We were able to go to Dallas this year - and it was HOT. But boy was it fun! A few highlights of my highlight times:
- Getting to have my husband with me all week. With no kids. Enough said.
- Spending the week with several church planters and their wives. The SEND North America Conference was taking place in Dallas while we were there and we had the privilege of hosting 17 of the church planters that were there who got to also spend time with us. Gosh I love conversations with people who have been called to different areas of the country and hear their stories of what the Lord is doing where they are! Talk about encouraging and exciting!! After dinner with one planter from Vancouver, I was about ready to buy a plane ticket to Canada! And getting to spend some time with a sweet couple from Deleware and hearing the amazing God stories from there made me want to go to a state that I even forget it a part of the US. :)
- Spending time at Prestonwood Baptist Church with Sondra Saunders and Nikki Bartlett. Sondra is the Ministry of Preschool and Children and Nikki is the Minister to Preschool at their massive Plano campus. Talk about being taken to school that day! It was a massive blessing for me to have spent time with these ladies who clearly love what they do! And it was an honor to spend time with Ms. Saunders as she has been at Prestonwood since their beginning in 1977. I learned much that day and felt like I was also able to encourage these ladies as well.
- Being able to hear from John Bisagno and Ed Stetzer. Holy cow y'all. Ed is someone I've followed on Twitter for a while and he's pretty dang funny sometimes. One of the smartest men I've listened to! I wish my brain would work half as fast as his!! And John Bisgano was the senior pastor at First Baptist in Houston for many, many years and has authored a ton of books. He just encouraged us and challenged us for a while on our last morning there and oh. my. word. it was fantastic! Something I'll likely never forget.
- Whirly Ball. Google it. There's not a real good way to explain it unless you see it. So. Much. FUN!! And let me just say that the Fayetteville Five DOMINATED.
- Spending time with my staff family. When you work so closely with people, you tend to feel like they are part of your family. That's how I feel about the people I work with. I grow to love them more each day and I couldn't be more thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of such a special group that I love so dearly. And it was great to spend time with the family from the other campuses too. We all are so busy that we don't get to spend a ton of time together throughout the year, so Staff Advance is pretty special when we can hang out with all our Cross Church folks.
Basically, the whole week is one I look forward to and am a little sad when it's over. I'm super blessed to be a part of this church and to be able to do ministry and do life with these awesome people.