David and I have gone to Choral Festival for the last several years. When we knew my due date was going to mid-August, David said "I guess we won't be able to go to Spartanburg this year for the conference". I said 'YES - we are still going!" It is such a great weekend of refreshment, encouragement, equipping and training for both of us and I did not want to miss it!! At my doctor's appointment the day before I left town, I had a good check up although my heart skipped a beat when he said I was 3 cm! I didn't tell my mom that part - she was already nervous about us travelling the week before my due date. I assured her (and everyone else that was a little nervous about us travelling) that we were only 1.5 hours away...and that if anything happened, we would come on home.
It was a wonderful weekend. Heard lots of great new music. Sat through some awesome workshops led by amazing musicians and Christ followers. Got some great ideas for our music ministry at Northside. Pumped up and excited for my children's choir to kick off. And heard and participated in some awesome worship throughout the weekend. Oh - and the food was incredible, and it sure was nice having a last little getaway with my husband!!
I was definitely ogled while I was there - every time I was in the rest room (which was A LOT), the ladies would ask my due date and they would REALLY exclaim when I told them "next week!". And then you can only imagine their reaction when they heard it was my 5th child!!! :)
Got to hang out with Jeff Slaughter!!! Went to one of his workshops and then David and I had dinner with him one night! It was awesome. He has written and led the VBS music for Lifeway for the last 16 or so years. I told him that this year's VBS music about did me in, but that I was sure he wasn't assuming a 33 week pregnant lady would be dancing around doing the choreography!! I thanked him for his work in teaching children God's word and truth through the medium of music - what an impact he has had! He was a hoot - we loved getting to know him! :) He prayed a blessing over my baby - and we prayed for the baby to sing on pitch! :)
My friend Cindy let me borrow this chair - BLESS her!! We sit in the sanctuary through most of the weekend for all of the reading sessions - when we hear speakers, sing through new music, etc. I knew the pews would do me in so Cindy let me borrow her Gamecock chair and it was awesome!! Just the cushioning and support I needed! :) Got lots of compliments too!
Saw this AWESOME sand artist...Jose Castillo. Found out he is currently competing on America's Got Talent (got to start watching so we can vote for him!). Amazing talent. Would do these fabulous sand creations telling biblical stories in about 5-10 minutes through his art. Hard to explain. Go to YouTube and watch one of his creations. He did one on the prodigal son that was amazing. This was "the Passion".
Wednesday night, Laura Story did a concert that was amazing. I LOVE her. She is pregnant too and due about a month after me. I couldn't believe she could still stand on stage, hold a guitar, fit at the piano bench :) but she did and was amazing. She taught some workshops that weekend and I got to meet her later and get a picture. We were the only two pregnant people there - so we bonded!! She shared something really funny during the concert. This is their first baby, but they've been travelling so much that they haven't been able to attend the traditional birthing classes. She said they got an app for it though! :) And then she said "I mean really. I'm just going to get really huge for 9 months and then the baby is just going to bust out of me, right? I don't need a class to know that!" We died laughing. She's about got it right!!
Jonathan Falwell at the closing concert
Charles Billingsley, the praise team, and choir from Thomas Road Baptist Church. Amazing concert. That church has been set free!! Amazing night of worship. Great to see Charles again. He and David talked for a bit that day. He gave a great challenge about the difference between being an artist and a worship pastor. Spoke some really powerful truths. I was so thankful for the weekend - and we made it through without having a baby (although I will admit to have quite a few contractions on Friday night during the TRBC concert and getting a bit nervous...)