…apparently isn’t staying in Memphis since I’m publishing it here for anyone to read. But some of our memories were just too memorable to keep to ourselves. I know most of you reading this not only didn’t go on this trip but also have no clue who most of these people are, so just bear with me.
We had a great weekend at Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live in Memphis this past weekend. We took 13 ladies plus baby Rylee (Samuel’s future wife), and we truly had a great weekend, in spite of some crazy circumstances. A few of the more memorable moments…
* arriving at the Fed Ex Forum later than we intended (of course), walking as fast as we could the block or so from the van to the doors, then having to continue walking all the way around the building…in the rain…with a baby…and a lady in a wheelchair…and a blind girl…because all of the doors were exit only and we could not find an entrance. We finally found the entrance to the parking garage, and an event worker helped us pull the wheelchair up and around the ramp to get into the building.
* having to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud at Courtney’s whispered comments during the first session. Courtney, you crack me up.
* being struck by the awesome creativity of our Almighty God, when, as we stood waiting for our group to come down from the nosebleeds and thousands of ladies were crowding past, we immediately were able to pick out from the crowd of thousands those few faces that we knew. How creative our God is to make each face distinctly different.
* Pushing Courtney’s wheelchair back to the van, banging her into the signposts, then running her through the puddles in the parking lot.
* Getting to our hotel in Memphis, where 13,000+ women from 32 states are staying in hotels, only to see a woman from Salem as soon as we got into the lobby.
* Finding out that not only did the hotel give us rooms with only one bed and a sofabed when I had reserved two double beds, but the sofabeds did not have pillows and the hotel was out of extra pillows. Nice.
* Finally going to sleep about ??:00 only to have the alarm beep at 5:30 am.
* Being excited to actually arrive at the conference just in time for the doors to open, thinking we would have better seats, but then getting held up by the t-shirts, the camera confiscators, the difficulty of maneuvering a group of thirteen women–including one in a wheelchair and one blind–and a baby through a crowd of thousands, and the lack of accessible elevators for our “special needs” crew, and finally ending up in the exact same section we were in the night before, up so high we almost had altitude sickness.
* Thrilling to my very core as she described the scenes in Revelation 4 and 5 when the Lamb is found worthy to open the scroll and the Plan finally comes to fruition.
* Rejoicing in the faithfulness of God as He describes Himself in Exodus 34:6-7.
* Realizing that we had to go back to the hotel–a good 30 minutes away–because Scharlene’s Bible not only got taken in the hotel accidentally and without her knowledge, but it also got left in the hotel accidentally and without her knowledge.
* Taking a good half hour to make it out of the center due to the same slow-ness inducing issues described above, heading back to the van, deciding to do lunch at the mall right across the street, deciding just to drive a block or two over to park closer, and finally getting parked at our destination about another half hour later. Driving around downtown Memphis can be confusing.
* Having more issues finding our way into buildings. In the parking garage we went up two levels looking for the walkway into the mall, then decided maybe it was on the bottom level, went back down to the bottom, and found the elevator group inside the garage, the stairs group out in the alley with the dumpsters behind the garage, and realized we were separated by a locked gate.
* Finally getting reunited around the other side of the garage, finally making it into the mall, reading the restaurants off the directory, making our choices, and heading into the mall to discover that all of those restaurants were actually not in existence. The only choices were Maggie Moo’s, a chocolate factory, and Jillian’s, where we almost decided to go until we realized that one of our group won’t be 21 until next month.
* Deciding to try TGI Friday’s down the street, being told they had an hour wait, sending Tricia to plead our case, and finally getting seated to eat lunch about an hour and a half after the conference ended.
* Hearing the phones ring as husbands started calling to find out how close their wives were to being home and hearing the wives tell them, “Um, we’re still in downtown Memphis and we still have to go back to the hotel before we head home.”
* Finally getting out, getting the Bible, and stopping to gas up the van and potty up, and learning that the women’s bathroom was out of order.
* Getting on the road, starting to make good progress, and then sitting in construction traffic for about an hour.
* Arriving home a little after 9:00, only 2 1/2 hours after the time I had estimated we would be back.
* Spending two days with twelve awesome ladies (and Rylee) with whom I loved getting better acquainted, sharing experiences that only we will think are funny a few months from now, and triumphing over irritating circumstance after irritating circumstance by having a blast in spite of them. Even though it seemed for awhile that our way was being blocked at everything we attempted, we didn’t let it ruin our party, and I feel truly blessed to have been in the presence of those twelve ladies for those two days. Thanks, girls!!
A thousand thanks to my selfless hubby who without hesitation encouraged me to take this weekend away months before he even knew that Grandmama and Poppaw would be able to come help him out, and thanks to Grandmama and Poppaw for helping my crew fill the hours without Mommy. Looking forward to the next Salem Baptist Church Women’s Outing, whenever and wherever it may be!!