Exhausted and Exhilarated

I’ve slept a lot over the past three days.  Yet my body still seems to be weary.  It’s okay…it’s a good exhausted.  It’s exhaustion mixed with exhilaration! There’s nothing better than giving past your own abilities. That’s when you know that somewhere along the way it wasn’t even you anymore.  That’s when–if we could look back–we would see only one set of footprints because God is carrying us.  I love that picture.  I feel that I live that picture on a Hearts at Home conference weekend.

Let’s be honest, 20 years ago when we started Hearts at Home conferences, I was 29. Well you do the math….49 just doesn’t have the stamina of 29!  But in our weakness, that’s when God gets to do His best work!  I am so glad!

My son, Kolya, and I in the Expo Hall on Saturday

If you were at the conference this weekend, I’d love to hear about your highlights.  What was your one takeaway?  Your top two tips?  There are moms (and dads!) who hang out here in the blog world who can’t attend due to distance or other circumstances.  Let’s share some of the wisdom and perspective you gained so they can benefit as well!

There are also moms who will be signing up for the November 8-9 North Central Hearts at Home conference with the same speakers.  What workshops do you recommend they don’t miss?

By the way, there are several links I want to share with you as a follow up of the conference:

1) If you would like to join our effort to stop the mommy wars, you can sign the Knock It Off commitment here: www.KnockItOffMoms.com.

2) You can purchase audio downloads or CD’s of all the workshops and main sessions here.

3) You can find the videos and leaders guides that accompany the No More Perfect Moms book here.  These are great resources if you decide to do the book in a group study!

Now let’s hear some feedback!  If you went to the Hearts at Home National Conference, what did YOU learn this weekend?  What impacted YOU the most?


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22 thoughts on “Exhausted and Exhilarated

  1. Highlights….MANY!!!
    1. Being in the Flashmob! 🙂
    2. Meeting you with my group
    3. Meeting some of the No More Perfect Moms launch group!
    4. Meeting Karen Ehman!
    5. Time with 4 other moms that solidifies friendships!
    I too am exhausted and exhilarated! I wish I could sleep-but this is the week that I have my “bonus toddler” all 5 days (I babysit for close friends). I gleaned so much for Shaunti Feldman’s presentation on What Your Man wants you to know! Going to try to do it as a Bible study (as well as No More Perfect Moms!). I also got a lot out of your presentation about being Spiritually fit. I did great the first year after my hubby lost his job, but I have been lacking and I know God put me there to remind me that He misses our “time together”.

    Thank you Jill, and EVERYONE at Hearts at Home, my mom friends and I are so refreshed from this weekend!!!!!!

  2. I am still processing a lot of what I learned over the weekend. I think I have a takeaway from each of my favorite workshops:

    Get Organized with Kathi Lipp — Planning ahead and working backward from deadlines is showing kindness to your future self. For example, if you pack school lunches the night before, you’re showing kindness to your next-morning self by taking away the stress of trying to do it all last-minute. Or if your child brings a project home that’s due in a month, instead of waiting until the last minute to get started, plan what you can do that week to get ahead (like buying the posterboard and supplies). That’s being kind to your future self.

    Boys R Us with Dr. Rob Currie. As a mom of 3 boys, visualizing my boys as a hammer (aggressive and active) was really helpful to me. Reminding myself that this is not something to be annoyed by, it’s something to celebrate and to teach them in what situations being active and aggressive are appropriate. His examples of using their “inner warrior” to motivate them to do good were very powerful for me (“The devil is trying to discourage Mrs. Smith. Her husband just died. Are we going to stand back and let him do things to discourage her? No! What can we do to fight back the devil? Rake her yard? Take her a meal?”)

    Are you Spiritually Fit? with Jill Savage — being encouraged that sometimes, as moms, we get snacks with God instead of always meals, and not to feel guilty when we don’t always have the time or energy to get up early for some quiet time.

    Unpacking Your Childhood Baggage to Give your Children Something Better with Suzie Eller. Personally, this was a very beautiful and challenging workshop for me. I felt God convicting me of unforgiveness in my heart and was challenged by her words of encouragement to not look back at the past as a victim but as a scholar. To understand where you’ve been and what pieces of your heart need healing but not to look back to place blame.

    This was a great weekend for me — thank you again for all you do for moms!

  3. It looks like that frog was very popular. I have seen him/her in many photos.

    I have attended Hearts at Home many times and love the time away and the renewal that comes with gathering with other moms. Thanks for all the hard work you and your team put into this wonderful organization.

  4. I can think of two of the BEST things I heard/learned this weekend. First, remember that you have to separate a “bad behavior/decision” from your child. If you child makes a bad choice or has poor behavior, that does not define them (or you as a Mom!) – they are two completely different things.

    Second, and my favorite… quit raising the child YOU want, and start raising the child God gave you. WOW. Powerful words that really spoke to my heart. Sometimes I think I’m so caught up in raising good children, that I forget they already ARE!

    Still in awe of this weekend. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

    • Jenn, I would have to say that was one of the things I starred several times in my notebook as well. Quit trying to raise the child YOU want, and start raising the child God gave you. I remember crying out to God one day about my strong willed child. His reply was, “I made her that way for a reason. Your job is not to ‘break’ her, it is to guide her in the right direction to use that gift.”

      • Goodness, what awesome timing. I am just sitting here this morning, feeling discouraged again about how frustrated I feel with my strong willed child…even though I was just AT the conference! What a wonderful reminder again, less than a week later, that I need to quit trying to raise the kid that I want, quit letting other people discourage me about him, and see the qualities (that God has given him!!) as good things, even if they are hard to deal with right now. Thankful for Hearts at Home and for all the encouragement…and for YOUR encouragement this morning!

  5. I had an amazingly wonderful weekend at the Hearts at Home Conference!! What wonderful testimonies we heard. I am sooo blessed to have shared it with 4 beautiful women from our church. We laughed, we cried, we shared, we learned & grew. I already have hotel reservations for next year & plan on taking more ladies with me! Here are some thoughts about the things I learned this weekend. I pray they will be a blessing…..1. I will look at all of my sons’ hearts to see the hope that I’ll accept them but also the fear I may not….then strive to change that fear. I will use their “inner warrior” to teach them to be protectors & leaders of their future families. I will listen when THEY are ready to talk & teach them to search for the most attractive Godly woman. 2. I will love my husband as God spiritually needs me to. I will strive to make my husband a priority over the daily stresses but never more than God. I will listen to my husband because God has led him to lead me. I will shut my mouth so I am not a distraction to what God is telling my husband. I will remember my husband has an inborn desire to be my hero…& let him be. 3. I will gracefully love my family more on “those days” that are rough. I will listen to myself so I hear what my children hear from me. I will pause first before making knee-jerk reactions & ask for redo’s when I make mistakes on “those days”. There are no perfect moms & I will not expect myself to be one. 4. I will show my children what good things they do well & not focus on the naughty things they do well. I will strive to tell my children more that they are important, valuable & significant. I will raise the children God has given me, accept their faults & not try to make them something they aren’t. 5. I will listen to God’s calling even when it takes me out of my comfort zone. I will strive to read God’s word more. I will live my life as a testimony to Christ living in me. Jeremiah 29:11-13. Sorry this was a bit long winded but God was nudging me to share. Just my thoughts, desires, hopes & things I was designed to be. Time to get to work! ~ Emily Paulus

    • Emily,
      Sounds like you got so much out of the conference! I’m going to share some of your highlights on my blog (along with others I find here today). Love the faith and conviction that you speak with about all you want to do.
      Sounds like another version of the Proverbs 31 woman! A friend commented once that she didn’t do those things all in a day but rather over the span of her life time. Hope you will be kind to yourself on your journey towards the goals you’ve shared.
      Your HaH friend, Nichole

  6. I was there this weekend and had a good time. The conference I think that I learned the most from was Let.It.Go. I am definitely a control freak. Can I say I left with a big smile. No not really, I left the conference feeling rather guilty. I became more aware that even though I thought this would help me accept my husband for who he is, it really put in check who I am. I thought I was doing everything right, that I was the perfect mom. I don’t lose patience with my son only my husband, so it must be him that is wrong. A lot of my workshops I did not particularly leave with a new profound look, but the first main session with Jill, even though I was part of the book launch kind of brought it more to life. Next year I hope there are more workshops on being a wife, I think for a lot of the women I talked to that is more where we need guidance.

    Also, I think that the organazation one was really entertaining. Again not what I expected but beneficial. Gave some practical ideas and she was an amazing entertainer. My friends and I were laughing through a lot of it. It was wonderful.

  7. Jill,
    I had a wonderful time at HAH Conference this year! The workshop I most enjoyed was 7 Habits of Highly Effective Moms by Sherry Surratt. I learned that my relationship with Jesus is more important than laundry and dishes. Other scripture is important too, not just the ones about being a Godly wife or mother. We so often get lost in our mommy/wife role that we forget who we are in the process. I learned to laugh at myself more, not be so serious all the time (that’s a hard one for me, especially when we are all out in public!) and to step away from my phone so I don’t miss the memories in the making. Being a pastor’s wife, I often feel like we live in a bubble and the need to be ‘perfect’ to the outside world is added pressure! We are also a blended family so life can be really crazy with back and forth schedules. I’m so thankful that I’m not alone with feeling this way!

    I also really loved Kathy Lipp and her workshop! She is so funny and I learned ways to connect with my kids to make them feel special, especially when trying to blend all those different personalities together.

    Candace Cameron Bure was wonderful! I enjoyed how transparent she was with all of us, and how normal she is in a crazy hollywood world. Thank you again for another wonderful conference. I left so encouraged and hopeful for my future as a mother and a wife!

  8. Oh Jill, this past weekend was amazing!
    I really, really, really enjoyed Meredith Andrews!! I mean REALLY enjoyed her. I am not one that gets into music much, but she was amazing!
    And, of course, there was Anita at MNO. My cheeks ached from laughing so much!
    Candice was great! My favorite “take away” from her message was when she said.. “if I could tell my children one thing, it wouldn’t be “I Love You” it would be “Jesus Loves You”!! I’ve never thought about that before…
    A few of my favorite workshops were: When You Feel Like Screaming, Are You Spiritually Fit? (I had never heard of the ACTS way of praying before..thanks!), Kill the Spider (Kathy is so insanely smart), and the Fear & Anxiety workshop with Susan Merrill.
    Thanks for everything you do!!

  9. I have to say my favorite workshop was Tech-Savvy Parenting with Dr. Kathy Koch. Wanted my husband to hear it so I bought the CD, may even show my 13 & 15 year old sons! If you were unable to attend, I highly recommend getting the CD and joining her online resources, including Celebratekidsinc on Facebook! I saw her in 2011 and really enjoyed her then and was excited to have another workshop with her this year. She had so much insight about why kids of the millenial generation (anyone under 31) are the way they are with regard to technology in particular. Thanks to Jill and crew for another great conference! I look forward to it all year!

  10. I think the biggest highlight for me was when I was sitting in the auditorium and it hit me that the faithfulness of Jill and the people who organize Hearts at Home has the fruits of such an awesome weekend for thousands of moms. God really showed me that I need to be faithful in the small things and God will do big things with that. And that our kids and future grand kids may be the fruit of our faithfulness. Just being an everyday mom and loving on our families can be the faithfulness that God desires.

  11. I have many things that I took away with me.

    1. I loved meeting Candace Cameron Bure this past weekend that was just awesome. I was a huge Full House fan growing up.
    2. The flash mob was so unexpected and I saw my first.
    3. I loved My workshop for special needs children I learned that I am not alone in raising my son and that there are so many resources out there AND one day we will finally get a diagnosis. Plus I felt special myself because I didn’t expect to have a class like that that’s close to my heart and just for me as I am struggling so much as a special needs mom.
    4. I loved the frog and YES I got a picture with him too.
    5. I loved Rob Curries preschooler workshop I have so much trouble with my preschoolers (3 of them) on a daily basis. And I think they do think Magically and I will always remember to kick it up a notch for them to connect better.

  12. Thank you Jill for this wonderful ministry called Hearts at Home! This was my fourth year attending.

    The highlight of this year was Dr. Kathy Koch’s class on Decreasing the Negative Impacts of Technology. After I write this comment, I am going to purchase the audio file so I can share it with my husband and sister. I am going to institute technology-free zones and days in our house. : )

    Please prayerfully consider asking Dr. Koch to be a keynote speaker in the future. She is an amazing speaker, backed with so much research and knowledge. ( I also heard her speak on strong-willed children two years ago.)

    I appreciated hearing Candace Cameron share her testimony. Wow. She also encouraged me as a mom to keep up the spiritual training of my children through reading the Word to them.

    Heather Karl

  13. Fabulous weekend!
    My top two take aways —
    *It is our duty as parents to pass the baton of faith to our children!
    *Girls want to be wanted, and God will always want them! He is the only man who can fill them up completely!
    Thank you so much for putting on this spectacular conference year after year! I wouldn’t miss it!

  14. As a third time attendee, I was still blown away by the conference and was so glad to attend yet again! Listening to Meredith sing and worshipping with her was a definite highlight, as was your session on Spiritual Fitness. It is SO important that we as moms take the time for ourselves, and I can’t think of a better way to spend it!

  15. My biggest take away was from the first keynote session, No More Perfect Moms. I could go on and on about all of the freedom that came from hearing these reminders and these truths of living in honesty. I “copied” what you did, Jill, and wrote about your session on my blog, giving a look into each member of my family and our messiness. Thank you for that invitation to take off masks. Hoping others will be encouraged to do the same.

  16. Thank you Jill for 20 years of faithful service to Jesus in offering this conference. My third year was just as great as the first two. My favorite speakers were Kathy Koch and Lynn Cowell. I also had fun with Shari’s fashion advice and reminder to be cautious of what I say about my body/face for the sake of my daughters so that when someone tells them they look just like me they won’t equate that to mean they aren’t beautiful.
    Greatest take home was God’s reminder to think long term in how I interact with and react to my kids. Last year made me more concious to cherish the here and now moments, and this year reminded me my kids (and me) are works in progress. Or as Lysa Terkheurst would say… in IMPERFECT progress. Thank you Jesus for your grace that covers my failures in mothering and redeems each failure to bring glory to You!

  17. Karen Ehman-Let it Go:
    “When I’m controlling others I need to ask if it’s because I’m being controlled by the expectations of others.”

    Sue Heimer-When You Feel Like Screaming:
    “We have AM (Against Me) and FM (For Me) Thoughts, which are you thinking?”
    “Yelling is a learned way of communication, we grow comfortable with it. But it’s a lie to think that we can’t change, we can.”
    “Be velvet over steel.” “She means what she says and she says what she means. She expects them to do it first time.”

    Pam Ferrell-10 Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Sex
    “God’s mercy and grace is a shelter over me and my family.”
    “God’s view: Sex is for what I can give. Satan’s view: Sex is for what I can get.”