This past weekend was the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Nashville.
To say that attending this convention was a blessing is the understatement of the year. If Omaha was not so far from me, I’d be signing up to attend that one too in 2 weeks. Seriously, if you are able to get to Omaha May 30-June 1st, go now to register! Today is the last day to pre-register, saving you $5.
I am still processing much of what I took in. From beginning to end, there was real “meat” and substance to all of the speakers that I had the pleasure to hear. Imagine starting your weekend at the gorgeous Gaylord Opryland Hotel with a hug and nice to meet you from Heidi St. John?! Yep, that was me along with my roommate for the weekend and friend, Pat. Seriously, we had checked into the hotel, gone out to park our cars in the lot, and met Heidi on our way back into the hotel. We hadn’t even seen our hotel room at that point!
The next big event for me was the blogger meetup. What a treat to be in the same room with some very talented ladies who do so well in the blogging world. Now, imagine adding Sally Clarkson and Heidi St. John to this meetup! Yep, what gracious and sweet ladies they both are. I very much enjoyed getting to hear them both share their thoughts on life, blogging, and being real.
If you recall from last week, I had a list of speakers that I wanted to hear. I thought I had it all planned out. I was rather proud of myself for making this list, printing it, and making a binder to keep me on track. I went with an idea of what my take-away from this convention would be.
I could not have been more wrong.
Here’s what I thought- I would make some real connections with fellow bloggers, maybe even make a real buddy or two in the blogging arena, and, oh yeah, I’d take in a few sessions and learn a few things.
In my mind, blogging would be 90% of this convention, the other 10% would be filled with hearing some speakers.
HA! If I listen closely, I almost think I hear God laughing. Not at me, but with me. He had SO MUCH MORE for me there.
And it had really nothing to do with blogging.
My take-away turned out to be 95% other and maybe 5% blogging.
When I asked Him to show me which speakers He wanted me to hear, most of them were not even in my original list.
Isn’t it neat how God works? I had this plan, and had not really consulted Him for His plan for me. Truly, I thought I was making good choices and would enjoy the sessions I had chosen. Now, don’t get me wrong, those sessions were good, I’m positive of that, they just weren’t what I needed to hear.
The first session that I went to on Saturday was Shirley Solis’ “When Being a Superwoman Comes at the Expense of the Superkids”. This started me down the path God chose for me for the next two days. I learned here that I need to refill my own cup before I can pour anything into anyone else’s cup. I then moved to Sally Clarkson‘s “I Take Hope: Moving through Desperate to Destiny”. How can you not be encouraged by Sally Clarkson?!
I then went to meet Natalie for lunch. She volunteered on the teen leadership track and had only 45 minutes for lunch. We ended up back in the our room eating some food we had brought along. We made our way back to the convention center and I found a dear friend at Israel Wayne‘s “Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction” session. This session started me on the path that I was to finally find for this event. We’ve always homeschooled, so I don’t need to be convinced to do so. But, Israel didn’t try to convince anyone to homeschool. He shared much that makes me see that this life should be my conviction and there is more to that conviction that just saying we support homeschooling.
At the urging of my friend, we went to Norm Wakefield’s session, “The Calling Out of Sons: What’s a Mother to Do With Teenage Sons?”. Honestly, I was planning to hear Jeannie Fulbright speak on “Solving Your Science Struggles”. I thought I would enjoy some encouragement in teaching one of my least well-known subjects, that of science. But, my friend was going to hear Norm and I wanted to spend time with her, so I went with her to this session.
WOW. I don’t even know how to put into words the impact this session had on me. His words had me in tears MANY times. It was during this session that I realized why I was there. It was for this message. And it only grew as the convention continued.
I must admit that I hadn’t ever really heard of Norm Wakefield prior to this session. I will tell you now that I have thoroughly gone over his website and own some of his materials. If you have children, or even if you don’t, get familiar with Norm. He has an incredible gift of teaching, with a very no-nonsense approach.
After that very heart-moving session, I went to hear Crystal Paine speak on “21 Days to a More Disciplined Life”. While this was a bit different than the previous session, it still fit together with it. Being focused is a problem for me at times. Through practical tips, I have some new “ammunition” in my quest to indeed have a more disciplined life.
I ventured into the vendor hall after this last session. Natalie and I had a nice supper together at the pizza place. We then walked around and just enjoyed the views. Seriously, I do not think there is a bad view anywhere in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel!
I will write more next week about my experience at Teach Them Diligently.
But, don’t wait, if you can make it Omaha, go register today. You do not want to miss this. Seriously.
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