What I Learned From NOT Attending the KidMin Conference

Many of my ministry colleagues are returning home today after five days in Chicago for Group’s KidMin 2012 Conference.  I was heartbroken that I had to cancel my registration at the last-minute, as I thoroughly enjoyed attending last year.

As I reflect on the “conference that wasn’t”, my mind was flooded with things that I learned as a result of NOT attending the conference.  Here’s the shortlist:

  1. Pouting and sulking are for toddlers and preschoolers, not a grown woman.
  2. Disappointment is a part of life.  It just is.
  3. Being green with envy is NOT a good look for me.
  4. Limiting my time on social media during the conference was a good thing.  (Refer back to #3.)
  5. Getting a nasty head cold the day before I was scheduled to leave for the conference was no accident.  I spent much of the weekend in bed with a box of Kleenex and hot tea.  God knew that I’d much rather be at home sick than in a beautiful hotel with thousands of KidMin leaders enjoying the conference without me.  And–I can be a wee bit grumpy when I’m sick. 🙂
  6. Interstate love is palpable.  A few of my ministry colleagues actually said that they missed me being there!  That makes a girl feel so special!

The bottom line is that we all have disappointments.  It’s how we deal with them that show what we’re made of.  And I was reminded just how tough I am.  Besides..if God wills, there’s always next year!

Don’t forget to smile!

Sometimes, children and families who walk through the doors of our church walk in carrying heavy burdens.  Marriage issues, family dynamics, and financial pressures can take a toll on those we serve each week.  While we cannot always lift those burdens, there is one very easy way that we can bring them a little joy:  SMILE!

Genesis 33 tells the story of Jacob and Esau reconciling after Jacob stole Esau’s birthright (see Genesis 27).  Upon their meeting, Jacob says to his brother, “..what a relief it is to see your friendly smile.  It is like seeing the smile of God!” (Genesis 33:10)

Someone might see God through your smile this week.  So go ahead and SMILE!

Dream Big!

Years ago, I was told that I dream too big.  After the initial shock, I began to wonder:  Is there such a thing?  What if I dreamt too small–or not at all?  Would I have had the experiences of being awed by what only God could do?  I am not saying that a person should live in a fantasy world.  But I do believe that dreams help us not stay in a comfortable place, confined by thinking that keeps us in a box.  God has a plan and purpose for us; dreams remind us that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).  Go ahead–dream big!
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish more than we might ask or think.”  Ephesians 3:20, NLT
So what are you dreaming about?  What’s stopping you from dreaming big?