Faith-filled Weekend

12 Oct

Friday night saw me riding into Downtown Portland with my cousin after work.  Traffic was light, the drive was quick, and we didn’t really get lost!  Trying to find parking took up the most time, but we arrived a little after 6 so was able to park along the street.

We parked just in time to meet my mom, aunt and other cousin walking back from the mall.  Dropped our luggage off in the hotel room and rushed off to the Rose Garden.  We were only a couple blocks away, so had a lovely walk down.  The air was crisp with Fall but dry.

There was a Friday day session that my mom, aunt and cousin had gone to, so they knew what to expect.  When we arrived outside the Rose Garden though, none of us were expecting what occurred.

The doors were closed and thousands of women were waiting outside, even though the doors were suppose to have opened 15 minutes before.  Asking around, no one knew anything other than it was a “lockdown”.

After nursing a cranky baby (in my handy-dandy grey ring-sling) I whipped out my iPhone to see what I could find.  Twitter saved the day, linking to news stories.  The lockdown was because of a suspicious package found in a bathroom.

There was no panic, no fear.  Voices raised in song filled the air.  There is something about thousands of women singing Amazing Grace acapella that is just beautiful.

We left after waiting for half an hour, to get something for me to eat.  I hadn’t gotten any dinner and it was past 7:30.  I needed some protein in my body.  We stopped by Subway then continued onto the hotel, because we had received a text that the evening was canceled.  Thankfully, no one was hurt, and we spent a nice evening at the hotel talking and watching Hitch on cable.  I fell asleep to the sounds of my mom snoring and my aunt and cousins giggling uncontrollably.  My dreams were amusing that evening.

The next morning I woke up to a smiling happy baby playing with her Nana.  We got ready and walked down to Starbucks, proceeding to eat breakfast while walking to the Rose Garden.  To make up for the canceled evening before, they tacked an hour on to the beginning and the ending.  There were thousands of women milling around and while we waited to finish the coffee that morning, we people watched.  Amazing how many different styles and ages were there.  Finally done, we made it into the arena and worked our way to the top level where our seats were.  The lights were down and my normally calm and happy baby was kinda freaking out.  She wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t play, it was too dark and too loud.  So we left and went to find the nursing room.  After having to ask for directions from three different workers, we found the restaurant that had been turned into the nursing room.  Thankfully, there were TVs playing the event.  We spent the day in that room.

Although sad that we didn’t get to experience the power in the arena, the day was not a total waste.  Other mothers and children came and went from the room.  We chatted and played and interacted.  I believe that God had us go to this place to connect in ways that I never could have connected to the larger group.  We danced with our children to the amazing music, got tearful during the emotional stories and discussed the points that were made.  If I had been in the arena, I would have only talked to people I knew.

Overall, it was an amazing experience.  My faith is renewed even more and I’m inspired.  I’m so glad I went.

Especially when having family time with my parents on Sunday and discovering that my grandma is not doing well.  She’s been getting weaker over the last year or so, but her lungs and heart aren’t working well at all anymore.  She’s on oxygen 24/7 now.  My brother, husband, baby and I went to visit after dinner yesterday and while there, we talked about the baby and us.  Which means that she is really not doing well, since when she is healthy, she only wants to talk about herself.  So if you pray, prayers would be greatly welcomed.  If you don’t pray, good thoughts would be just as welcomed.

And thank you to those that shared your thoughts on faith.  It was so greatly appreciated.

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7 Responses to “Faith-filled Weekend”

  1. kbreints October 12, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    I have often thought of attending this myself, but have never been able to make it. sounds like a very uplifting weekend! I ams orry to hear about your grandma…. these things are never easy. I will sure include your family in my prayers!

    • mrssoup October 12, 2009 at 11:05 am #

      If you get a chance, you should go.

      Thank you for the prayers.

  2. jenny October 12, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    It sounds like you enjoyed a lovely weekend.

    I’m always amazed when God pulls us from our normal routine or ‘box’ and puts us in new situations. It’s wonderful that you embraced it and enjoyed the time with other moms/kids.

    Your grandma {and the rest of your family} will most certainly be in our prayers.

    • mrssoup October 12, 2009 at 11:55 am #

      Yes, exactly! Stepping away from a normal routine or even an expected routine is scary…but so worth it.

      Thank you for the prayers.

  3. Kathleen October 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    I’m so glad to hear you had such a positive experience! I have attended Women of Faith before and enjoyed it so much. I do believe you WERE placed in that alternate venue to be touched in an even deeper way!

    Praying for your grandma…

    • mrssoup October 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

      Yes, exactly. The alternate venue was how it was suppose to be. So very true. Thank you for the prayers.

  4. Aunt Becky October 13, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    So glad that things worked out, even if it wasn’t the way you’d thought it would be.

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