! She, Amanda, and Melissa went up on stage. They told us they were excited for our arrival. Yay! We were excited! Beth taught on Psalm 119. She joked we're going to memorize the whole Psalm! Which is super long. What? We just memorized. Haha. She told us she was looking forward to this event more than she's probably ever looked forward to one. Yay! It was so small and fun. About 500 people were there. I'm used to being among thousands! Near the end of her speaking, Miranda grabbed my notes paper and wrote me a note. I was scared she was going to say she had to leave- so stinkin' sad. But she wrote me this super sweet note. Love her! Thanks, Miranda! Afterwards, we went out to the foyer (I guess) where there was cake and coffee. Well, I was too busy stalking Miranda to notice that people were forming a line to talk to Beth. I finally got in line but didn't get a chance to meet her. I caught a ride with some fun Siestas back to the Omni. I chatted with Miranda on the phone as she drove to another town in Texas. So proud of her for going to speak even though she had planned to stay in Houston for the weekend. I enjoyed our phone conversation. At midnight, I yelled Happy Birthday to my mom! Then I tried to sleep. I was too excited so I called Miranda again bc I knew she wouldn't be there yet. I found out later that she got to meet Beth Friday night but never told me during the phone conversations. What? Haha. The next morning, I caught a ride with the same people I had the night before (what luck!). We had a delicious breakfast at the church- loved my crossiant. I missed Miranda, but I made friends with the people I sat near. It made me laugh so hard that morning when they told us Melissa said Beth looked like a nugget in her outfit. I also loved how Beth said she apologized for being so chatty that morning. Sounds like fun to me! I so enjoy our lesson. We finished our run on sentence we were learning. Here it is:

I am a resident alien... seeking direction (Luke 24:45)... in deep want of wonder (God!- Verse 18)... in peril and need (v.28, 107)...troubled by humanity (v. 84)... especially my own (Psalm 19:13)... knowing that, to follow, is the only free road... for a straying sheep longing to be found.

We said our memorized verses to each other on Saturday. It was amazing to see/hear all those ladies saying scripture! Super powerful! I hung out for awhile afterwards. I bought the Revelation study and one of Beth's recorded Sunday School lessons. I had to wait for my mom to pick me up. Then suddenly Beth appeared and me and some other lucky ladies got to take a picture with her! I was so excited! I told her I was proud of her for using her incentive spirometer- a surgical nurse thing. And I hit her! I can't believe I did that! But don't worry, it was only a slight little love punch. She didn't seem to mind. And now I don't feel bad bc I saw her hit a lady on her book tour video. It was a cool little hit! Haha. I was excited. I still want to get a hug, though. But I have a picture! A hug should be easier. She is just such an amazing lady! I love how she is such an amazing champion for God! I was the last to leave and Sabrina, the director of Living Proof Ministries said "Is someone picking you up, love?" How much fun is it that she said love instead of honey. She is so cool. To which I responded, my mom. How little kid is that?! Haha. So Mom picked me up and off we went.

Hanging with Mom on her bday: We just drove around Houston looking for somewhere to eat. We end up at Smith and Wollensky. Smith and Wollensky is a fancy restaurant! Whoops. We didn't know that. :) The waiter asked me which water I wanted. He gave me three choices. I was like where am I? I am not fancy. We got the sparkling from this pretty glass bottle. The food was ok, but I'm not fancy. Mom did receive a free birthday cake slice! It was delicious! We talked about her spa experience that morning. She said it was great! After lunch, we went to Pottery Barn and she got my nephew, Eli, the cutest little puppet book. Then we searched for the Galleria. We couldn't find it. I don't really remember what else we did except we had dinner at McDonalds. It was angel themed. How appropriate since I came to go to church!

Sunday: We went to Houston's First Baptist Church. I decided I wanted to go to The Summit, which is Sunday School for singles in their 20s. Well, it was fantastic. The guy who taught was my age and an excellent teacher. I loved his analogy (I hope I explain this right) of Lebron James. He said you can get Lebron James to teach you to play basketball for weeks but you still wouldn't be as great a player as he is. So if Lebron James could get inside you- then he could play. Like Jesus! You can know all these things about Him but can't do anything well until He's inside of you! And He is inside of Christians. I thought that was a cool story. He had other great points too. Then I went to the service. Mom just went to the other service while I was at Sunday School. So she sat through two! I enjoyed it. It was so much fun to be at a church I had heard so much about on the blog. We finally found our way to the Galleria on Sunday. It was so big we couldn't find it! Mom wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory so we did. It was super yummy and our waiter was cool. We didn't have a reservation for the Omni Sunday night so we made one on hotwire at this place called Hotel Derek. It was really comtemporary. But it had free wireless and even an iPod alarm clock! I wanted to do something else while we were still in Houston. So I convinced Mom to drive me to see where Living Proof Ministries is. We had the hardest time finding it! But we did! So that was definitely an adventure. It involved stopping at a Burger King with wireless to help us figure out where we were going. The street wasn't marked on the side we were looking but when we turned around we saw it. It was so hard to find that it was super exciting when we did!

Monday: We got up pretty early to make sure we made it to the airport- which is a city within itself. Wow that place was huge. We ended riding with this one guy around my age from the rental car place all the way to Charleston. We had no idea he was going to the same place. So it was funny when he ended up on both of our planes. Ha! We even had a bird sitting behind on us our flight to Charlotte. It was sad going back but I felt like we were there for awhile. It was a fun trip. I have to say my favorite thing about the entire Houston trip and all that was it helped me get to know Miranda Brown. She's so cool. And of course I loved getting my picture taken with Beth and attending her church. I'd love to go back!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Siesta Fiesta August 2008

Amanda Moore Jones!

The Original Moores at Living Proof Live San Antonio, TX 08/23/08

Siesta Fiesta was a gathering of Beth Moore's blog people aka Siestas (the name comes from the spell check suggesting siesta instead of sista) in San Antonio, TX after a Living Proof Ministries Conference.

Trying to remember the fiesta before I write about the other fun trips with Siestas...

I really wanted to go to Siesta Fiesta, but I knew there was no way my parents would let me go. Going to Siesta Fiesta would mean missing my first two days of classes as a college senior (what!? I never skip classes... well, time with God is worth skipping class). I had only flown once when I was 10 years old. Anyway, so I went looking on the blog post about Siesta Fiesta. I came across a couple people from South Carolina. The first one lived kind of far away from me and the second one, Emily, lived only 30 minutes from where I went to college. I looked at her blog- she was a stranger at this point so I was like hmmm... I don't want to be one of those weird internet murder stories. But then I figured since I was seeking her out, through email, that she would probably be more at my mercy. So I looked at her blog. She seemed (and is) super sweet and had the cutest kids. So I emailed her and she said it'd be great to have a travel buddy. Since I hadn't flown before, it was very hard to convince my parents to let me go. But after a fun girls' day my mom told me at lunch that I could go since I'm 21 and old enough to do what I want. I was so happy and couldn't believe I could actually go.

So not so early on a Thursday morning (I totally would've gotten up at 5am if I had needed to), I met Emily at her house. Reflecting back on it, she was very brave to let me in... haha. Well, we'd talked a lot through email and on the phone. And she knew that I was a nursing student at the University of South Carolina- so that probably helped (random: a lady let me cut her in line recently since I had one item because I had on my scrubs). Anyway, we listened to Hannah Montana Live and some Christian music on the way to the Atlanta Airport. We almost lost the keys at the gas station- whoops! I looked in the place they actually were and didn't see them. I hate it when you look at something and don't see it! The Atlanta airport is so huge. We had to take a monorail to get to our gate. I really am so glad I had a travel buddy at this point (even more than before). We had some Wendys and then flew to San Antonio. I thought I saw a siesta I hadn't met, Shelly, on the plane but didn't try to talk to her because I wasn't sure. Looking back now, I'm pretty positive it was her. After takeoff, my first in 11 years- I loved it, I listened to Spiritual Mapping, a Beth Moore conference. I talked to the 18 year old guy next to me, John from San Antonio. I even asked him if he knew Jesus, which I've never asked a stranger before that I can remember- must've been the conference in my ears. He said yes. When I got off the plane, I immediately knew I was somewhere different, like a "We're not in Kansas anymore" moment. There was a desert mosaic in the airport and it was just different. Emily had arranged to meet with a couple of Siestas to take a taxi to our hotel (thanks Emily!). That's when I met Stephanie and Teri. We had a lady taxi driver (she pointed out several ladies drive in San Antonio bc it's safe and clean).

We got to the hotel and went up to the hallway where our rooms were near several Siestas. A whole bunch of Siestas were standing outside talking it up. I went to put my stuff inside real quick and then come out and talk but that's when I noticed I'd spilt the chocolate milk from Wendy's all in my brown purse. So the plan was to clean it up (which I did) and then go talk to everyone. Well, by the time I finished everyone had gone from the hallway back to their rooms. Bummer. Somehow, I did end up meeting Jenny Hope, Fran, and Bev at the hotel. And I definitely remember meeting Holly! I bought a cookbook from her immediately (I used it several times for the recipe I put in there... was always studying too much to try out other ones and now I can't find it! Oh no... I did actually cook a little my last year of college). I remember telling her that I made spaghetti for the first time by myself the night before. We thought that was funny. I miss my cookbook! I hope I find it one day. I'm scared I left it at the house I lived in senior year, but I thought for sure that I had gotten everything. Maybe it'll turn up.

That night Emily and I went with some other Siestas (hope I get this right since it's been over a year), Jenny Hope, Stephanie, Teri, and Fran to the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is so long and pretty... many trees on the sides and restaurants. Our hotel was right near it, as well as the mall. We waved at a group of Siestas taking a boat tour on the river. We ended up going to some Italian place. It ended up costing more than it was worth. Oh well. It was fun to talk to the ladies. :) We met up with some more, many more, Siestas at the Rainforest Cafe. I sat at the end of the table. I ended up talking the most to Kathy from Arkansas, now known as kathypinkbicyclearkansas on the blog. It was the first of many meetings. The Rainforest Cafe was really cute. I don't really remember anything after that. I do remember watching Just Married and then falling asleep to Pretty Woman that night.

The next morning I woke up and didn't see Emily. I was wondering where she went. Housekeeping wanted to clean the room and I didn't know exactly where to go. So I wandered around a little bit. I thought maybe she'd be in Stephanie's room. So I went down the hall and knocked on the door. No response. So I just went back to the hotel. Turned on the TV and there was my favorite actress and her old TV flame at 12:00. I was confused! I used to watch Guiding Light (3pm Eastern) everday since the 6th grade (little did I know I would stop recording it with the VCR forever when I went to Texas... I decided not having enough tape didn't really matter anymore- going to see Beth Moore was much more important). Anyway, my favorite actress from Guiding Light followed her friend who used to work on Guiding Light to All My Children. Well, that comes on at 1pm Eastern but 12 Central. Idk, I thought it was pretty cool to see my favorite TV people on my trip at such a random time. Well, just in case you're wondering, I never got into All My Children. I still watch CBS soaps every now and then but I am healed from my addiction- yay! I started doing No Other Gods with my God being TV. Well, I only did about a week of the study. Turns out I was able to get rid of it anyway. So later Emily came back to the hotel room and I asked where she was. She was in Stephanie's room but they had switched room to the above floor. Their room on our floor had ants in it! No wonder I couldn't find them. So after that I got her cell phone number. Just in case- I'd been calling her home phone before then. Reading what I just wrote makes me sound very clingy, but she was the only person I really knew so far!

Later that day, Emily's friend Rachel that she knew from when they lived in NC came. I wanted to give them some time to themselves so when Jenny Hope said something about going to the mall I jumped. And Jenny's cool so of course I wanted to go anyway. I ended up at Cinnabon bc I hadn't had breakfast. I ended up seeing Kathy again. I saw her sitting by herself so I went to say hi. Then I met up with Jenny again. She needed a new makeup bag so we went looking. I think eventually she ended up getting one from Icing. I knew they had some in there. We also stopped in Aeropostale and Jenny got this pretty green hoodie (I call them hoodies- some other people call them sweatshirts). We kept walking around and then I saw the ultimate store: Primarily Purple! I had never seen a purple store before in my life! Was so excited. I walked in and remember Jenny saying something like I didn't know people were this into purple. :) I felt so normal in that store. I didn't know people liked it as much as I do either! Yay! So I was walking around looking at all the stuff- getting so excited. I wanted a shirt so I started browsing. And then I gasped! There was a shirt that said Purplelicious. I couldn't believe it was spelled the way I spell it. The lady standing next to me stared at me when I gasped. I told her this shirt has my email on it, which I'm sure she didn't understand. But yes, my email is purplelicious@bellsouth.net. So of course I was excited. I ended up getting that, a purple pen that says I love purple, a bumper sticker (which is NOT on my car- it's on my memoboard) that says Purple Rocks!, and some purple cowboy boot earrings for my roommate. I even had a fun conversation with the lady working the counter and took a business card and stuck it in my wallet (I still have it and have even since added another purple store card from Myrtle Beach). Well, once again Kathy ended up in the purple store. I remember she and Jenny talking about Medical Transcription. I took their picture in front of the purple store. The picture is on facebook.

I met Rachel and Emily for lunch. They really wanted Mexican, I'm not a fan but I don't think I said anything. So we went to a Mexican place on the Riverwalk. I remember the hostess asking if we wanted to eat outside. We said "definitely inside." It was so hot! We went inside and a mariachi band was playing all over the restaurant. So we payed the $10 and got them to play for us. Super fun! We figured how many chances would we have to get a mariachi band to play for us? It was a fun little lunch. I had tacos. I wish I could remember what we talked about!
That day around the hotel I remember seeing 3 ladies around my age hugging and talking. I didn't know it at the time, but it was Lindsee, Shelly, and Abby! I love how they are such good friends from all over the U.S.. I wanted to meet them since they are closer to my age, but I still haven't met them yet.

Next thing, I remember Emily, Rachel, and I were walking to the arena. Seemed like a long walk. But that was fine with me. We went to a specific entrance where the Siestas were checking in. We got these cute little nametags that said our first name and where we were from, a Siesta wrist band, and a colored index card. I even saw Amanda Jones and got so excited. Amanda is so sweet! I had never heard her voice before so I couldn't wait to talk to her. I was surprised that she came out to meet us. I guess I didn't realize how much she wanted to meet us too. So I got in line to meet her. I happened to be behind, Melana aka Moose Mama, and she had the moose! I remember thinking, what's the deal with the moose? They took a picture and then it was my turn. I told Amanda "it is so cool to hear your voice, I had no idea what it sounded like." And she said "I think my voice sounds like a mouse." I said "no, I like it." I was so nervous when I took my picture with her. I don't think I'm smiling big enough bc I was nervous. She's so cool I should be smiling so big! Then I ran into Kathy again (we were so destined to become friends). So I invited her to sit with Emily, Rachel, and myself. The Siestas sat outside the doors and I walked around to say hi. I saw Georgia Jan again- she was one of the first 3 Siestas I met in Jacksonville, FL at a LPL conference. We finally went in for the conference. Unfortunately, we were in the back, which made me sad. I was hoping we'd be closer. I'm not a fan of looking at the screen bc then I feel like I'm watching Beth Moore on TV. But it was fun to sit by all my new friends. I kept hoping she would mention the Siestas. Well she never said Siestas during the conference... but I found out later she wanted to make every lady there feel special. Awww... that's so sweet. No wonder she didn't mention us. She did pray for us indirectly though when she said she knew people had come from all over to be in San Antonio=us!

The conference was about our Inheritance (can't help but wonder if that inspired the study- I would think so). Since it's been so long I grabbed my notes from the conference. I wrote down:

Psalm 16:5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Galations 3:8, Exodus 32:13, Joshua 13:16, Romans 8:16-17
Inheritance from God Always Involves:
1. Presence- Genesis 26:23, Joshua 1:9
2. People- Genesis 12:3, 22:17-18, Deuteronomy 4:20, Psalm 16:3, Revelation 7:9
3. Property-Numbers 26:52 and 26, Matthew 25:34
1 Chronicles 28:8,20
Joshua 1:9
1. I am an heir of God. My life is not left to chance.
2. I am an heir of God. I am inheriting a kindgom.
Inheritance: Old Covenant: Genesis 22:17-18; New Covenant:Revelation 21:7
Colossians 1:12
Daniel 7:18
3. I am an heir of God. He is my portion... and I am his.
Deuteronomy 10:8-9
Psalm 73:25-26
Deuteronomy 4:20, 32:9
Ephesians 1:18

After the first session, Emily, Rachel, and I went to get some Chilis take-out. We sat outside in front of a pond near the mall. It was so pretty. I love being out in the heat at night in front of water. I remember Rachel giving me advice. She was so funny. She said I don't know why, but I just feel like I need to give you advice! Haha. I thought it was sweet. Too bad I can't remember what it was. I must've taken it to heart and it's ingrained in me, right Rachel? Rachel also told me that she was kind of nervous about sharing a hotel room with me at first but now that she met me she was completely fine with me. So much fun to make new friends. :) We were talking about fame and how Rachel said she didn't understand why people got so obsessed with celebrities. She said they poop too! I was like, oh my gosh, I say that too! I still get excited about famous people, though. I just couldn't believe she said that. Ha!

The next morning I got up early to get some breakfast. I walked over with the ladies to the arena. I had given Kathy my number in case she wanted to meet up. Somehow I ended up finding her without her even needing to call me. Of course! So we sat together and did the Comission together! This is what Beth taught:
Revelation 22:4
4. I am an heir of God. The down-payment has been made.
5. I am an heir of God. My boundary lines form a pleasing place.
1 Corinthians 12:7
Ephesians 4:27
6. I am an heir of God. The will has been activated.
Hebrews 9:16-17
7. I am an heir of God. I can be secure.
Out of brokenness comes the perfume of Christ... Colossians 3:23
8. I am an heir of God. I have a beautiful inheritance.
2 Timothy 4:6-7
Hebrews 11:16, 39-40

After the conference was over, which is usually when I'm super sad, I got so excited! It was time for Siesta Fiesta! Yay! I wanted to grab something to eat really quick bc I knew I'd enjoy the Fiesta more if I had something in my stomach. Since there was nothing I liked really, Kathy and I just grabbed salads. I don't like salad dressing, so that's probably why I don't like salads very much. And then we ran down to the 2nd row and grabbed some seats. Next thing we knew, we were being grouped by the color of our index cards. I had a yellow card and Kathy didn't but she ended up joining my group. It was one of the smaller ones anyway. So we all were in these huge groups- there were about 1000 siestas there- waiting for Beth, Amanda, and Melissa to come take pictures with us. I was impressed at the organization. Beth didn't have very long to spend with us so I thought it was very clever of them to organize it the way they did. The yellow group was on the end on the left side. Next thing we know, Beth comes around the corner right by our group. So our group was the first she saw. I didn't even know she was there. Well, I was sitting on the floor and she came up and gave me a sweet little pat on my leg. She also said hi to some of the other Siestas at the same time. I was so nervous! Then she took a picture with us. I was right behind her in the picture. At first, she was blocking me with her big hair (ha!!) and then she kneeled down some more so I could see. Perfect! I couldn't imagine asking her to do that. So I'm so glad she did it on her own. Cracked me up that her hair was blocking me. Then after the picture Kathy gave her some tissues and said "for your hair." And she was confused (I was too)... like why do I need to put these tissues in my hair? And then we realized (bc I didn't know Kathy was going to give them to her) that the tissues had a picture of a lady with big hair on it. Pretty cute! And then she moved on to the next pictures. After all that, they gave away prizes. Prizes to the one with the closest birthday, married the longest, lady with the baby due date closest to Amanda's, one with the most kids, etc. It was really fun! And some of the ladies (sorry can't remember who) gave Amanda a yellow blanket that said "Shhh... I'm taking a siesta" on it. How cute! That was before we knew she was having a girl. Amanda said it was her first gift for the baby. Wising Up was one of the gifts and Beth said a married woman should be the one to win. Apparently one DVD is "Beth Moore uncut." :) I think a married Siesta did win it. There was one point where Amanda was going to give something to someone who came close to the qualification for winning and Melissa said you can't just give away everything so easily. And they had a little tiff. Their mom just sat back and said see- they are so different! It was pretty funny. They really are different but both so gorgeous and smart. After that, we had a light question and answer time. I know one question was about her morning routine- which she said involves an early quiet time, of course! My travel buddy, Emily, asked her if she realizes how much she positively impacts people? And told her she's been such an inspiration and that she felt like the inheritance message was for her (since she had recently lost her mom). I was so excited Emily got to talk with her. Emily is so cool. She is very sweet and wants God! She was my travel buddy- not yours! Haha. I wish I could remember some more, but the only other thing I really remember was the girl from Tokyo or Taiwan... I think it was Tokyo... got a Beth hug for coming so far. I can totally understand why she'd come so far! We were so sad they had to leave- a van came to pick them up and they drove off.

After the fiesta (oh no- it's over!), I spent some time with Kathy. Luckily, she was super smart and brought an umbrella. It rained pretty hard. She let me share it with her. I laughed bc she is quite a few inches shorter than me so my head was stuck right on the inside of the umbrella. It actually worked out pretty well for me. I didn't have to worry about my head being hit with rain at all from the sides or anything. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do next. So when she asked me if I wanted to go to the Alamo I said sure! Earlier that day in the arena, I stood in line to get Kathy some water and some ladies I met in line from Texas couldn't believe I had been there since Thursday and hadn't seen the Alamo. I asked them about the Alamo without hinting I knew something about it and they said I can't believe you don't know about the Alamo- I guess we do bc they make a big deal about it in Texas. Well, I knew about the Alamo but I wanted to hear about it from their perspective. They didn't really tell me anything. We took the trolley to the Alamo and it was so much larger than I expected. I thought all that was left was a rock! There are buildings. We walked through and looked at everything. As we were walking through Kathy and I talked about the No Other Gods study the Siestas did. She told me her God was shopping. So when we went to the gift shop and she said she wanted to buy something, I was like noooo! Haha. She only bought like one little thing.

Then we ended up at the mall because she was going to the Pajama Party some siestas had planned that night. I was lucky Emily had found out about it. Kathy wasn't originally going to go but her roommate who couldn't come to San Antonio at all was so she took her place. So we set out for some pajamas. We found these cute green with polka dots pair that I convinced her to get at Macy's. Well, when we went down the elevator in the same store she saw some loungewear that she said she'd wear more and some slippers that matched pretty well. So she returned the cute polka dot pajamas I liked so much and got that. I still give her a hard time about it. But later when we went to LPL in Memphis in October 2009 she said she did wear her loungewear often.

The Pajama Party was downstairs in a room in the hotel. There was even pizza on these fancy tray-like things. I was like, wow, I feel like an adult. Adult parties are fun! We had a blast. We divided into groups and I was the runner bc I was the youngest. One of the things we did was whoever finds their index card the fastest. I know there were some more that were more exciting than that but all I remember was have someone from your group do the worm. Everyone looked at me, I guess bc I was the youngest and I was like no way. I am not flexible and do not want to smash myself on the floor. Well, Rachel, who was in another group, did the worm! She was fantastic. :) And then later some Siestas gave their testimonies. Our Siestas really are amazing.

The next morning Rachel had to leave early- sad. Emily's mom's best friend and her husband drove quite a distance from their house in Texas to take Emily to breakfast. I was lucky to be able to join. Breakfast was great and we even saw Amy from MinistrySoFabulous at Denny's. They took us to the airport and then we flew back to Atlanta.

We stopped at McDonalds outside of Atlanta. That is the first time I remember seeing TVs in a McDonalds. Seems normal now. It was on the news. I don't like the news but Emily does so that was good for her. On the drive back home, I tried to savor my time with Emily. We had so much fun that I was sad we would be separating. Once we got to her house, I got to meet her boys. They are so cute!

So it was an amazing trip! I had so much fun I was sad it was over. So I went back to my house (I only lived in my senior year) and slept there for the 2nd time ever. I had moved in the day before my trip! I couldn't find the cowboy boot earrings I got for my roommate- sad day. I'm still hoping they'll turn up! Anyway, it was totally worth skipping the first two days of my last year of college to go on my amazing trip! Loved it and loved meeting my new friends. :)