My lesson was all typed and printed out but I hadn't had much of a chance to go over it a few times. Joanna had asked me to speak on the character of the heart, which immediately brought to mind the lessons on the heart that I have been teaching my Children's Church class since that position was given to me in November.
Commended Character was the title and the following was the summary: "An examination of the 'heart' of the character that is displayed through the actions and reactions of daily living. Does your character proclaim a beauty that is rooted deep within?"
The Lord had laid this message heavily on my heart but I felt unprepared to give it until the previous night while in service in Rio Bravo, Mexico (further detailed in previous blog).
As an extremely independent woman, I've had to learn a hard lesson on trusting and depending on others when ministering away from home. The hardest part was not having a vehicle and being able to leave whenever and wherever I want/need. Nevertheless, I was extremely grateful for those who drove me to the places I needed to go.
The morning of the conference I hitched a ride with my aunt who was taking her daughter to join in on the event. I had agreed to try my best to be at the church in Pharr (I was staying in Weslaco) at 8:30 to help with registration but when I finally got a ride it was past 8:30! The Conference was scheduled to begin at 9 am but once we swung by my aunt's house to pick up another group of girls that were going to follow us to Pharr. By the time we got to Pharr it was past 9 and we realized before we got off the expressway that we had lost the girls behind us! Need I mention that one of my pet peeves is being tardy! :O I knew it was out of our control but when we finally found the girls and arrived to the church at 9:20, I was nearly a nervous wreck, especially since my lesson was the first one after the opening message. Once we got there and got started, everything was fine.
Joanna opened up with the testimony of her vision that started Princess Conference, then followed along with some fun icebreakers and unique giveaways for the girls.
I used 2 different illustrations: a hand-held mirror and a Christmas ornament to emphasize my points on the condition of the heart, the outpouring of the heart, and the priceless value of the heart.
A few weeks prior, in the midst of my Bible reading, 1 Peter 3:4 jumped out at me.
"The character of your heart is the ornament or adornment of your spirit. God sees it and soon, so will everyone else around you..."
... was the message that I found in the midst of that verse. By looking out into the audience I knew that my prayers were being answered. God was reaching their longing hearts through the words He had given me for this particular lesson. How humbled am I to know that He would use such a seemingly insignificant one as me?!
After my session, it was Sis. Debbie Sparkman's turn to speak, then we all headed to the fellowship behind the building, which was beautifully decorated. Since our church was just asked to host one on March 1, I was getting ideas as to how we would decorate or prepare for ours.
We played a few fun games then headed back to the church for one last session and the drama we had been practicing. Sis. Carol Allender spoke on "Preparing to be a Wife" and it was a privilege to hear her many stories of life as a missionary to Mexico and many other regions.
We finally put on the drama Jalisa, Julie, and myself had been anxious about and it went pretty good with just a few slip ups. The day went really fast but it was such a wonderful experience!
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and privilege to participate in such an event and SO excited that our church is hosting one in just a few weeks!
It was also a good opportunity to get away from the cold for a little bit. I left my coat with my mom at the airport in South Bend, then kind of wished that I still had it when I stepped off the plane in Minneapolis with my flip flops and a thin plaid shirt on! The layover was only an hour but it was cold on the flight to South Bend. :/
Made it home late Monday night and arrived in time to witness another crazy snow storm and arctic temperatures! Grateful for a warm house, working car, and food in abundance. God is good and faithful!