I will admit I have been a little cheesed out by the idea of Time Out For Women in the past. I knew it had great things to offer but I had only gone once and didnt have a lot of experience with it. I went to one earlier this year with a BAD ATTITUDE. I was in a little bit of a funk (whoa big surprise) and a bit overwhelmed by life and I was not in the mood for fluff. I was being a brat. I went Friday night and didn’t go back Saturday.

When I related my experience to BFF Lonni she got the idea in her head that we should go to ANOTHER TOFW. Of course the idea of meeting up with her (she left me and moved to Minnesota 5 1/2 years ago) made the idea irresistible. So we got our tickets for the Las Vegas event. Here we are with the most amazing Pianist (and his crazy vegas hair!)

It was SO good. Hilary Weeks songs were so beautiful and it felt like the speakers were saying so many things that I needed to hear. When they were introducing themselves and giving little blurbs on what they would be speaking about Wendy Ulrich said “When I was a girl I had a butterfly and I lost it, I looked all over the yard for hours, I prayed and prayed to find it, and I searched for it everywhere. But I never found the butterfly.” Lonni leaned over and said “If she had found the butterfly I would have walked out.” 🙂 We were not in the mood for fluffy stories, we wanted to hear the real life experiences and that was what we got! Wendy’s full presentation really resounded with me. Here’s the brief outline:

There is hope that lifts- and hope that holds us back.
Four False Hopes:
1.The false hope of Undoing.
(Wishing for a better past, that we can UNDO the past. Instead look at the things we would like to change and recognize what we learned from them.)
2.The false hope that we can Prevent things from happening.
(That we can prevent loved ones from making mistakes, or prevent bad things from happening to us. Instead we can trust our lives are in His care, we can grow and endure from heartache.)
3.The false hope of Certainty.
(That we will never doubt or be deceived by anything. That we can be certain of the future. Instead have intellectual maturity to know we cant be certain of everything but we can be CERTAIN of the Lord. We can love, repent, do all we can. Our character is shaped and demonstrated by what we bet our lives on and why. Move forward with conviction and peace not expectation of certainty.)
4. The false hope of Control.
(If I just had -fill in the blank- THEN I could get on with my destiny. Trying to control the actions of others. Letting the actions of other control what we do. Instead try to see the miracles in what we do have to rejoice in. Try to embrace the way our loved ones are instead of trying to make them change.

Of course there are the TRUE REAL HOPES that we can trust in:
-The Power of Christ to redeem our sins and losses
-Hope in our capacity for RESILIENCE
-Hope in Humility and trust in God
-Hope in our right to rejoice despite what we have lost.

I loved this. I felt so grateful for such inspired messages and of course a good friend who would fly cross country to meet me!

(The hope photo is from http://iheartglasscity.com/)