Almost 20 years ago, I had just put all 4 of the kids to bed, barely dragging through the, "I love you. Let's pray. Stay in bed," routine and fell full into a comfy chair weary to the bone. Constant laundry, dishes, messes, fusses, and then all over again. I glanced over at Clay and whispered,
"This is the hardest thing I have ever done! Sometimes I just don't think I will make it. I feel so alone at times."
As we talked, he said, "What would help you?"
I wish there was a fun conference in a hotel. There would be clean sheets that no one else had slept in, chocolates, friends and a tea or luncheon to make me feel special and speakers who would inspire me, but without gult, to remember why I am doing this idealistic life."
I longed for validation, hope, rest, fun, adults and encouragement but didn't know where to get it.
"Well, you know, we could start a conference like that!" Clay said.
Not exactly what I had in mind, but it captured my imagination.
And the rest is history. 18 years ago we hosted our first Mom Heart (Whole Hearted Mom) conference, hoping for 300 and we had 650 with 50 turned away. Evidently, I was not the only one who needed a break.
Each year, I feel more deeply the need for sweet moms who pour themselves out constantly to have such a break. But now, after all of these years, I know they are a blast as well as a lifeline to so many moms over the years.
I am so excited to announce that registration is now open for our conferences this year. I believe they will be the best one yet, as I have talked to our speakers about their messages, their heart for God and their love for motherhood and they are spilling over with encouragement, even as the past speakers have been. Below is the letter I have written to all of the moms who have attended before. I hope you will find yourselves amongst these words! This year's conference will be all about a new book I am launching in January about the secret to Owning Your Personal Life and leaving a lasting legacy through the story you live out in the places you live. I am so excited to share this book and these messages with you! Read my heart!
Dear Sweet Mom,
Like you, I love being with my children. It is always a delight when I can spend time with them, draw them out, encourage them, and help them. In this new season of my life, it is so fulfilling to see what God is doing in their young lives. They truly are the reward and blessing of parenthood that God promises. In many ways I feel that I live for my children, and yet I know instinctively that my children are not my life. God wants me to reach for more–to leave a legacy of faith not just through my children, but through the life He has given me to live. I believe He is calling me to own my life for His glory.
After over forty years of serving Christ, and over thirty years of marriage and parenting, I feel like I can understand Paul’s words to the Philippian church, “But one thing I do … I press on toward the goal for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul knew that he had to choose to own his life for the sake of Christ–he had one chance to live the one life he was given for God. It is a choice I made in my early twenties after reading Philippians 3:7-14 and have lived by ever since as a woman, wife, and mother. When Tyndale Publishing House asked me to write my new book, Own Your Life, I took it as a challenge not only to look back at my life of walking with God, but also as an opportunity to encourage Christian women.
So this year, I want to talk about how you, as a mom, can own your life. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean doing more than you’re already doing, as though activity is the mark of ownership. Guilt is not on the agenda! Rather, I want every mother to leave our conferences this year with a renewed and refreshed conviction that you can say with Paul: “I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” I want you to see that what you are doing as a mother is part of that “one thing” that He has for your life. I want you to find deep, rich, and meaningful fulfillment in the life of faith you are giving for your children and living for God.
Each year, I am reminded afresh that our weary world needs a restoration of biblical motherhood–women who have chosen to own their lives for God’s glory. Mary, when told by the angel Gabriel that she would be the mother of the Son of God, responded with faith: “I am the Lord’s servant … May it be done to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). She owned the life God was giving her. She embraced the legacy He had for her. This Mom Heart Conference is just one way I can partner with the Spirit of God to encourage and equip a generation of mothers to be ready and willing to serve God no matter what. We all can live a legacy of faith.
This will be my 18th year of ministering to moms in these conferences, and I continue to be energized and excited about what God is doing through mothers in this generation. I hope you will join me this year as we reach out together to take hold of all God has for us as mothers.
In his heart,
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks. For all of you who register this month, we are giving a special early rate discount for the conference as well as a $10 gift certificate to use at the conference book tables. And at the end of the month, we will draw from all of the moms who have registered and give one of the moms a free conference and a full refund to the conference of her choice! Hope you can join us! Share with your friends and have a retreat together! We so appreciate your helping us get the word out! Hope you can come. And let me know some of the messages you hope to hear!
For more information, go HERE and you will find registration! Share the button in your sidebar to let others know!