All Because of God: The Hearts at Home 2.0 Conference
Do you know the voice of God? Have you learned to recognize His promptings and the wisdom of responding as He would want you to? On June 20, 2017, I opened an email that looked innocent enough only to learn that Hearts at Home was closing. I had served as a speaker often at Hearts at Home conferences and coauthored a book with its founder, Jill Savage. It was a vital and unique ministry. As a friend, I was immediately concerned not just for Jill, but for thousands of moms who would find out the next day. In fact, before I finished the email, I had the strongest sense that it shouldn’t close. I reached out to Jill that day and the Board chair the next day. I didn’t have a choice. God made it clear to me as I was reading the email that I needed to reach out. I hesitated because it felt arrogant that I would have something new to say that would cause them to rethink their decision. But, I had to reach out. God compelled me to. Thankfully, the Board of Directors agreed to work with me. This quickly became an “us” as I approached friends/colleagues about partnering with me who said “yes.” I couldn’t have taken on another ministry without Lane and Suzanne Phillips. They have passion, knowledge, business, and finance knowledge that I knew I needed. And, I wanted Suzanne’s insights about families to have a broader platform than her school provided for her in Alpharetta, GA. Last Friday-Saturday, we hosted our first Hearts at Home 2.0 conference in Normal, IL Almost 1,500 moms trusted us and gathered to hear from Suzanne, myself, and five of our favorite speakers (Shari Braendel, Jill Savage, Shaunti Feldhahn, Susan Seay, and Kathi Lipp). Our worship led by Tyler and Bailey Dodds was ordained and our MC/comedian, Sally Baucke, hit it out of the park every time she was on stage. Prayers and Scriptures shared by Kimberly Oden, one of our Board members, reached deep into the women to encourage them as God listened and embraced them with His love and hope. We experienced so much! Moms were inspired.
We were a unified team even though not everyone knew each other.
Volunteers served graciously and sacrificially.
Women came to faith in Jesus Christ. There’s nothing better!
Worship glorified God.
Prayer from the stage for our moms blessed and inspired them.
Exhibitors eagerly connected with moms.
Speakers’ messages connected with moms in all ages and stages of parenting.
Needs were met.
Moms had fun.
Relationships were strengthened. Joy was in the place and the people. Everywhere!
Many moms were prayed for individually in the prayer room.
Moms were reminded of their high calling.
Moms were reminded they’re not alone.
Moms were helped with practical ideas.
Moms ripped up lie-identities and embraced truth.
Moms laughed when being reminded they don’t have to like what their children do, but loving them is a must.
Moms embraced a healthy perspective about their children’s strengths and weaknesses.
Moms learned practical ideas about their outer appearance while being inspired to view it with a biblical perspective.
Moms were inspired to believe they are the perfect mom for their imperfect children.
Moms were encouraged to let peace rule rather than cultural expectations of perfection.
Moms were inspired to believe they can live on purpose with purpose.
Moms were challenged to move from being overwhelmed to living with peace.
Jesus was proclaimed as the One Who meets our need for security.
Jesus was proclaimed as the One Who meets our need for identity.
Jesus was proclaimed as the One Who meets our need for belonging.
Jesus was proclaimed as the One Who meets our need for purpose.
Jesus was proclaimed as the One Who meets our need for competence. All Because of God I could go on and on. We had an amazing conference all because God spoke and I was able to listen and respond. I haven’t always, but I sure am glad I followed through with obedience back in June, 2017. Since then, I’ve been motivated to listen more and do what I know is right even if it looks wrong to others. I hope you’ve discovered this place of peace and joy. We announced at the end that we are moving forward with a new name and plans. As we expand what we can do with and for you, God led us to rename the ministry Ignite the Family. The tagline is “A Movement of Awakened Parents.” We’re looking forward to speaking out with our ideas. If you’d like to watch a video of Suzanne and I thanking Jill Savage, the founder of Hearts at Home, for all she did and then announcing our new plans, watch this: https://www.facebook.com/ignitethefamily/videos/582236565591383/ Remember, listen for God’s voice. Watch for His leading. Follow Him! It’s right and worth it!