Thursday, August 28, 2008

Siesta Fiesta Extravaganza!

Well, it's been almost a week post Siesta Fiesta, and I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience. And let me tell you...it was an experience. From being picked up at the airport by my roomie Linda, to the final goodbye as she dropped me off it was a great weekend.

My flight was delayed because of bad weather, so by the time Linda and I picked up our armbands, checked into the hotel and grabbed a bite to eat we were a bit late for the conference Friday night. We didn't mind because it meant that we had a chance to yell visit during dinner, as the Mariachi band firmly planted itself two tables down from us.

When we arrived at the conference, the praise and worship time was almost over as we found our seats in the Siesta section. The tempo had slowed, and women all around me were raising their hands in worship and adoration to the Lord of hosts. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I don't remember what we were singing, but the music stopped and it was just the sound of 10,000 separate voices blended into one, praising the Almighty.

The Spirit fell on us like a blanket...warm, almost tangible. I just closed my eyes as they filled with tears of joy and adoration and basked in the moment of preparation for receiving the Word. I am witness to the fact that Beth Moore preached some Truth Friday and Saturday.

Truth, people.

She spoke of our inheritance in and with Christ. She spoke of sonship and of boundaries that we have to protect. She spoke truth. As I was planning for this trip, I am a little ashamed to say that I had not given the conference a second thought. I had been so focused on the blogging aspect of the trip, and meeting so many people in person that I completely lost focus of the real reason we were all meeting to begin with. But it didn't take long for Beth to bring everything into sharp focus, and as I explored the Word with her I became excited about what I was learning, and everything else took a backseat to the Truth I was absorbing.

After the conference was over Saturday, all of the bloggers stayed behind for a photo session and a Q&A with Beth and her daughters. I was in the red group and here is a picture of us with Beth, Travis Cottrell and Kelly Minter.

After the Q&A, Linda and I went in search of some lunch. We knew we didn't have time before the PJ party to walk down to the Riverwalk, brave the long waits for a table, eat and then get back in time to rest, so we did the next best thing.

We found an IHOP.

Good old IHOP. I can always depend on you! We ate and visited, rehashing the conference and sharing stories with one another. It was such a sweet time of fellowship Linda, and it was the first time we had really just sat down and relaxed. We took our time, and then drove back to the Marriott to rest a bit and get changed into our evening attire. (Trevor asked me when I got home if I really, actually wore pajamas to a party with other grown women.)

Yes. Yes, I did. And it was marvelous! We had such a great time although I only knew a few people from the blogging world. Of course I knew Linda (Mocha With Linda) and Lisa (The Preacher's Wife), and I love to read Sophie's blog (BooMama), but beyond that I was in a room with a bunch of strangers. But the funny thing was that none of us felt like strangers. I am not a social butterfly. I prefer to watch the room and the action moving around me, but this time I felt like I was hanging out with friends.

We were some of the first to arrive, and so we picked a table and sat down with our pizza and cookies. Pretty soon, our table filled with the most wonderful girls you'd ever want to meet. Jill (Busy Girls) and Lori (Whatever) were from Florida, and Rachel (Three Boys and Me) was from Missouri. I had never laid eyes on any of these women, but there we were laughing and trading stories like we had been friends for years! The pictures of the kids were brought out for show and tell, and we spoke of home and family and the things that matter most to us.

There were testimonies that made me realize how blessed my life has been, and there were many moments of laughter (I'm remembering in particular a story that Brittney at Lopsided Halo told us. Her mother was convinced that we were a bunch of internet predators that were waiting in San Antonio to trap her!) and shared kinship as the evening wore on. I met Bethany (Beyond This Moment), a sweet girl from Oregon, and so many other ladies that it hurts my brain a little to try to recall all their names and blogs! Good times.

All this to say that I have not had such a refreshing time of fellowship and renewal in a long time. Since last weekend, I've added many new blogs to my Google Reader, and anxiously wait for new posts to appear so I can get to know my new friends better. So the next time the Siestas get together, you can count me in!!

This was the view from our room.

Me and my roomie!
Linda, Lisa and me.
Lori and Rachel
Jill (what a sweetheart!)
Sophie (aka BooMama) and me.

12 comments:

Mocha with Linda said...

I needed the smile that reading this gave me. I'm so glad we had the weekend together! And glad you took the picture of the view from the room - it never crossed my mind!

luvmy4sons said...

What a blessing your trip was. I am so glad. Sorry I had to miss it. Hugs to you!

The Young's said...

This is SO COOL!! I would LOVE to do something like this sometime. How cool would it be to connect with all of your blogger friends!! So glad you had such a good time!!! It sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing all the details!!!

Hope you guys have a great Labor Day weekend!!
Buffi

Kellye said...

I am so proud of you for really stepping out there and doing something different. I am such a homebody, this would be WAYYY out of my league! Good for you and glad you were blessed by the whole event.

Heather C said...

What an absolutely fabulous blessing! Thank you for taking the time to journal your memories. I am so envious of you! Glad you were blessed... in all of it, especially the Truth! :)

Heather

Heather C said...

What an absolutely fabulous blessing! Thank you for taking the time to journal your memories. I am so envious of you! Glad you were blessed... in all of it, especially the Truth! :)

Heather

Lopsided Halo said...

Oh girl it was great to meet you!!! You are such a delight...and yes, my mom was very glad I made it home unharmed by all of my "stalker" friends!!! I think she is easing up on the "stalker" term...and is calling everyone "bloggers"...wow, what a change!! I hope we can meet up again and I'm so glad we got to meet up at the PJ party. Take care :)

The Small Scribbler said...

Xandra,

This looks like you had such a great time. My real life friend, Stephanie (Notes from the Soul) was there and posted lots of pictures as well. I feel like I've been given a little glimpse of what heaven will be like reading about the sweet fellowship of that weekend.

Kate

lori said...

That seat made all the difference for me. Until I sat down with you ladies I was nervous and wanted to just go back to my room, I was even ready to fake a headache.
I had a great time getting to know you.

Rachel said...

I'm so thankful I sat down at your table! I had so much fun getting to know about you and your family. Your blog is great!

Leah in Iowa said...

So if they ever decided to do something in the midwest, please let me know! Sounds like tons of fun!!

Alana said...

Sigh. With every post I read about SA I get more and more sad that I wasn't there! I am so glad you had a great time!