After registration, waiting for the first session to start, and feeling slightly overwhelmed already - it seemed like we were constantly in the way!
Let me preface this post with the simple truth that we have never been to any Christ-centered conferences before. Truthfully, I was not entirely sure what to expect, but I was thinking more along the lines of a casual homeschool convention atmosphere. There is a big difference between homeschool conventions, and a conference like this one. It was much more intense and focused than I had expected, and I was abundantly blessed by it!
During the opening session, we found out that the conference was mostly organized and run by 20-somethings, and I saw everything with new eyes. With that in mind, one could even begin to appreciate the small mistakes and minor technical issues. Just the fact that these young people were doing the hard work with such a willing attitude, probably knowing that they would inevitably have issues, and doing it so well, was astounding and noteworthy.
When talking to a friend about the conference, the first thing that I could think to say was that it was an amazing weekend! I would go on to describe the weekend with sentences like these:
- Quiet, despite the noise that 1200 people will inevitably make
- Well-behaved children who helped one another, and enjoyed being around each other
- Young men and women happy to be with their parents, joining with them in their vision
- Speakers with passionate conviction and boldness in their messages
- Encouraging focus on putting the Lord and His will for us above all else – yes, even our definition of “success”
At one point during the opening session, Kevin Swanson was making a point, and (though it’s out of context here, because I didn’t write anything else down) he said, “You are turning your child into something weird!” As I was looking forward, I saw two mothers turn lovingly to their daughters and say something with a smile and hug. It was so sweet!
On Friday, I was also able to meet an online friend that I had recently become acquainted with. It was wonderful to put a face, voice, and family to your name, “Cayt”! 😀
Below are some notes I took during the conference sessions, and a few pictures as well.
Mr. Moore giving a short presentation on marketing, before the whole panel began answering questions on sales and marketing.
Bill Roth, on Entrepreneurial Bootstrapping:
For a successful business, you need to have a remarkable product – in order to do this, you must know the expectations of your market, and exceed them. This produces “remarkability” – a product worthy of notice and remark.
Some interesting statistics from Kevin Swanson’s sessions…
Over half of college graduates are not working in the field for which they were trained.
Over half of college-trained people are not working a job that requires a college degree.
12% bread-winning mothers in 1970, 39% women today
54% of managerial positions are now filled by women, up from 30-some % in 1970
Mr. Swanson also shared how his children “fight” over who will get to take care of their parents when they are older, and our family just smiled at each other – an almost duplicate scene takes place in our home every now and then! 🙂
Who knew a panel discussion on agriculture and real estate could evoke such expressions?!
It was so wonderful to hear 1200 people stand up and sing a few hymns over the weekend! One of our favorite parts. 🙂
During the last session on Friday, there was a slight mishap! The backdrop collapsed onto the Hernandez Family!
But Mr. Hernandez just went back to speaking, and the staff took care of it. No one was hurt, and it looked like the kids thought it was bunches of fun. 😉
Eric Weir, sharing his amazing testimony
The last keynote session of the day
Friday at lunch and right before the last session, The Wintons played, and though we’re not normally fond of bluegrass, I can say that we all truly enjoyed it!
It was interesting to watch the official photographers at the conference, and then to see their end results. I came to a personal understanding and resolution, and though it was already brewing in my mind, the conference aided in making my thoughts clearer: taking pictures makes me excited, and capturing that one good shot makes me ecstatic, but I really need to master the art of photography. There is a big difference between someone with passion, and someone with both passion and knowledge. Though I’ve already been reading books/websites, and trying to teach myself, I learn best by observing someone else and having it explained to me. Where this will lead, I’m not sure, but it would be really nice to find a mentor in the photography field. I’ll be praying over that.
Mentorship, by the way, was a topic discussed at the conference. An interesting new online program was shared, and I was very intrigued by the emphasis placed on this method of training. But more on that soon!