Time Out for Women is a women's conference organized as a subsidiary of Deseret Book Company. "For over 10 years, Time Out for Women has been inviting faithful women to step away from the daily routine and make space for themselves and their spiritual lives... TOFW women are choosing to be uplifted, reenergized, educated, entertained, and inspired with thousands of women all over the world."
I have been to TOFW once before, about 3 years ago, and so when Clark's family decided to go and invite all the wives and daughters to come also I decided I wanted to go. After just the first night I had decided it was good I had decided to do so, all of the speakers were inspirational and definitely good for me.
So, time for a little back story; growing up, I've al
ways been rough around the edges, I've always thought I had to be the tough little girl that had the outer shell that couldn't be cracked and who nobody could hurt. I did well building up that personality and found it was easier to stay pent up and private. There was a time when I thought I wanted to change who I was but was afraid of what everyone else would think of me. I was afraid that everyone would think I was becoming 'emotional' or that it would draw the attention of everyone and the mocking and making-fun would begin.
I stayed the tough little girl and it hindered me with my desire to seek spiritual knowledge and to feel the spirit of my Heavenly Father. Now, I'd like to take a moment and discern that I am not saying that anyone who has a tough exterior is not spiritual and I am not saying that any girl who is sweet and more mild manner is very spiritual, I am just saying that this is how it affected me.
Now, what does that have to do with TOFW 2013? Well, one of the great things about TOFW is that it is put on by Deseret Book Company which happens to have one of the most influential, spiritual women I know at it's helm, Sheri Dew.
I've heard Sheri talk before at young single adult conference and of course at General Conference but when she talked to us on Friday night, I finally heard something I never had before. I heard her say, "You can be a strong opinionated, rough around the edges, tough woman in this church and still have every spiritual experience the Lord wants you to, IF you put in the effort."
While I know that is what I heard, if you ask her, she will say that she did not say that (as she told the young woman in Brazil when she claimed to have heard Sis Dew say something in a talk that helped her progress forward). And it is true, she did not say that, but she had "the privilege to be talking" when I heard what Heavenly Father wanted me to hear.
The things that I heard with my physical ears are things that Sis Dew made us promise not to repeat as well as just her overall demeanor. She is a role model for me and she is truly an astonishing woman who has been a great tool in our Father's hand.
Now to the hard part, what am I going to do about it? Well, wouldn't you like to know? I bet you would, because so would I... I've been lacking with personal scripture study and with personal prayer that I know the first step may very well include something along those lines. I think, however, that it will be more structured than that. Since I am a health coach and we preach SMART goals, I will apply it to this.
I will overcome my fear of being seen as 'emotional' by studying one specific topic in the scriptures each month. This topic will be something I am wanting to learn more about or something that I need to focus on for myself.
Each month TOFW is doing a Higher Challenge. To go along with November's challenge and this post, my topic of study is going to be Fear. To truly help push me to achieve this goal and to give me another fear to get over, I am committing to get up on Fast Sunday, December 1, to bear my testimony and to allow my ward family to see a side of me they have probably not seen before, a vulnerable side to the spirit and to everyone in the congregation that day.
I'm a little nervous, but hopefully over the next 20 days I'll be able to overcome this fear (as silly as it might be to you) and begin to LIVE higher.
"Peace is not the thing you feel right before you face your fears, it is what comes right after you do."--Laurel Christiensen Day