Monday, January 25, 2010

How Beautiful Is The Body of Christ! Part 1

Warning: Very long post!!!!

Last Wednesday evening I headed down to Fresno to prepare to leave for Houston Texas early on Thursday morning. To say that I was excited was an understatement!
Flashback one year ago and you would have found me signing up to be a part of the LPM Scripture Memory Team. It was a group of about 2,000 women who signed up to memorize scripture for the duration of 1 year. I've always known that there is tremendous benefit to memorizing scripture. I just had never prioritized it in my life. This is a confession that is hard for me to lay out there but it is the truth. I just never put forth the effort or time to commit
God's word to my memory.
That all changed over the course of 2009.
I have learned so much about God, about me, and about his Word by memorizing scripture this past year. If you read my previous post documenting my scripture verses for 2009, you know that God took me down a path that was at times hard, at times full of joy, but purposeful every step of the way. My memory work this past year highlighted the many experiences that a year can bring. It was so sweet to mark my life with my own little stones of remembrance.
So, about halfway through the scripture memory challenge, Beth encouraged us with the news that she, Amanda, and Melissa would like to invite us out to Houston, TX. to HFBC to celebrate what God had done in us over the course of the year. Come January 22-23 of 2010, we would be together celebrating our accomplishment of the year's hard work.
I was ecstatic to say the least but unsure as to how this dream trip would be possible. I just pushed the thoughts aside and focused on my memory work.
Around November of 2009, I felt more and more that I'd like to attend the celebration in Houston. I was still going somewhat strong with my verses and the thought of getting together with other siestas was encouraging. I must confess, I also was thinking that an event at HFBC, hosted by Bethie and the girls would definately be a sweet experience. I was hooked for the chance to meet my favorite bible teacher.
In November, the LPM blog published a post in which siestas planning to travel alone could hook up with other siestas from their area. I was so blessed to meet my new friend Yvonne who only lives 1 hour away from me and we shared our hearts over a cup of coffee/chai at Starbucks.
I knew right then that I HAD to go on this trip. My instant connection to Yvonne because of our bond in the Lord spokes volumes to my heart. I just knew that this trip would bless me in ways that I could not even imagine.
So, the plans were put into motion...plane ticket purchased, emails shared between my siesta sister and I planning our travel, spending money saved, and my heart prepared in my quiet time with the Lord.
The week preceeding the event was difficult to say the least. I was attacked by satan in matters of my health, and in my job. But, I pressed into the presence and sovereignty of my Lord and moved ahead.
The day finally came for me to fly out to Houston. Yvonne and I met up at 5:30 am and were in the air by 6:55 am. My conversation during the flight with my siesta sister was honey to my heart. I am awed again and again by how God provides me with sisters of the heart. Yvonne is definatly that! We talked about what the Lord is doing in our lives for the entire 3 hour flight from here to Dallas. Then we continued our conversations over the 2 hour layover that we had in Dallas. We finally arrived in Houston around 4:40 in the afternoon on Thursday. It was so nice to pick up the rental car and get on the road to our hotel.
Surviving the freeway in Houston is a conversation for another time!
We were so excited when we made it to the Omni. I personally was blown away by the beauty and elaborate decorations of our home away from home for the next 3 days! I felt utterly blessed to stay there and so spoiled by LPM!
Once there, Yvonne and I checked in and headed up to the 8th floor to check out our room. I was stunned by how beautiful it was! We both were so excited that the duvet was white! It gave us both comfort to think that they were clean :)
Because there was a water problem at the Omni that night, a recption was held for guests that night and Yvonne and I were excited to have our dinner in the hotel! I am so glad that we stayed too because we met up with our first siesta sister of the weekend! Tami was at the refreshment table when we were filling our plates and she sweetly asked "are you girls siestas?"...we told her yes, that we were and proceeded to spend a few hours with her that night getting to know one another. It was sweet time in the Lord and with each other!
Friday was special as we headed out to The Galleria....that will have to be talked about later!

Yvonne making sure that she marked every scratch, dent, or mark on the car. She was so cute being overly cautious! Better that than to have to pay later!
Our room at the Omni...yeah, that's my stuff all over the room and on the bed :)

View from the window of our 8th story abode.

Pouring water into the tank of the toilet in this undoubtedly 4 or 5 star hotel! Just didn't seem right!
That's me hanging out in the hotel.


Marla Taviano said...

That last pic of you is so cute!! Can't wait to hear the rest!

A Joyful Chaos said...

Enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.

Mom of Eleven said...

So fun meeting you in the lobby on Friday! Wasn't it all just awesome!

Wonder Woman said...

Adorable! Can't wait to read the rest!

Loved, loved meeting you!


Beautiful Daughters said...

It was so great meeting you this weekend! I have some fun hotel pics too! lol
Cannot wait to hear more about this weekend!
Hugs Rachel

Emily Doss said...

Zeph. 3:17 was one of my scripture memory verses. Love it!

joy in the journey said...

loved reading your recap! I'm so happy you invited me into your sweet group :) Hope you're feeling better...I'll keep praying~
keep in touch!

Jen said...

I've been waiting for this post!! Now I really wish I would have done the memorization team! What a blessing! I want to hear more, I've been checking out the other Siesta blogs too, to see how it was for them! Let's do coffee soon, I can try and live vicariously through you! So glad you were blessed!!

Yvonne said...

I love you Bethany! The Lord is magnificent in how He works and unites hearts! Praising the Lord for you and can't wait to see you in the near future!

proverbs3woman said...

Hey Bethany!
Heather G
Charlotte NC

Deidre said...

I had no idea about the water problem! That's funny.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to meet you and hang out with you. You are so sweet!

Can't wait to hear the rest.

I feel you girls would be so proud to know my husband brought home AVACADOS last night! ha! Before you get too proud, know that there just lying on the counter, uneaten. But, they're in my house. Baby steps ....

Georgia Jan said...

Bethany: It was so fun to meet you in the lobby of the Omni - that really set the tone for our weekend! I loved your recap.

Blessings to you sweet girl! Looking forward to keeping up with you through your blog.

Georgia Jan

Lora said...

I loved hearing your story of meeting Yvonne. I too, had the sweet joy of planning, praying and traveling with a new friend. It was one of the sweetest joys of the trip. I so feel like I am still on overflow from last weekend!

Blessings to you sweet Siesta!