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This weekend I spent my time attending a the Flourish Women’s Conference at my church, Green Valley Baptist. I am not a big conference person but the theme really spoke to me, Fear Is A Liar. Hmmm, make me think. Lately, I feel I have been overcome with anxiety, stress, worry. My days are busy and full of stuff to worry about. I don’t know if it is this midlife stage or menopause but my stress meter has been hovering in the danger zone for some time. So I made the choice to spend my weekend examining my fears.
Flourish Women’s Conference
Supporting My Daughter Anna
My daughter Anna was in charge of the conference. Over a year’s worth of work went into the planning. Hundreds of women made the decision to spend the weekend learning about how fear and anxiety are unhealthy and finding tools to get back in control and live healthier lives. I love the celebration when women get together. This conference was filled with women of all ages. Singles, young married, married with new babies and little children, women with school-age children and teenagers, empty nesters like me, and the young at hearts, senior women. It was really unique to see all these ages come together and bond. We all deal with stress and anxiety. Fear has no age limit.
Alli Worthington Speaker, Author, Business Coach
The speaker for the weekend was Alli Worthington. Alli is a mom of 5 boys, business women and motivational speaker who has been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and several magazines. She also has her own podcast. I recently read her book, Fierce Faith, which is a no-nonsense approach to fighting fear, wrestling worry, and overcoming anxiety.
Fierce Faith by Alli Worthington
Praise And Worship Time
So what do you do at a women’s conference? The first part was spent in a time of praise and worship. I will be honest, I am not a great singer, but I give the term “joyful noise” a whole new meaning. I love singing praise and worship music. There is a peace that overcomes you when you take the time to praise. Many times in the car when anxiety and stress are getting to me, I will put on my praise and worship music.
First Night- Tools To Breakout Of The Busy Cycle
The first night, Alli helped us examine why we had this stress and anxiety in our lives. We took a look at the fear-based thinking and it clear that this is a situation of our doing. Our lives are so focused on being “busy” and we are our own worst enemy. We learned that Jesus disappointed people, Jesus said No to obligations that took away from his calling, and Jesus even needed time to recharge.
Yes, There Was Chocolate
After our Friday night session, we enjoyed a time of fellowship and chocolate. Even more than that, we had bundtinis from Nothing But Bundt Cakes. They were soooo good. We had a choice of flavors. Since my daughter was in charge of the conference, I felt it necessary to sample the flavors ahead of time to make sure they were good. OH, and they were. My favorites were the chocolate (of course) and the lemon raspberry.
Saturday session started the morning with more praise and worship time along with the testimony of Karen and her struggles and fear of cancer. This touched many women who had walked this road or know someone who has.
Healthy Fear Of God/Unhealthy Fear Of Man
The morning’s session focused on creating a battle plan to help us become aware of our unhealthy habits and thinking that creates the anxiety in our lives. The group walked away with tools that they can use on a daily basis to break the cycle of stress in our daily lives.
Lunch Break And Small Group Discussion
Life is better in circles. You really get to know someone is a group setting when you circle around. We had a VERY good catered lunch provided by Chick Fil A. After lunch, we spend time at our tables sharing some of the things we learned, struggles in our lives, and praying for the ladies. This was a laid-back setting. You did not have to participate if you did not want to.
Afternoon Session: Creating A Fierce Faith Matra
The afternoon session gets to the “meat” of the problem. We spend so much time beating up ourselves over our mistakes that we are truly “frozen in fear”. Struggles and fears are human and God doesn’t punish us. We do that all to ourselves. When we wallow in past mistakes we are just being self-absorbed. There is a time to let it go and move on.
Finally, we were reminded that we had a God that loves us. We are daughters of the king and have nothing to prove. We are not alone in our struggles. In times of trouble or strife, we have his word to turn to for comfort and guidance. We are worthy of God’s abundant love. But we need to make the daily decision to trust his plan.
What Did I Get Out Of The Conference?
What did I get out the Flourish Women’s Conference? I returned home with my heart full and a battle plan for the busy in my life. Now I have a better perspective on fear, stress, and anxiety. It is going to take time and practice to use the tools I have learned this weekend to break the cycle that I created. I will be working hard to stop living a life that is created by an unhealthy fear of man.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing some of the tools I learned about in this conference.
Remember, you have nothing to prove!