Throw Back Thursday | Ambassador Conference

Thursday, February 27, 2014


2014 started big. It seems that when the big sparkly ball dropped in NYC, a ton of big stuff dropped in my lap with it. Big for me at least. Big in a God pulling back the veil and letting me see what's around the corner big. And in those seasons of the journey I often just have to sit with my thoughts before I can get them out.

February was the Noonday Conference in Austin Texas and I can't even fathom what word would justly describe that experience.  I have tried to blog about it a million times and I want to tell you all just how powerful you are.

Yes you, all of you who have fallen in love with Noonday and purchased from our artisans through me or another ambassador, it is really making a huge impact!

Noonday Collection is so near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. I love Jesus, I love seeing people live free and out of fear of the future. I love seeing hope restored where oppression once swallowed their every dream, and where time seemed to take more away than it ever promised to give. 

I love being able to shine light into darkness. I love being able to love people I will likely never meet because of no other reason than because God loved me first and he planted deep in my hear to make others feel that same love. And probably my favorite part is because I get to pull people along with me as I go. My friends, their friends, we all get to have this opportunity to restore dignity to another human being and help them to see and feel their worth. Humbling is an understatement.

I love that I ended up hopping in a car with a total stranger at the airport where I was stranded because my ride's plane was delayed in another city. I found said stranger because I noticed her Noonday arm party while we were unloading our carryon's from the overhead bins. Amber, from NC, who shares my kind of funny, led me to Jen Thrift from Cali who loves to drive fast in very small cars and was happy to have me tag along. This led to the most fun three days I have had in a long time. We were so supposed to meet just like that. And then, Meghan finally caught up with us when her flight got in and she totally added to the domination of our west coast lovely. :)

I can never get enough spontaneous like that in my life.

 




Then there was meeting Jalia. No greater honor have I had in a long time, than to hold the precious hands of someone who lives across the globe and knows my same Jesus the way I do. When you love Jesus, the world becomes so much smaller, your people are God's people and it's so natural and beautiful to feel so connected to people who sit in communities half a world away. God's love weaves tightly together the threads of our hears and the visions of hope in our futures. He is so good.


 



I love the friendships that grew so effortlessly in the summer camp like environment that was our weekend conference destination. The long, rocky dirt road led to a collection of tiny log cabins scattered around a large conference space.

As we pulled up, we were directed to sign in, then we were given a map, a key and a sweet little swag bag and sent out to find our way and meet our room mates for the weekend if we didn't know them already. That in itself is exhilarating for me who's days often feel routine and mundane. I remember rolling my suitcase down that rocky road and feeling so excited. You know the excited you felt when you were 12 and at summer camp, it was just like that, except I was dressed much cooler and felt much more confident in my own skin, thank.you.Jesus.

It just felt like an adventure, something totally out of the norm for a working Mom of a lot of little hands and feet and so anticipated. Time to just discover people, and Jesus and where He is taking me. All while dragging a suitcase down a dusty Texas Road looking for the door that my key would fit into and the people that I would share my space with. So simple, yet so
profound.




 
 
 
Well, here we are again. I wish I would have had my big camera, but I just didn't. I mean I packed for the weekend in a carry on. But this is probably may favorite photo of us. I seriously feel like we were all somehow separated at birth, I mean look at us... I have also come to the conclusion that I have very few blonde friends... If you are one, consider yourself special and a part of a very elite group, because obviously I tend to lean towards the brunettes. :)
 

 
 
Enter blonde bombshell friends.. Brandi and Shannon. Have mercy. Not enough time or space for all the ways I love these two. Shannon bravely initiated a trip to Haiti this past summer and I leapt at the opportunity to have my feet back on rocky Haitian ground. We had the best time and what a group! She was such a catalyst for such special moments. I would have never met my awesome teammates, Kathy who is one of the bravest women I know, sacrificing her own family to give those sweet babies their forever families. I'd have never gotten to add ditch digging/building to my plethora of knowledge or had the opportunity to sit out on a ledge overlooking Kenskoff drinking cold Haitian beer with new friends contemplating what God wanted from us in those moments. Everyday at 7, I think of those times and smile. I would have never had my heart stolen by Alfarado, that sad little face who's heart truly melted into mine over the week and who's blankness turned to joy through the simple act of touch and love and attention given. And then there's Brandi... Shannon had told me how awesome she was, then I met her at Allume and seriously.... We totally sat and bawled through our stories together... SHOCKER... Love her beautiful self so much I can't even stand it. I so wish we were closer. I'd give anything to have these two blondes in my reach on a daily basis. The bonds we share are sacred spots in my soul.


 
 
And then there's this girl, just wow! I am so inspired by people who are just cool and confident and generous. I met this sweet girl on the first night and told her immediately that if I was as capable of her awesomeness as she was I would be so over the moon. Her hair is hands down the inner edgy me's dream do. I am a huge fan of PINK and this girl has that cool factor. Love her. She was also such a blessing to me. Long story short, I lost my Bible and this navy scarf about 4 months ago, it's driving me crazy. They are my two favorite things other than my family. I had posted a silly prayer request on our ambassador fb page praying for me to find it. The last morning she was wearing the scarf and I made some random, "oh girl you know I have scarf envy, still haven't found mine yet." and kept moving. I ended up sitting near her for the last session that am and as I was getting settled I felt a hand on me. I turned and in her hands was the scarf. "You take it, God told me it should be yours and you will wear it well, it hasn't held a Haitan baby like yours, but it can hold something else in the future."
 
I think my heart stopped. Seriously, I can't take this scarf, it's hers and it's discontinued and I don't need it, I have plenty. All of those things raced though my head and then I heard one simple word.
 
Pride.
 
I was too prideful on one hand and too pitiful on the other. I didn't feel like I deserved the gift, yet I was too proud to see the need of it either. As a tear slid down my cheek and I hugged her later, I confessed and I thanked her for loving me. I am a giver and a nurturer and I would have done the same thing in a heartbeat, but for whatever reason I don't allow myself to be loved the same. She loved me that day and she spoke to my heart in a profound way. I wore it that day and I have lots of days since then and every time I do, I think about her rockstarness in my eyes that simply is the outer shell of her immeasurable beauty inside. I also think of my sweet Haitian baby who I wrapped in the old one and of the future and what it holds that I can't yet see and I remember to hope. Sweet girl. Love you much!


 
This girl. Lover her face, and her heart, and her words and her cute little naturally radiant self. She's like this sweet little explosion. So sweet, yet so unknowingly powerful. 
 
I almost didn't put this in here bc, well, I have this weird aversion to the perceived stardom obsession that seems to seemingly consume so many in our culture, even the Christian culture. It drives me nutso. I never want to appear that I am idolizing a human because what truly, honestly inspires me is the work that comes from obedience to God through people of any level of knownness. You could be homeless or the president and I'd want to eat you up all the same. So, if I am gonna introduce you to my other inspiring friends, it's dumb to not introduce you to this girl too, for fear of what you will think of me. whatever.....  I love these people and I am so inspired by what God is doing in all of them. God is so good and so busy it seems, right?
 
Meet Jennie, author of Resless and visionary and founder of the IF:Gathering. I truly feel like the pages of her book came from the farthest, deepest corners of my heart. She is a soul sister and kindred spirit for sure. Fears, dreams, passions, purpose. I love how God places those people in your life through the most unlikely circumstances to affirm you and to press you into the next season. So, here's to you my precious little blonde Texan. I love you and I love your heart. Thanks for being braver than you sometimes thought you could be and for not giving up when you wanted to and for being so transparent and real, my most favorite qualities in a person. Thanks for dreaming big and putting yourself out there and opening the door to take so many of us with you. We are all in this together! You are a treasure and I am so stinkin' proud of you!
 





Aghhhhh and to think, just a few weeks ago she was sitting in her workshop dreaming of getting on a plane fore the first time ever and playing through in her mind being fitted for the perfect pair of cowboy boots! Sweet Jalia had her first bonfire and smore while at the conference. What a great time. She is the most amazing, resilient, funny, lovable, adaptable woman I know. Such fun to get to watch her live out soooooooooo many of her dreams. Boots were purchased, plane rides made, snow experienced, food explored and sleeping in a bed for the first time without a mosquito net ever was checked off the list. Those things are so profound and I am so thankful to be a part of Noonday and the family that makes people's dreams come true every day.

The Noonday family is unique and diverse and beautiful. If you have never hosted a trunkshow, you should. Bring the stories of hope into your homes and into your hearts. Connect yourself to likeminded women, weave together your story with another mother across the globe or down the street and just simply reach out your arms to what God is asking you to do. These things above are the kinds of fruit that follows if we will simple step out on the water and obey.

Thanks for visiting! Hope you enjoyed a peak into our Noonday Conference! If that isn't enough, check our this awesome video! So fun! Make sure you turn the music off at the bottom of the website so you don't have an overlap when the video starts. :)






1 comment:

  1. love you re-cap post!! what a special special group. what a special special weekend...makes me sorta sad wondering if i can ever do that again!!

    i love linking arms with you friend!!!
    you'e awesome!

    ReplyDelete

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