Monday, May 3, 2010

Infinite Hope - Time Out for Women

This past weekend was an incredibly AWESOME!. My daughter, my dear friend, Lise, and I, all went to the Spokane Convention Center for the Time Out for Women Conference. We had such a great time! It was fun; it was spiritual; it was exciting; it was educational! WE LOVED IT! Yes... "we;" I know the others loved it, too.

Mindy stood here and looked out over Riverfront Park, as well as looking straight down at the people walking bellow. I was so thankful for her eye for beauty; she always wanted to stop and look at things, and that caused me to slow down and notice so much beauty that I would never have noticed otherwise. One of my new goals is to notice and see the beauty like Mindy does (my son Dausen has that gift, too. :)

This next photo was taken as we walked up the stairs to get to our seats to view the Conference. I was so happy to be way up high and to have the view of not only the performers and speakers, but also of the audience. :) The view was spectacular!

Looking down the stairs...

I really love this next photo because you can see the buildings out through the huge windows; don't they look cool from behind the window frames?

These next photos were really fun to take. I hope the lady in the first one didn't mind. :O It was a blast to look back at the photos in sequence, remembering how I thought about what would be a great photo; I improved with each of the three attempts. - I love taking photos! :)

We also had a fabulous time after conference as well as during... walking around down town Spokane and on Riverfront Park. I went a little crazy with the camera between conference talks - but before conference was over, the battery died; so was not able to get photos of all the cool sites down town or at Riverfront Park. But like I said - I did get some photos. :D I am also anxious to go back to Spokane and take a bunch of random photos; that place is amazing!!! I'll show you the few photos that I did take during conference breaks, before the camera's battery died.

Did you see the living statues in that photo? Here, I'll give you a close-up of each, as well as a couple close-up's of another who was leaning against the wall of the Convention Center.

I wish the other girls could have seen these "statues." :) I saw them on a trip to the car between sessions while the girls were inside eating lunch. That was one very enjoyable trip to the car.

I was constantly amazed about all the beauty all around me - both in nature, as well as in the things of the world - created by talented artists and construction workers. My sense of vision was totally delighted. On the way home it rained (as it has off and on for the past week). We saw the most glorious rainbow imaginable! I SO WISH I HAD A BATTERY IN MY CAMERA!!! I WOULD PAY MONEY FOR A PHOTO THAT I COULD HAVE TAKEN MYSELF - HAD MY BATTERY BEEN CHARGED!!!! Actually, there were two rainbows, one on top of the other with a small space between. The colors were bold and vibrant. The purple looked almost metallic; it was so shinny and bright (they all were, really). It is SO painful to think about the fact that I didn't charge my battery the night before...  I have never in my life seen such beautiful rainbows (and I've always loved rainbows)... And they were so close - so huge! They were absolutely STUNNING!

OK - enough for now about the beauty. I also want to tell you a bit about the conference - but don't know where to start or what to include - THERE WAS SO MUCH TO TELL ABOUT! Where to start...? I think I'll start at the end!

The last talk is strongly in my mind. The speaker was Emily Freeman... also loved for and known to her niece as "the one who buys caramels." (What a totally cool aunt! :) Emily just happens to be the one speaker that I took a photo of... and the one speaker who I met afterwards.  :)

She gave a great story about herself in which she started out telling about a really cool thing she did and about how great she felt about herself for doing it (she took her kids skiing for 3 days). There were other positive things she talked about doing or being, too; she felt on top of the world! :D But, at only 5:00 in the evening, she was in so much pain from skiing that she changed into her pajamas.

Long story short - she ended up going to the grocery store - in her pajamas. While there, a woman made a comment about her pajamas along with another criticism. Emily took the criticism in and internalized it - and in only a few minutes time she went from feeling "on top of the world" to doubting herself and feeling awful. After going home and crying to her sisters (who couldn't help laughing about the ridiculous judgments made which caused the self doubt and self criticism), Emily learned a valuable lesson about perspective, and about loving life.

I could really relate to that story because one of my major weaknesses has been to have self doubt. I am always wanting others to verify for me that I am doing well, that my talk was enjoyable and enlightening, that I am making the best choices for my family, etc. etc. ETC!

As I said before... Emily learned about perspective (which, as briefly illustrated above, can cause you to feel good about yourself, or to have self doubt), and loving life. Here is a scripture Emily Freeman quoted about loving life...
"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile." 1 Peter 2:10
BTY - This is a scripture that my family memorized years ago for FHE.

Emily pointed out that the scripture doesn't say, "have good days" it says "'see' good days" - what you have is a matter of what you see; in other words, life is a matter of perspective.

To reinforce this, she reiterated the story of Lehi taking his family and traveling in the wilderness, and of how his son's experiences on that journey were so drastically different based on their perspectives.

To Laman and Lemuel, the whole thing was just terrible; they murmured and complained about having to leave behind their riches and possessions and suffer great afflictions, and felt that if they had stayed in Jerusalem they, "might have been happy." (Of course, we know they would not have been happy, but would have been destroyed with the city.)

Nephi noted that they had to wade through much afflictions as they traveled, but also recognized the "tender mercies of the lord" over "those whom he had chosen, because of their faith."

They all had the same experiences... but they chose to "see" different things.

Laman and Lemuel's perspective granted them sorrow, anger, frustration, despair... Nephi's perspective granted him gratitude, happiness, and love for family and life.

As I reflect upon this I can see that it is 100% true. Often times our lives are overflowing with beauty that we just don't take the time, or allow ourselves the perspective to see; because we are focusing our attention on other things.

I am always amazed when I go to get photos of vacations etc., and notice things in the background of the photos that I may not have noticed while in the thick of things... or when I see that the colors are brighter than I realized, or the clouds are actually stunning instead of just grey.

And one of my personal favorites, is looking back at photos of myself from years before during times when I thought I was ugly, and realizing that I was beautiful. I wonder how often we are guilty of not seeing tremendous beauty - in others, in ourselves, and even in our lives.

OK - enough rambling for now... this has gotten too long to continue writing; perhaps I will share more of my favorite messages with you later. :)  TTFN! :D


  1. I love your pics of Spokane and Riverfront Park. Oh, how I love that place! Thanks for a little trip back there through pictures- so many good memories.
    I would love to go to a TOFW....someday. It sounds amazing and like you were rejeuvanted in many ways. Good for you- you deserve it.
    You're right, some of my favorite pics have been ones that I have just randomly taken and ended up capturing more than I oringinally intended.

  2. Thanks. :) - I love my pic's, too! :O... :) I also love Riverfront Park. I intend to go back again, soon. BTY - I forgot to mention here that we also took a ride on the Carousel :) And... I got the golden ring, so got a free ticket for another ride (which I'm saving for the next trip there with the family). I can hardly wait to use it! Seriously... I really do love riding on the Carousel! :D I think I will just stay a kid... oh, I don't know... how about FOREVER! :D

    And, of course... the conference was FABULOUS!!! I did deserve that...didn't I? :D Thanks. I hope you get to go too! If you ever decide to go to one in Spokane you can crash out at my house (if you don't mind a 40 minute drive). Just call me in advance so I can purchase tickets, too; and we can go together! I know you probably have plenty of opportunities near you in SLC, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE A RIVERFRONT PARK THERE, do they?!!!! I didn't think so. ;) TTFN!

  3. No. No Riverfront Park in SLC. At least, not one with a fun carosel with golden rings and a HUGE wagon slide! (Is it still there?)
    BTW- My sis in law was there from Pocatello. I thought it was kind of cool to think of the two of you there with a common link (me) and not even know it. It is a small world. :)

  4. Hi again, Natalie :) That's just what I thought. YES - THE SLIDE IS STILL THERE! :D However, it may have shrunk. How old were you when you were there last? If you were a kid, then it shrunk! LOL :D It shrunk a ton between my childhood and now. But I still love it. I love that whole park.

    Cool that your sister in law and I were there at the same time. I ran into a childhood friend while there as well (a Buchanan kid). It most definitely is a very small world indeed! TTFN! Perhaps even we will bump into each other one day unexpectedly! :D Corine


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