In the midst of what has seemed to be non-stop life, we were, amazingly, allowed the opportunity to step away for a weekend. Through the generosity of the big kids in taking over our responsibilities, Joey, Tim and I were able to attend the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis. This year’s conference was Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification. And just as my attending The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference earlier this year was a life-altering experience, so was attending this conference.
I don’t want to minimize the impact attending the conference had on us by posting “vacation shots” of some of our experiences. Yet, the “vacation” aspect of this weekend was a vastly important component of it. I mentioned to Joey and Tim that the fact that the three of us, the three people who run the bakery, could get away together was, itself, a miracle!
So…before the conference registration opened, we found some lunch at Key’s. Eating out was definitely a highlight of our trip because usually when we travel, we take most of our food and only eat out a couple of times. (For example, when all nine of us went to Florida to get Lydia in 2003, Amelia made and froze casseroles which we heated up in our motel rooms in our roaster every night. And Jacob-the-dog-grooming-competitor long ago invested in a plug-in travel refrigerator for his competition trips. See why we photographed our meals in Minneapolis?)
After lunch, we made a loop around downtown so I could take a photo of this statue:
(Since I had to explain the significance of the statue to the kids, I thought it was high time that we watched some episodes of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” We’ve watched two seasons in the past month.)
We made it to the first session and had a fantastic afternoon listening to David Mathis, Kevin DeYoung, Sally Lloyd-Jones and R W Glenn.
Eeps! It was time for the session with Fernando Ortega. What can we say about how God has used this man’s music in our lives? We cannot say enough. Any words sound shallow. And we got to sing with him!
Then, it was back to earth and time for some supper. We ate at the Convention Center and I had the hugest serving of hummus I have ever seen. Yum!
After supper, we listened to John Piper delve into the conference’s theme of sanctification and, then, more Fernando Ortega. I’ve already said it, and I’ll say it again and again: during the most challenging of times, God has used the words coming out of these men’s mouths as lifelines for Joey and me–and our whole family. God has used their gifts to help us plumb the depths of our souls. Okay, see, any words I use sound shallow…. Anyway, this moment was very meaningful for us because Joey got to thank Fernando Ortega for his music:
(And, right after this moment, Joey and I had a fabulous chat with Cameron Stone, who plays cello with Fernando Ortega. He gave us his email address in case our cellists had any cello questions! I only have a blurry photo of him though:)
Since I’m sharing blurry photos, I might as well show this one:
That was a blurry photo from our room on the 24th floor of our hotel I was trying to photograph the eight (nine?) police vehicles surrounding the entrance to a nearby apartment building. Zooming in didn’t help.
The point? As much as I enjoy visiting cities, I am content to live rather uneventfully in my rural home. Now, stay tuned for more on the conference….