I know me. I know about the wordiness. You wouldn’t read this if I didn’t break it up.
I didn’t share about my trip to Houston earlier, because I wasn’t sure it would happen. But then came the miracles. And I totally meant to fly down on Friday a.m. and back Saturday p.m., but I couldn’t find a flight to fit my schedule. So Thursday to Sunday it was.
I got up at 1:55 a.m. Thursday (after nearly 2 whole hours of sleep), showered, kissed my babies, left them with my wonderful mother-in-law (thank you, Janelle!) and headed to the airport with Gabe. The Columbus airport is super-close to my house, and we waved to it on our way to Dayton (where flights were cheaper). We left at 2:40, got there at 4:00. Checked in at 4:15. Waited. Flight left for Charlotte at 5:28.
p.s. I started Crazy Love in the Dayton airport and finished it in the air on the way home. It was perfect reading for a weekend where God lavished His love all over me. Oh, how I want to pour it out all over everybody else!
Flew from Charlotte to Houston, lost an hour, landed at 10ish. My dear friend Kelli and her beautiful (and brilliant) daughter Caroline picked me up, Chick-Fil-A biscuit in hand. We hung out at Kelli’s. The weather was gorgeous. 76 and sunny. Caroline and I took a nap. When Chris got home, we headed to Lupe Tortilla for fajitas. Yum and yum. Then I got to meet Kelli’s wonderful parents.
Kelli and I chatted for quite awhile after Caroline went to bed, then hit the hay ourselves. Me? I got to sleep in what Gabe refers to as “the most comfortable bed of the whole Zoo Trip.” He ain’t kidding.
Up early for MOPS. Total God thing. Kelli’s MOPS group meets every other Friday morning. Their speaker for that a.m. had canceled. And it just so happens that I’m familiar with this sort of thing. I gave the Sex Talk, and they were wildly supportive and responsive. I hope and pray that God will use it to bring glory to himself in lots of marriages. Loved meeting you awesome girls!
Lunch with Kelli and her friends (and now mine!) Devon and Kimberly. All 3 of them have beautiful little almost-2-year-old girls. So much fun! Then soaking up the beautiful weather on the back porch. Then at 4:30, we headed to the church for the Siesta Scripture Memory Celebration!
Kelli was meeting up with lots of blog friends, and I had plans to hook up with Melanie and Amanda. I hadn’t seen them since April (which is actually the only time I’ve ever seen them), and it was soooo wonderful to reconnect. Amanda had hostessing duties, so I assigned myself the unofficial position of Big Mama Bodyguard/Photographer. It was so much fun to watch one adorable woman after another run up to Mel and gush, “Big Mama? BIG MAMA! I know you don’t know me, but I read your blog EVERY SINGLE DAY! You are HILARIOUS!”
And beautiful, sweet, gracious, hilarious, humble (seriously, she is one of my heroes) Melanie would say, “Oh, you’re so sweet,” hug her new friend, ask her name, and I would offer to take a picture of the two of them. I kid you not. It was so much fun.
After we sat down in our seats (the fellowship hall that had room for all 500+ of us), the Fan Love continued. And my new friend, the adorable Anna, who was sitting on the other side of me, kept saying, “Marla? Marla! I read your blog, and I LOVE IT!” until I made her stop. (I love you, Anna.)
The event started at 7pm, and it. was. wonderful. I’m not going to get into Beth’s teaching right now because of one thing she said. “Don’t pass it on until it’s planted.” In other words, no need to be tweeting/blogging about messages you hear until you’re sure it has sunk way down into your soul and done some work. I will share about Beth’s teaching soon though, because God was in that room and in my ear, and I can barely stand how much He spoke to me.
Edit (7:44am): Thought about this overnight, and pleeeeease know that I have LOVED what so many of you have already shared from the message (see my comment below). It’s obviously been sinking into your heart. I’m a slow sinker. And, all too often, way too quick to speak. In fact, I’m going to go back and re-read your re-caps soon for optimum sinkage.
Worship with Travis Cottrell. Awesome guy, super talented, HUGE heart for the Lord and His people.
Meet and Greet out in the hallway. I took more pics. (Sadly, I didn’t use my own camera even once. So, I’m at the mercy of those who did. Thankfully, you can find links to all their posts here. Hooray!)
Sometime between 9:30 and 10:00, Amanda whisked Melanie and me off to Freebirds. (kind of like Chipotle, but Texas-style) Mel wrote about it here and Amanda here. It was super yummy. We had a delightful time chatting (and keeping the server-girl from ripping Mel’s jacket from her back in a fit of jealousy). Then Mel headed to her hotel, and we headed to ours.
We met up with a handful of gals in the party room and chatted ’til midnight, then fell into bed. Amanda (whom I will gush about tomorrow) couldn’t sleep and was up hours before the sun. I slept in until almost 7:00. Got ready and headed back to the church for another big day.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 (in which I eat Seafood Crepes and burn my eyeball, but not in the same sitting).