Girl Talk
I grew up with four brothers and wasn't much a of a girly-girl, although I wanted to be. I think I lost trust in the female species post slumber party trauma - when I woke up with bubble gum in my hair after falling asleep first. (Still need counseling, I'm sure:->) But eventually, I discovered a love for my girlfriends and the joy of some good girl talk! And that was one of my favorite parts of our Girls Day Out/ Girls Night Out in Houston.
We had Girl Talk between Kate Gosselin, LysaTerKeurst, Ayiesha Woods, and me, towards the end of the event when all of us came back on stage, plopped down in some comfy chairs and chatted about anything and everything. It was fun hearing everyone's answers to questions women emailed KSBJ asking how we deal with our emotions, balance busy lives, manage mommy guilt, make time for ourselves, try to live each season of life fully, and details about the "must haves" in our lives. We also threw in some random thoughts about glorified coupon/scripture holders and shoes! I wish you could see the shoes Kate wore - hot red pumps for the day show and cute black heels for the night show. Lysa was showing off her very trendy Aerosoles during girl talk, and Kate had the funniest comeback, inquiring if Lysa ever had anyone comment on how cute they are. Kate's comment sent Lysa hunting for some compliment-worthy shoes the next day. Wait til you see what she found! I had fun with Kate back stage trying to figure out if Lysa's new "must have" system for carrying around Bible verses in her handy-dandy plastic sleeve thingy was simply a coupon carrier. Sure enough - we found Lysa's "scripture case" and there was a big ole sticker on the back that said "$1.00 - Coupon Holder."

Another favorite part of the whole day was the unplanned "After Party" that night. Everyone had gone home except some very fun bloggers! Here I am with some of the coolest, cutest girls I've ever met! I got this photo off of Missy's site that I just love (who was very sweet to get rid of my red-eye. Thanks Missy!).

Left to right: Lindsey, Paula , Sandy, Missy, Vern , Me, Linda, Lysa, Lisa, Melanie

I also want to share this photo of me with Lisa from the Preacher's Wife for two reasons. One she has her beautiful eyes closed above. Two, I did something that felt kinda crazy that I sensed God telling me to do last week, and it was all part of something crazy God was doing to get Lisa to girl's night. Lisa shares the amazing details of God's provision on her blog.

God knew this event was a really big deal for me personally. Like Lysa, I've dreamed of doing an event like this for years, but never imagined our first one would be so special - and so big! He knew I was nervous. He saw me pacing and praying. And then He did something really special just for me. Well it was special for others too, but it was special for me in a really special way.

Many have asked if meeting Kate Gosselin was a highlight. As precious as she is and as much as I enjoyed meeting her and talking with her, my highlight was when I got to meet Amanda from Baby Bangs. She came backstage with Melanie from Big Mama for just a little while. Amanda doesn't know it but that was one way God said to me, "I see you. I remember what we've been through. I know how far you've come and how big this is - and here is one way I want to bless you."

There are times in your life when God uses certain people to be role models and voices of truth in really dark and hard places. Her mom was that for me 10 years ago when God lead me through a time of healing and hope, using His Word so powerfully captured and applied through Breaking Free, Living Free and Jesus, the One and Only. I always wanted to tell her but never wrote the letter on paper - just in my heart. And for many years I watched (and read) to see how their family balanced life and ministry. I would pray protection over Amanda and Melissa, like I prayed for my boys, knowing the enemy tries to go after a momma's kids. I have loved seeing and knowing they are both doing so well in their faith and families and continue to pray for them. Meeting Amanda right before I was going to share my story of hope, satisfaction and security found only through God's redeeming love
with 4000 women was such a God-gift. Neither her nor her mom know it, but next to Jesus, their family's "yes to God" had a whole lot to do with this captive being set free!

Well it's late (11:00pm) so I better get to bed. More photos coming soon...


Blogger Chef Diane said...

Wow, in skipping around to all the blogs it sounds like you guys had a great time. It also sounds like many ladies were touched by what was said. I can't wait to hear and see more about the weekend.

Blogger gunningfam05 said...

sounds it was a great time of fellowship!!
I would love to meet Kate Gosselin. I always wondered what she was like in person..
We watch J/K plus 8 every week and love their family.
She has a few kids that remind me of my 3.. would love to talk to her.
Can't wait to see your next blog.

Hi Sweet Renee!!

Love that pic of you and the other GNO gals backstage. Wow!! Kate is TALL! She doesn't look that tall on stage...seated...alone. ha ha. Never mind.

I have some cute pics of you and me. I'll post them later in the week.

The highlight of my trip was the after-the-show hallway party. Nothing like late-night bloggy giddy-ness! What amazing women, you all are. It is truly an honor to hug all your necks and laugh with you.

God's richest blessings upon you this week.


Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Happy Birthday to your mom!

It's so fun to read your and Lysa's take on the night. Lysa's scripture case was hilarious. Aerosole shoes and a $1.00 coupon organizer. I love how real y'all are!!

And I'm up for girl talk and bloggy partying with you any time!

BTW, my slumber party experience beats yours - a girl threw up on the corner of my pillow while I was asleep. (That would be when I was a kid, not when Lisa & I were at Missy's house Thursday night!)

Blogger Lindsee said...


I was at the event on Thursday night, and girl, your story so resonated with my heart, especially right now in my singleness. It was just another reminder that my worth is found in Jesus ALONE! Amen. You are seriously a doll.

I am so bummed I didn't stay around longer to meet you and Lysa. What a treat that would have been!

Huge blessings your way!


Blogger Lindsee said...

P.S. Thank you for inviting Lisa. You blessing her, blessed me!

Blogger lisasmith said...


Meeting you and Lysa was such a blessing to me. I am loving you more and you know how many letters are written only on my heart? I just wrote about that very topic on my blog today. You P31 ladies inspire me to walk on higher places. Thanks for being brave!

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...

You are just the sweetest thing! I so loved hearing your recap of Girls Night Out. I, too, am fondly attached to Beth Moore and her daughters. I love following Amanda's blog--she gives me much encouragement!

Prayers and blessings!


p.s. Where did you post the winners from last week? I can't find them! :)

Blogger RefreshMom said...

My first slumber party was kinda traumatic too; I heard a conversation while the others thought I was sleeping about a big story they made up just to make me look foolish. So much for my "church friends" being nice girls!

Thank you for sharing that part about meeting Amanda. DH is in ministry and that brings enough attacks on the family; I've found myself a bit reluctant to resume my own writing ministry and holding back a bit in pursuing what God may have for me in future ministry opportunities because I don't want to put a big ol' target on my kids. I need to see those examples of kids who can come through their parents ministry-lives unscathed and faithful themselves. I needed that today as I wrestle with putting legs on what God put in my heart years ago. Thank you.

Blogger Amanda said...

Renee, I don't even know how to express myself right now. I can tell you that I'm wiping tears from my eyes. You are so precious. Thank you for your sweet words and, more importantly, your prayers through the years. One day maybe we'll get to have a good long chat about things. I was so touched by your testimony. I recounted the whole thing to my husband the next day. May God bless your ministry and your family in powerful ways and may the Kingdom continue to be built up through it in every generation. Many blessings,

Blogger Beth said...

Renee, I am just bawling. Amanda didn't tell me what your post was about. She just told me to read it and that it had really touched her. It's not unusual for us to tell each other to take in an article. We are both big readers.

Then I saw the picture with Amanda in it (really crying now) then read your words. Oh, Renee, we love our children so much and so deeply want them to get through life so much better than we did...and she has. So has her sister. Miracles coming from such former pit dwellers as their parents. And I don't doubt that one reason the enemy has not had full leash where they are concerned is your prayers. That you would pray for my daughters by name so many years ago is a gift beyond price. Thank you.

I return it to you now, Darling Thing, praying for God to continue to radiate from your life and anoint the work of your hands and to set apart your entire family line for His great glory. May you never outlive your passion for His Son.

Oh, God is so much better than He has to be.

Ministry is wonderful. And ministry is HARD. There is no estimating the encouragement we receive from fellow servants, from others fighting the good fight, that tell us, no matter what, don't quit! I say that to you now. I am honored to be your servant, young lady. You are refreshment to the Body of Christ. A gift indeed.

Thank you.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Of all the ways God could love on me today, I can't think of anything more precious to me than the sweet note I received from Amanda (Moore) Jones and her mom Beth Moore. I was just as surprised as any of you. My Andrew looked at me as I read their words and bawled. Then he asked, "Mom, are those sad tears or happy tears?"

Definitely happy tears that I didn't want to hurry and wipe away. Jesus knew what I needed TODAY. I came back from Texas exhausted and a bit overwhelmed by what needed to be done compared to the amount of energy I didn't have. I just wanted to crawl under a rock and hibernate. He knew I needed to hear from someone who could speak into that hard place few understand and say, "I know it's gets hard but don't quit!"

Once again, and in a way only God could orchestrate, He used Beth Moore to spur my heart on to love and live passionately for my Savior and to draw strength from each other in the Body of Christ.

You my friends have encouraged me so much this month. Thanks for standing with me and praying for me in what has been one of the biggest ministry months I've had in a while.

You blessed me Beth and Amanda in a way you may never know. And you bloggy friends bless me, too, everyday!! I love you to pieces.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was quite fortunate in being able to attend your womans day out
event. It was incredible actually it was alot more than what I imagined. God touched my heart that day in a way I cannot even explain. At the moment my family is incurring some very dificult times,but I left there knowing that everything was going to be ok.

Thank you
Sharing your stories and love for
God, has shown me how much he loves us and how he is always there for us.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2-3 weeks later (soory it's late), I have a need to share with you what you did for me at Girls Night Out in Houston.

I was there and didn't really want to be because I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't mixed much with the ladies in my church. When our church started advertising tickets, I asked a friend to go who ended up going with other friends, which was neat for her because they got to spend time shopping (unsure if it was for shoes or not!). So, I invited someone else to go with me that I knew needed some help as a mom. I was really proud that she came with me.

I hadn't heard of P31 or any of the speakers. I typically don't listen to much radio or watch much television, because I enjoy the quiet in my car and at home. So much hustle and bustle during the day is enough on the noise level for me! So I hadn't heard of anyone before who would be at this event. I really felt like I might not fit in, since everyone else knew who you, Kate and Ayiesha were.

Of course Mrs. Lysa spoke first and brought so much joy to my heart. God has approached me in the past (with my first marriage) about fostering children, so now, with much prayer, and God's will and timing in place, my new husband and I will be discussing the subject (I need to remember to ask about milk :o).)

You came on stage after Lysa and shared your story about an ex-boyfriend/fiance. I thought you were talking about me. My heart broke, right there, in isle S seat 6. The cool thing was, even though you weren't talking about me, you were talking to me. I too searched and longed for what you did for years. And this lasted until early 2008 when I came back to Christ. I had just tucked away the feelings and sadness that I had experienced in my previous relationship. The hurt, the disappointment, all of it - on a shelf. Why should I deal with it when God was taking care of me now and had provided a Godly man to me who saw me right off and knew God had placed him in my life. I knew God had actually put him in my life. I didn't know why. I didn't deserve him, but didn't deny him either.

I cry and am holding back now. You clarified this for me. I didn't understand the change that took place that night. It was like the fog had lifted. It was no longer about "me" needing love from someone. It was about God loving me and through this man that he sent.

What a concept...God loves me so much that he would give me the best suitable candidate in His eyes. Not the candidates I always chose who continued to hurt me.

I have to cut myself off...

Thank you so much for allowing God to use you to reach me. You will never know how treasured you are by me and how inspired I am by you. It is a hope (confident expectation) of mine to meet you and give you the best thank you hug filled with tons of love and encouragement.

With Much Love and In His Precious and Holy name,

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