Sunday, August 24, 2008

True Praise

I think I have started this post 3 times already, but I simply don't know where to begin. There are just so many things that I want to say. So. Many. But, I need to pull it together better in my mind.

Some of them are so completely hilarious that I have to hold in a SNORT every single time I think about it and probably will for the rest of my life. Including now, which is causing me and my laptop to receive some very concerned looks. I am at the airport, by the way, waiting on my flight out of San Antonio. Suffice it to say, we laughed y'all. I mean laughed till it flat-out HURT!!

Then there were moments like getting to meet and hang out with my sweet friend Cindy all weekend. I already loved her, but she is even more of a treasure to me now. She is all that you'd imagine and then some. We laughed and we worshipped and we stayed up way too late chatting about everything under the sun, just like we'd known each other forever. I am missing her dreadfully already. So I better quit talking about it because I will, for sure, start with the ugly cry and then these poor fellow travelers will certainly request my ban from their flight.


Together we spent a ton of time with the Fabulous Amy Beth who knows and rocks the awesomeness of a late night girl talk. Not only that, but she comes bearing gifts of the chocolate lava cake and ice cream variety to said late night gatherings. And you thought she could only pull off the nacho cheese... Negative. Love that girl.

Then there's Jennie, who had to endure two of the most directionally challenged people ON the planet thankyouverymuch. She was still kind enough after suffering many of our antics to want to have the longest most awesome lunch ever, in the coolest most awesome spot ever, along the Riverwalk. Love that girl, too.

I was finally able to look at so many lovely faces to so many of the blogs that I read, and I was blessed. BLESSED by ALL of my encounters. There just isn't enough room to write about each of them, but every single one, from the moment I arrived, are special to me.

Here comes that dern lump again. God is just so good. So good to bring together a bunch of His daughters from all across the nation to raise the roof together in worship, and to just do what He designed us as women to do.

I plan to blog about this more as the week goes on because there is too much for just one post. I especially want to tell you how awesome Living Proof Live was, but before I do that, there is one thing I have to tell you about RIGHT NOW. It impacted me so strongly this weekend and showed me how deep God's strengh can run in one person that for me to keep it to myself would be wrong.

I already mentioned that I am"directionally challenged", so when I had to go back to the hotel to meet up with Cindy and Amy Beth after lunch on Friday, I was a mite panicked. Everyone else was heading to the Alamodome which is in the opposite direction from where I was where I needed to go.

By the grace of God, two women, who were with our group, were going my way and they appeared to know what they were doing. We loaded up on the trolley and began the normal, "where are you from?" and "what's your blog name?", which, incidentally, would usually illicit a huge squeal because THEN we would recognize each other. So it wasn't weird to hear someone say something like, "I'm Fuzzytop" followed by the high-pitched "OH MY GOODNESS!! It's SO good to meet you" and then a huge hug would ensue. But I am getting away from my story.

So we're on the trolley chatting all the way back to the hotel and when we got into the lobby, I thanked them again, and we went our separate ways.

On Saturday morning, we ended up sitting right behind them. Cindy had to use the facilites, and Amy Beth hadn't arrived yet, so I was alone when Michelle (one of the ladies) decided to crawl up one row to chat. I told her how I drug Cindy seven blocks in the wrong direction trying to get to the Alamodome and we had a good chuckle at my obvious issues.

Then I noticed the CUTEST Build-a-Bear dog sitting on Michelle's seat. I commented on it and touched it's foot, when she said that it reminded her of her son. I guess I thought that she was taking it home to her young child, but no. She then went on to tell me that three years ago to the day she had to say goodbye to her boy while on this earth. He was 17 and in a terrible car accident. He survived for several days, but his precious body was just too broken and God wanted him home. I listened, barely able to speak, to her tell about her Father and how she praised Him for healing her son for eternity. I was in awe at the strength of God in this woman. I hugged her so tightly and then the event started. She took her seat and I went on to watch her for the next 3 and a half hours worship and receive and offer up her battered heart in deep praise.

Girls, there are no words. Her and her Father together blew me away. And I couldn't have been more blessed. Michelle Bentham, it was so good to meet you this weekend. God used you to show a few girls in the next row what an awesome Abba He is, and I am so grateful. I love you my sister.



katiegfromtennessee said...

Hey Gayle!:)

Loved reading about your experience in San Antonio! I sure it was fantastic! Did you take notes? I would love to know what Beth talked about!


Michelle Bentham said...


Sweet. Sweet. Gayle.

You blessed me in ways that your post has made it difficult for me to express. Telling Justin's story is one of the ways his legacy continues and you are helping me do that. I love you more than these typed words could ever express.

Thank you for asking me if you could share my story - I am overwhelmed.

In Awe of His Matchless Grace,


Emily said...

First of all, I knew...just KNEW that you'd love Cindy. It's crazy that I have met her once and once wasn't enough.
you understand that now. :)

and isn't it amazing how when a bunch of women (sisters as you call them) get together corporately, a powerful thing occurs.

I was moved reading Michelle's story. She's amazing.

Halfmoon Girl said...

Sounds like an incredible, powerful, fun filled time!

Lora Lynn said...

Glad your trip was wonderful. Can't wait to hear more!

chickadee said...

that's got to be so exciting to meet so many bloggers you have enjoyed for so long. i hope i get to do that some day.

jennyhope said...

I just found your blog. It was great to meet you in the bathroom. LOL!!!!

Duckygirl said...

It's so good to hear that you had a great experience there! And you got to meet so many awesome people!! I'm still hoping that 'someday' there will be an event here in Seattle :)

Can't wait to hear more about it!


Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

dad gum it. next time I'm going. So glad you had fun.

Growin' with it! said...

oh how much fun its been this morning to read your post and look at those other blogs and pictures and beeeeeautiful women (you included) beautiful inside and out. can't wait to hear more!

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

Oh, CRUM! It's over.

I LOVED meeting you! Have a great week!

Brooke said...

I do remember your face at the fiesta but I don't think we got to speak! I came with Lisa "the preacher's wife" and ahem...I was the one who wouldn't put the mike down at the pajama party... LOL
It was nice to hear your take on our weekend in San Antonio and can't wait to read more!
The Mailgirl

EEEEMommy said...

I'm so glad you had a BLESSED time! :) I'm excited to hear all about it!

Angela; said...

Oh Gayle. It's been such a blessing to read your post. Michelle's story touched my heart. I've read a couple times now and it continues to bring me to tears.
I,too, have enjoyed hopping around getting to know the friends you've gotten to see.

Have a great week!

Kathleen in TX said...

I'm the one who came with my little ones. I was so glad to meet you and chat with you a bit! I enjoyed reading your post :)

3girlsmom said...

Let's do lunch soon. I mean, if we can travel 800 miles to hang out with each other, then we can certainly do it here.

Mocha with Linda said...

I loved finally getting to meet you! You are a sweetheart! I'm ready to do it all over again!!

Way More Homemade said...

I KNOW... that drive-by we did was just not enough.

Thank you for sharing Michelle's story.

I am really looking forward to maybe doing this again next year and maybe we'll have more time.


Bridgette said...

Hey Gayle,
I met you at the Pico de Gallo. I enjoyed meeting all of you at lunch that day. I looked for you later, but it was so busy! I had a great weekend and I'm glad I got to meet you!
From one heiress to another!

twinkle said...

I posted my Favorite Recaps and your post about True Praise was one of my favorites! I met Michelle at the Siesta Fiesta but I've known her for many years from Lifeway's Community Forum...even walked with her through her son's death. She is awesome. A Siesta Diva. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

Ang baylis said...

Hey Gayle!
Thank you for stopping by my blog! Yes, Sister I am a Siesta, too!! I'm so glad to meet you. I loved this post and I was once again amazed at the ways God made that whole event possible. It's hard to explain to people who don't get it. Thank you also for sharing the story about Michelle. I had heard of her, but had no idea about her son. What a special gift for her to be able to spend that weekend with so many huge hearts and true Sisters for eternity! Thanks again for stopping by my blog. I'll be back here for sure!
Much love,
Angie xoxo