So when I left off a while ago, I had just told you about last year's conference and my growing feeling of trepidation that this year would be any different or actually get through both of our thick skulls and do any good.
Jake got in at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday night. I was sewing new buttons on one of Emily's favorite dresses and I had to scramble to put it aside without sticking my fingers with the needle or losing the buttons because I knew as I heard him walking up the stairs that there wasn't anything more important at that moment than letting him know I missed him. For those of you who may be reading this who aren't married or in a serious relationship, that involves jumping up, meeting him halfway (while not posing a hazard of falling down the stairs and hurting ourselves) and kissing like crazed, hormonally charged teenagers until we are forced to come up for air. :) (Hey, no one is forcing you to read this. Don't be such ninnies. LOL)
We spent a few hours together talking and telling each other happy anniversary (that we both hated he had to miss.) We exchanged cards and I gave him the tickets to Wicked that I had purchased the week before. Then it was after midnight and I had to get up at 6 to see the kids to school, so we went to sleep.
Thursday morning came WAY too early. In fact, here's a little true something about morning people (I'm not one) and the birdies "singing" outside the window...
But I digress...
I got my butt up out of the bed (whiiiiiiinnnne. Complaaaaaiiiiiinnn!) and got the Cute Gremlins up, ready, out the door and on the bus. By then it was getting late in the morning, you know- nearly 7:30! and we had stuff to do so I got a shower and dressed and then got Emily dressed and put her hair up in pigtails and Jake said "It's so cuuuuute! UGH. It's disgusting!" :) LOL
We took Emily to Jake's Grandmother's house for a while so that we could spend time together looking at some furniture/antique places. There's this French style dresser I want for the room redo and I found a pretty good one for a really great price over on Clairmont Rd. If it's still there when he gets back from the Birmingham job, he said we'll bring his truck and come get it. If it isn't, it wasn't meant to be. I can live with that. We went to a few other places in Tucker, though, just to see what else there was available (nothing!) and we had lunch in this little cafe that has great BBQ. I didn't really want BBQ though, so Jake got that and I had the chicken salad. It was really good!
From there we headed over to Fernbank Museum to see the Mythical Creatures exhibit. That's my "Go Here Thursday" post*, so look for that to show up a little later. (I'll post links, don't worry.)
It was a great exhibit but it wasn't overly huge and we spent maybe 2 hours looking at and reading everything, after which we picked Emily up and headed back to Douglasville.
We dropped her off at home with my mom and Grandmother. I grabbed my Bible and the conference tickets and we were off to the Church at Chapel Hill for the event. It's a good sized venue and we sat around the middle (ish). I got the nice people in front of us to take this:
|Yes, Jake really is that much taller than me. :)|
The event started off a little different than the last one, because they showed this short text on the screens and the guy reading it came out from one of the front rows and proposed to his girl! It was sooooo sweet!
Warren Barfield came out on the stage then to lead the worship. He said "I'm glad she said yes, because it would have been really hard to follow that if she'd said no!" :) We sang this song to get things going:
Then he introduced Kirk Cameron and we settled in for a couple of hours of AMAZING teaching and worship. I seriously can't even put it all here, because it was just such an experience more than a lesson or anything. I cried a lot because of the topics that hit home, but you know what, that was ok because I wasn't the only one.
Warren came back out after intermission with this song, which was the theme for the Fireproof movie. He didn't write it for the movie. He wrote it for his wife when they had gotten in an enormous fight and things looked pretty bleak. I've looked for the story on you tube, but I couldn't find it. He tells it with humor, you know, like looking back on it there were funny parts. But then he gets serious about it and honestly tells the audience that he understands what he almost lost that night. I bet he's told the story over 100 times by now and he is so humble and affected still. He means every word about how he's sorry for what he said to her and how he acted and there is such honest emotion in the song as he plays it.
I wish I could tell you how many couples came to the front when Warren played "I Surrender All" and Kirk gave the alter call to kneel and pray. But I couldn't see where I was going, because I was still crying, and Jake led me up there with him and honestly, I wasn't event staff taking a head count. (None of them did either. They were all up there with us, praying.) It was a lot, because there wasn't much room to maneuver, but somehow we all fit up there, on our knees. We were allowed to stay up there as long as we needed to, to ask forgiveness and a fresh start from the Lord and our spouses.
Jake wants to go again next year, only he wants the VIP tickets that give us front seats and a 30 minute Q & A with Kirk. If you are able, PLEASE attend this conference when it comes near you. God will show up and He will change you and your marriage.
Lord God, give my Jake a new wife in me. I will fight for him against anything Satan can think to throw at us. This is a battle and I'm not going anywhere. I'm fighting. Because our marriage is worth fighting for.
*The Mythical Creatures exhibit closes tomorrow in Atlanta, but check your local Natural History Museum to see if it's coming somewhere near you. It's been to other cities like Boston, NY, Sydney and Ontario.