Thank you, God, for an amazing weekend. I heard You. I felt You. I saw You work. You made me smile. And cry. You made me a little giddy. And filled me with awe.

You allowed me to be humbled. And humbled again. And then a few more times after that. (I’m still recovering.) You showed me a lot of things about myself that I didn’t really care to know. And some things that I was delighted to discover.

Mostly, You showed me a lot of things about YOU. How awesome You are. How glorious and worthy of worship. And about what it means to serve You. And about how beautiful it is to meet so many other women who desire nothing more than to serve You. And about how many people there are who need You.

You showed me that I don’t have to feel guilty for having books with my name on them when so many women want to write a book so badly (er, want so badly to write a book, I should say). You told me that I don’t have to shrink so that others won’t be jealous. It’s not about me anyway. It’s about your glory, and I’m going to bring you as much of it as I possibly can.

I’ve never met so many women in one place who were so genuinely thrilled for each other’s “success.” There is a greater need than all of us together can ever fill.

You showed me that while I am a gifted talker, I have a looooong way to go before I can be called a talented speaker. You showed me that while rabbit trails and being funny have their place, I need to work on communicating a clear and helpful message that women can take away and apply to their lives.

You allowed me to meet sweet, delightful Sophie and hug her neck and share some laughs. You brought me wonderful Joanie from Joysey (a city in NY ) when I prayed that I’d find at least one friend at the conference. You made me run into Angie, who I haven’t seen since I graduated from college 11 years ago. You plopped some sweet new friends into my life, and what a blessing.

You whispered in some speakers’ ears, “There’s a gal named Marla out there who needs you to speak this exact sentence right now, please. Thanks.”

You provided me with amazing in-laws who watched our girlies for 72 hours, so this weekend could be a reality for me. And I never had to worry for a second if they were being loved, protected, cared for, or having a blast. I knew they were. What a blessing.

You also showed me how much I love my babies and miss them when I’m away from them. Every time I saw a little girl in the hotel, tears sprung (sprang?) into my eyes.

You helped Gabe and me talk through some important things.

You protected us on the drive home through the mountains with zero-visibility-flash-storms-complete-with-hailstones.

You showed me that if I ever hope to be truly funny, I have to move to the South, wait 20 years to develop an accent, learn to tolerate (and then love) grits, and wear funky, wedgy heels. Oh, there’s just no hope!

You answered some specific, direct, really direct prayers. Like, “Lord, I have to leave in 30 seconds, and I have no idea if Fran is even still here (I haven’t seen her in 24 hours), but on my way out the door, could you make me run into her so I can give her this book?” I turned around, and there she was.

And some other stuff that just dropped my jaw.

God, like Lindsey sang, will You move me aside? Will You move in me? I want to follow, obey, love, and glorify You. To rest in You. To be used by You.

Thank You.
In Jesus’ Name,

23 thoughts on “home

  1. ClutzyButtercup

    The funny thing is, I did have to move to the south to be funny…I didn’t meet my hubby until I moved south (he is from Cheektowaga, NY) and he has helped me develop a sense of humor.

  2. mtaviano

    @debra parker – Oh my word, Debra. I just checked out your site. You’re fabulous. And the scrapbook paper (but not scrapbooking), eating out, shopping at junk stores for home decor. That’s ME! Oh my word. I love you.

  3. Anonymous


    Thank you so much for your book! I read the intro today! I love the girlfriend talk style. And yes, I flipped to the sections about sex first! Why not? In marriage it is a gift from God! I am so looking forward to reading it over the next week or so! I read your post. Please continue to listen to God! Any success of yours is from Him. You know that and you clearly give Him all the glory!  I love your family photos! Your husband is right—submit!!! Promote the books God  led you to write!!!

    Many Blessings!!! In the love of Jesus! Fran

  4. KmHunsberger

    sounds so good that I want to go to the next one…for real. I even looked up the website. Sounds like an awesome time!! Praise the Lord for your refreshment!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous

    Marla, that sounds amazing.  I’m so glad God is stiring in His kids.  No… smashingly humbled, overwhelmingly grateful, and deeper joy than I can express in words, glad that God is moving in us.  Praise Him.  We need not apologize when He is glorified.  Christ is in us, lovey.  He keeps what it is His, and shares what He chooses.  Loved reading this, thanks for sharing.  Bless ya, girl.

  6. MlleBaroque

    Depends on what part of the South you’re referring to.  My friends in Mississippi all have cool accents, but the only thing I have is a tendency to say “y’all.”  I remember traveling up to Ohio about six years ago and meeting people who were disappointed that I sounded just like them.  You have to be a small-city Texan to have any kind of an accent and even that’s not really anything.  Oh, and I despise grits, but my dad loves them and he’s from Ohio (go figure).  I’m not sure about the funky wedges…that’s more of a Californian thing.

  7. lites4Him

    YEAH!!! So glad to hear that once again prayers were answered, that God was exalted and praised and that you were blessed (and were a blessing) in the process. Thanks for sharing your weekend with us!! May His presence remind you how very much you are loved as you adjust back to life at home after a glory-filled weekend. 🙂

  8. terriwright

    It’s true about the South, you know. I HAVE some wedge heels I can loan you, but there’s no faking the accent. Just come down and visit a little…..I’ll mentor you.

    I’m glad you’re all filled up now. rest and revel in it today.

  9. FlyingCAB

    this is wonderful!  I’m so thankful for all of it.  And thank you for posting praises too – I think it’s important that we remember to rejoice with each other as well as lift up needs!  Welcome back =)

  10. jessyomama

    I’m so glad that GOD has prepared HIS works for us to do… so we don’t have to feel weird or ashamed. I’m glad you do what you do. I’m glad that God does not have me doing that. I spoke once and didn’t like it – I much prefer getting into people’s lives on an individual basis. I love how diverse He’s made His body – it works!

     I’m glad that you’re doing what God has prepared for you to do. Do it, girl. Don’t shrink so that other people don’t get jealous. You become less so that He can become greater. 🙂 Love you!

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