Every April Nick and I got to a Leadership Conference in Spokane where John Maxwell is the key note speaker. It's something we look forward to and really, at least for me, is the start of my year (yes, I know we're 4 months in, but my year starts when the weather gets nice!)
About a month ago we talked about it and decided that it just didn't make sense to go. Logically, I knew it was good to say no, but as the weekend got closer I started getting a little bummed we weren't going to be there.
Well, Thursday morning we got a message from one of our group leaders saying we could still get tickets if one or both of us wanted to go. The ball got moving and it was decided that I would go and I was staying in a room with 3 other women.
Sometimes it really is best to jump in with two feet isn't it? I didn't think some things through. I missed my friend's wedding, which she had known was a possibility. I missed my cousin's bride-to-be's shower. But I gained some huge personal growth!
I couldn't leave until Friday evening, (usually we leave early EARLY Friday morning.) I was driving to Spokane, a 5-6 hr drive, all by myself. At night. While pregnant (which really isn't that big of a deal, but really makes it more dramatic, don't you think?)
My original plan was to leave between 4:30 and 5pm, but Nick and I didn't really get to see each other, so timing worked out that we went and had dinner when he was off work. He worked late, dinner took awhile, so I didn't leave Portland until 8pm. That put me in Spokane at approx. 2am. Wow! I think New Year's is the last time I was up that late.
It wasn't until I was driving that I realized how crazy it was. I'm 4 1/2 months pregnant which can equal a lot of bathroom stops. Umm, I don't know if you've done the drive to Spokane, but it is NOT stopper friendly. It's country highways with rest stops filled with 30 truckers sleeping. I've seen way too many scary movies to feel safe doing that. So I stopped in The Dalles (with a smart plan to tell people I was headed to Portland if anyone should ask!) and I stopped in Tri-Cities praying that my bladder would hold off until I'd make it to Spokane.
I met up with friends and instantly knew that it was all worth it. I didn't realize how much I'd missed these people and how much of a huge impact they've had on my life.
It was strange meeting sleeping in a hotel room with 3 other women. The lights went out and we all laid there trying to get to sleep. Do you know how uncomfortable it is to lay there, knowing I'm probably breathing heavy and that everyone is listening to everyone else?!? I just went to my happy place trying to relax and hope to feel a little nudge from my sweet little baby.
The conference was great! It always is. But, it was so odd not having Nick there. I depend on him so much. He really is my partner in life, in everything we do. I did feel like a grown up though. Figuring things out all on my own. I got my first belly rubs (Thanks Dwight and Shaman!) and was really excited to share our awesome news with people who hadn't heard yet.
I found out that my good friend Brooke lived only a half hour away so we decided to meet up Saturday night. It was so great seeing her! She was in my wedding and I don't think I've seen her since then. I'm happy that she's moving closer in a week and so glad that we got to reconnect like that!
Sunday is always my favorite day in the conference. It helps at looking forward and is just fun because the whole stadium is buzzing with excitement from the weekend. As I'm sitting there listening to a men's panel I suddenly felt a short quiver in my lower abdomen! I felt my baby legitimately stir for the first time! I gasped, looked up and instantly my eyes filled with tears (I knew I always liked Jimmy Head. Such a great speaker that even baby Roth reacted!) I have no idea what he said, I had completely checked out for about 5 minutes!
I had some awesome revelations about myself and my marriage and just my life in general. I realized that I am so much more than I've been allowing myself to be. I seem to get so caught up in my day-to-day life and stress of everything that I forget how great I was made to be. I forget how much I truly just love people and want to be a light for others.
I asked God this weekend to help me become a better servant. This absolutely TERRIFIES me, because I remember life after I asked Him to help me become more patient. But I truly want and desire to be a joyful servant; To my husband, our children, our family, our friends and even people we don't know!
Overall, I am so very glad I went. It was worth every moment of missing Nick (but it would've been MUCH BETTER with him there,) it was worth all the hours in the car, it was worth every tear I cried! I can't wait until next year, I know it will be just as great!