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Real

Lights are low, music is loud, laughter is everywhere. We’re dancing and praising.
Hands in the air.

Reflection.
Wisdom.
6,000 other Moms sharing…
Tears.

A jolt to the system. A burst of refreshment. A new way of seeing.
Change.
Exhaustion.

I’ve been to conferences before… to large gatherings of Christians who share wisdom and struggles. These events from my youth got the adrenaline rushing and the high filled me up.

And then what happened?
Often I learned something. Frequently, I took something away. But never was I as exhausted as I am when I leave Hearts at Home.

I’m older now, of course. And I understand more about life changes. And mercy and grace. But I think there is something else different about Hearts.
There’s nothing wrong with these gatherings I went to years ago. They had a purpose in my life.
But the Hearts at Home mission is so clear, there is no confusion about what it offers me. I know how I fit in here. And because this mission is clear, the Holy Spirit can easily work miracles.

This year’s theme was Real Moms. Real Lives. Real Stories.
You can imagine that I loved this theme. It reiterates the things that spoke to me my first Hearts at Home conference. (This was my 6th! Wow.) Here are 5 Truths founder and Executive Director of Hearts at Home, Jill Savage shared in opening session:

Moms –
1. You are not alone.
2. We all have 3 kinds of stories: humorous, heartwarming, hard
3. We need to share our stories because they help other moms feel normal.
4. We are real moms and we need a real relationship with Jesus.
5. Today is the first day of the rest of your story.

By the end of the trip I was emotionally drained and exhausted. I had little left for my friends. I could barely carry on conversation. (Sorry girls!) But like one of my friends said – “The great thing about this conference is that I can’t wait to get home to my family when it’s over.” So true. Maybe Saturday night I didn’t have the energy to implement much, but I brought so much back that is Real, that I can use. And besides that stuff, I brought back a renewed mission and a new mindset. A Real one. I’m not a perfect Mom and I don’t have perfect kids. My husband lacks perfection (at least some of the time 🙂 and our circumstances are certainly not perfect. But my Jesus is. And so is His strength. And He knows all this and gave me what I need – the recipe for the family that honors Him. My real Jesus made me a real mom with a real story that needs to be written for Him.

Today is the first day of the rest of my story.

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