A Grand New Day with Women Of Faith

Women-of-Faith-A-Grand-New-Day

Several weeks ago I attended my first Women of Faith event.

I know… I’m a guy.

So what was I doing there?

I was invited by some very special friends who run, work for and are the heart of Women of Faith.

It was truly an awesome weekend and the result of building strong friendships through none other than Twitter and a little hang time in Downtown Franklin.

The theme for this year’s Women of Faith event is A Grand New Day. Hmmm… ok, So what does that mean.

As I sat through the event I heard these incredible talks. All moving, All inspiring. All by women who I admire so much. But something happen when I got back home and the weekend began to settle in.

I realized what A Grand New Day was all about.

I went back through each talk in my head and realized everyone who spoke had a story of real struggle. The kind of struggle that could easily do anyone in, but as I listened I heard strength, encouragement, determination, and faith.

I heard these women tell at a crowd of 16,000 women and 4 guys that they struggle in life but it’s ok… we can get through it and so can you. Why? Because everyday we wake up we have a choice to make. That choice is about what we are going to do with our day. More so… how are we going to react and tackle the struggle we have to deal with in our lives and celebrate the real joys and success we experience along the way.

You know what? Struggling through hard times isn’t easy. You know that. I’ve had them. You’ve had them. But I sit here today writing this thinking how fortunate I am to be who I am… scars and all. Good times and the bad times.

I’m thankful to be alive, to have my family and friends, to have the life I have and to be able to wake up everyday determined to take on the day… good OR bad.

With the tough time I went through, I was determined to not let it do me in. Life is way to short and I wanted to find a way I could get up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror (ew) and make a choice.

Am I going to go for it today and live life? Or am I going to lay down and let life pass me by…needless to say, I tend to go for it… even if i trip and fall in the process!

So…If you are a female and you want to go treat yourself to a spiritual spa… Go find a Women of Faith event. Experience the whole weekend and walk away knowing you too can have A Grand New Day. Not one time during the event will you ever be made to feel like your life is less than it should be or that you’ve been a complete mess up with ant struggle in your life. It truly is an experience that helps you celebrate life as it is and gives you the encouragement to keep going.

If you are a man reading this… Sorry… I’m not sure of many event’s like this one for men. However, if you are married then give your wife a weekend away from you (she probably needs it) and send her to Women of Faith. There’s one in Portland,OR this weekend!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MaureenTA MaureenTA

    I'm gonna have to make it to one of those one day…. until then, I'll live precariously through you!

  • Candace Sargent

    Treating urself to a spiritual spa is a beautiful way to put it!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/torybee torybee

    I have to say, I'm NOT a typical gal, and in some ways I LIKE it that way! I tend to shun women's events. They typically cater to the majority of women and I'm so not in the majority.

    However, by following you and your friend's tweets while you were present at WoF I have to say I saw it in a new light; thinking that if 4 men could enjoy it, see how it's relevant to them then clearly I'm wrong to shun it and discount that it has nothing to offer a person like me. I don't know you but surely I have more in common with the WoF women then a guy name Spence Smith does. (right?)

    Your tweets opened my mind. And heart. I have been reflecting on this and realized that I have my own biased towards women's ministry things. Do you recall that old commercial for Secret deodorant? "Strong enough for a man but made for a woman"? Corny, I know but I think that the perception I (and most) have is that anything women is a "lite" version of the "real thing". I don't want light. I don't want fluff.

    Yet sadly, in many venues this is exactly what women get. All we are expected to want. All that is offered to us. We have our own niche in marketing. Books on subjects – with the tagline "For Women". Bibles "for women". Tools "for women". Theology "for women". Is it a marketing ploy? Why does things have to be different for us?

    I know; we're not the same; we're different and that's good UNLESS it's used to denote less expectation. I'm tired of seeing the tagline "for women" to denote that things are easier, lighter, fluffier etc.

    So I thank you for your tweets; for showing me that WoF is NOT like that. That is truly is "strong enough for a man but made for a woman". ;-) (however the speakers that I would most look forward to hearing were all male!)

    Sorry for my rant. This is obviously something I struggle with. I just may have to give WoF another chance. (it's been several years since I attended one!)

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/torybee torybee

    I have to say, I'm NOT a typical gal, and in some ways I LIKE it that way! I tend to shun women's events. They typically cater to the majority of women and I'm so not in the majority.

    However, by following you and your friend's tweets while you were present at WoF I have to say I saw it in a new light; thinking that if 4 men could enjoy it, see how it's relevant to them then clearly I'm wrong to shun it and discount that it has anything to offer a person like me. I don't know you but surely I have more in common with the WoF women then a guy name Spence Smith does. (right?)

    Your tweets opened my mind. And heart. I have been reflecting on this and realized that I have my own biased towards women's ministry things. Do you recall that old commercial for Secret deodorant? "Strong enough for a man but made for a woman"? Corny, I know but I think that the perception I (and most) have is that anything women is a "lite" version of the "real thing". I don't want light. I don't want fluff.

    Yet sadly, in many venues this is exactly what women get. All we are expected to want. All that is offered to us. We have our own niche in marketing. Books on subjects – with the tagline "For Women". Bibles "for women". Tools "for women". Theology "for women". Is it a marketing ploy? Why does things have to be different for us?

    I know; we're not the same; we're different and that's good UNLESS it's used to denote less expectation. I'm tired of seeing the tagline "for women" to denote that things are easier, lighter, fluffier etc.

    So I thank you for your tweets; for showing me that WoF is NOT like that. That is truly is "strong enough for a man but made for a woman". ;-) (however the speakers that I would most look forward to hearing were all male!)

    Sorry for my rant. This is obviously something I struggle with. I just may have to give WoF another chance. (it's been several years since I attended one!)

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      hey ToryBee… i completely understand what you are saying. I think normally i would feel the same way. However… to get right to the point about the speakers. I knew nothing about most of these women. just followed some of them on twitter. I ended up at dinner with them all and let me tell you. they are all a kick in the pants. they are more alive than most people i know. Funny, full of stories and laughter and most important to me… full of real life experience.

      then when i heard them speak i was captivated. If you knew me well you would know i don’t sit very long at all to hear people speak. But these ladies… i would sit over and over and over. Think about it… My friends Randy Elrod and Michael Hyatt would all say the same thing.

      you should give it a go!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/torybee torybee

        Thanks Spence! I agree; I'm totally willing to go to a WoF conference after you, @recreate, @lnobles's tweets. Which completely surprised me because I resist going to my church's women's retreat at the BEACH! In fact, even prior to your post I looked at 2010's WoF schedule. Often they come in my actual town but this year the closest is a couple hours away or so.

        How awesome that you were able to have dinner with them and they so touched you with their stories and lives, and so nice to hear how alive and authentic they are. Love that!

        I may have to plan a small road trip with the women of my church to hear them next year. If I'm willing to travel 6 hours to hear U2 and BEPs then I suppose I should be able to go on a couple hour road trip to hear the women that you speak so highly of.
        :-) Thanks for this inspiring blog post. I needed to hear it as I wrestle not only with WoF but my own attitude towards women's events even in my own church. Thanks again.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/torybee torybee

          Hey, wanted to say that I went on my church's women's retreat…. and had a nice time. :-)
          WoF may be next on my list of "accomplishments" and I hope I don't wind up bloody, bruised and broken!

          I'm joking. Just wanted to say that I went on the women's retreat and had a good time. Maybe I'll fit in with them yet! (and guess what? The woman speaker at my retreat wasn't too fluffy at all; she was "just right".)

          • http://thequirkyredhead.com redheadkate

            Maybe WoF would be another "baby bear" event…not too hard, not too soft (or fluffy), but juuuuusst right! Seriously though, this is a lesson for me, all too often I talk myself out of things because I think I wouldn't like them. I guess I need to be willing to try them.

  • http://etherobersvations.blogspot.com Amy Fry

    I have seen WoF at a venue 2 states over 6 hours away, and a venue in my state 5 hours away. I would drive 10 hours to go to one. A 'Spiritual Spa' kind of experience is just what it is. The speakers are full of faith, love, wonder, and Truth. They don't speak to women. They speak to people. They don't speak of 'women's issues'; they speak of struggles of all humankind and the Grace-filled Love of our Lord & Savior to help ALL of us live each day through the struggles and onward to the joy.
    I'm so happy you, Randy and Michael went to experience the WoF event. I just saw on Twitter you're at another one as I write this!
    Any person who allows themselves to really experience a WoF event will come away changed. For the better.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MarkJaffrey MarkJaffrey

    Spence – I'm with you all the way – totally agree.

    But that photo, it's plain terrifying. The hair! the teeth! the makeup! – there's not a normal woman there. Except for Sheila of course. But she's a superstar too.

    • http://www.spencesmith.com Spence Smith

      You aren’t right mark!!! you need to come to Franklin early so we can hang out more!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/MarkJaffrey MarkJaffrey

        Seriously, the photo scares me! But I know for a fact they are fabulous women :-)

        Planning on arriving Saturday for setup and fun. Would love to hang out on campus with you.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SpenceSmith SpenceSmith

    Thanks for your comment but just so you know… ALL bitterly jealous comments left on my blog by anonymous people get will get their comment deleted as i have done for yours. Evidently you don't know the whole story and completely missed the point of my post.

    That being said… If you have the guts and are brave enough to leave your name, I will gladly put your comment back up to create a little conversation.

    By The Way…I have your IP address so even though you left an anonymous comment… i still know who you are:)

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/6feetover Melody

    I attended this WOF in Spokane…it was awesome, to say the least. I especially enjoyed Lisa Whelchel's story. I'm forever amazed, thankful and touched by all of the women's stories.

    So, you were one of the guys there, eh? I keep telling my husband that I'm going to drag him to a conference and sneak him in the background. lol If you ever go again, maybe you could for a MSWOF group. (Men Supporting Women of Faith) ha!

    ~melody~

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