(Guys, I’ve already rewritten this opening about 5 times… send help! Lol!)
Hello again! Welcome back to the blog! What did you all think of my last post – A Musician’s Heart? I hope it made a little bit of sense at least because I really hadn’t planned anything out, per usual, and was feeling pretty rusty after my long absence from writing.
Anyway, let’s just right into today’s post which is about Flourish – the women’s conference – that was hosted at my church about a month ago! It was a two-day conference that was packed full of wisdom, encouragement and practical tools that I have sadly not put to good use yet. (I’m really good at writing down a ton of notes, but sometimes (always) forget to go back and put them into action. I’ll work on that, okay guys?) It was the third conference that the women’s ministry has put on but the first one that I attended, and it was so much fun to be able to attend with my mom and all of my church friends that I’ve made in the past year and a half. I’m so thankful for Mrs. Christy and her heart for the women of our church, and her team that puts together events like this one to help us grow closer to God and His purpose for each of our lives! They all put in so many hours to put this event together and it turned out beautifully!
My friend and fellow blogger, Shanah, my mom and I waited in line for the doors to open, and we ended up in the fifth row which was pretty good considering all of the women that were attending the conference! We had to save over half of the row for all of our friends who were going to sit with us! The conference began with a video montage of the meaning behind what it meant to biblically “flourish” which was the theme of the conference. They went into a choreographed dance routine to a live version of Rachel Platten’s song “Fight Song” that had a whole new meaning afterward. Then we went into a time of worship, which was INCREDIBLE, and also breathtaking to hear and see all of the women worshiping together. After all of these amazing things already, there was another video that marked the speaking portion of the conference which again talked about what it meant to “flourish. I knew it was going to be an amazing night just from all of the events I’d experienced over my almost four years of attending Element. But with what we’d just experienced in our first 45 minutes of the conference, I knew it was going to be mind-blowing, and it was.
The main conference speaker was a historical Christian fiction author, Kristy Cambron, who’s written four books with a fifth book and two verse mapping Bible studies releasing early next year. Now I haven’t kept up with the latest authors or books in a very long time, so I hadn’t heard of her except through the conference but I was intrigued with what she was going to share with us that night. The moment she started talking I already knew I liked her because of the way she spoke with such honesty telling her own story and then moving into the main content of the night. She had a really great message and I learned so many new things from her. She kind of reminded me of my friend, Christian author, and singer, Jenny Simmons, with the way she told her stories with humor and honesty but in her own unique way. I took so many pictures throughout the whole event that I had to go back and sort through them to find the best pictures so I wouldn’t flood this post with pictures only and still ended up with over a dozen.
Kristy’s content was taken from Psalm 92:13-15, which held five promises/tools for us that we would take home and be able to use in the future. We learned to these five things about how to flourish:
1.) Bear Fruit – by abiding in Jesus – John 15:7-8
2.) Fresh – Go and make disciples – Matthew 28:18-20
3.) Flourishing – ask, seek, and knock – Matthew 7:7-8
4.) Declare – let your light shine – Matthew 5:14-16
5.) My Rock – cried out – John 7:37-38
The content of the first general session was so rich, but I only put up the five points with the verses so that I am not just copying all of the points and notes that I’ve taken myself because I am sharing my whole conference experience instead of just the notes. But I do have the link to the complete first night of the conference down below so that you can experience the conference for yourself and jot down your own personal notes. 🙂 I was watching the video as I was writing out these points because my phone notes didn’t have everything that I wanted to include the pictures. It was nice to relive the night through the video, and am glad that church uploaded it online to watch whenever we want to. I will definitely be re-watching it in the future to finish my notes instead of copying them from my phone.
After the first night, they had an after party with snacks, a book signing with Kristy, a merch table, and painting artwork for sale by a local artist and pastor’s wife from the church. They also had dancing as well but I didn’t stay for that because I decided to ride with my parents and they were ready to leave soon after the conference ended. It had been a long day for all of us so I was okay with leaving early, but later wished that I would’ve stayed a while longer. It all worked out because as soon as we got to the car I could feel the tiredness setting in, and was practically asleep in the back seat on the way home. An early day at work, so I could attend the conference, does that to a person. 😉
The second day- Saturday morning – there was a shorter acoustic worship set which I loved because I love acoustic anything, and then Kristy spoke again for a little while about verse mapping. It’s neat to learn about all of the different ways that people come up with to study the Bible, and I realized that I kind of already do the mapping thing just not with Bible verses. I love researching names, and the meanings of different words, and had done a little work with some key words when I was working on re-branding the blog. I had looked up all of the verses with the words: integrity – which I feel like is the Biblical word for authenticity, blameless, uprightness, righteous, honor, and wisdom. I got as far as looking up all the verses with these key words which are part of the first step of verse mapping but never took it any further, so it’s one of my goals this fall to see if I can finish mapping out some of these verses. Here are the steps to verse mapping which can also be found in depth on Kristy’s website – http://www.kristycambron.com
Verse Mapping 101
Start out with prayer
1.) Verse – What verse am I mapping and why?
2.) Design – What is this verse saying to you?
3.) Development – What is the definition of the underlined words?
4.) Actions – What actions develop the story in this verse?
5.) Outcome – What is God’s word saying to me today?
After Kristy had spoken we went into breakout sessions – I had picked one of the sessions and my mom had picked the other session but she didn’t end up coming on Saturday morning. The two sessions that I attended were: The Creative Power of Your Words by Ashley Abbott, and Proverbs 31 Woman by Bernice Benson. I had chosen the first session and had an idea of what it would be about, but it totally wasn’t what I thought it would be. It totally blew my mind though and had so many great things that also tied in with what Kristy had just spoken about. The speaker talked about the power of words and linked words with verses which was really cool.
The second breakout I hadn’t really wanted to go to because I hadn’t picked it, but I’m glad that I did because that one was even better than the first breakout. I learned a lot about the speaker because a lot of her breakout was telling her testimony and how God had changed her into the person she was today. She is also the pastor’s wife of one of our connected churches so that was also cool to learn about as well. That second breakout was definitely my favorite along with the first general session! There was so much wisdom coming all of these different women a part of the conference!
The conference was an incredible two-day experience, and I can’t wait for next year’s conference already! I know it will be just as good, and probably even better than this one! I have loved reliving the conference while writing this post, and hope I was able to relay my excitement and experience through this post! If not, I hope you’ll check out the conference video to experience it for yourself! Hope this post didn’t drag on too long for anyone and was full of some good information for you!
If you’ve read this entire post, and my last post, I just want to take a moment to say thank you for taking that time out of your day to spend some time on my blog! It means a lot to me! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and will be back in a couple weeks when I share another concert experience with you! I hope to continue to share some old and new content with you guys in the coming months, and might be sharing some brand new content of other experience that I’ve had this past year with you guys in the new year! Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a brand new blogging experience for all of us, and one that we will be on together for a long time!
Until next time,