My family will converge upon Dallas next week for our annual ICFM convention. ICFM is a ministerial fellowship that my father-in-law helped found, and for which Lynn serves as Oklahoma director. We have gone every year since we’ve been married, with the exception of our Phoenix detour. (Long story.) Lynn and his brother and sisters literally grew up attending this conference. Mize’s and ICFM go way back.
I remember going to this conference as a new Mize and my biggest concern was did I have enough cute outfits to make it through the week. Fast forward 15 years and I’m quite concerned about the ratio of gray to brown in my hair. Right now, gray is winning.
I remember the year that I was pregnant at the conference. I was only about 8 or 9 weeks along, in the throes of morning sickness and suffering from a highly overactive nose. To this day, the smell of bleach in a hotel room turns my stomach.
I remember having a newborn at this conference and Lynn doing the Daddy-bouncy walk across the back of the room during the meetings, spit up on the shoulders of all his suits. I remember having a toddler with his crayons and paper and Hot Wheels at my feet. I remember when we were teaching him to sit still in church and listen and I had to sit on the front row while Fred Price was preaching. I’m pretty sure I didn’t breathe that whole time. Jaxon was a champ. I was a sweaty mess.
I remember when he was finally old enough for children’s church and I snuck out of the service at least 10 times to make sure he was OK. Fast forward to 2011 and he has a cell phone, a room key and knows the convention venue like the back of his hand, knows more people there than I do, and has girlfriends running out his ears. The kid has got this gig wired.
It’s funny when you realize you can actually sit through an entire church service without having to leave for a diaper change, a potty-call, or a spanking. I can actually bring my bible and notebook and take coherent notes. I can enter into the worship with my eyes tightly shut and not have to worry that my child is mooning people. It’s amazing how far we’ve come.
Last year at this time, I had not yet started this blog but boy did I have things to say that were pent-up inside of me! Now they’ve been set free! Loose her and let her go! Can I get a witness? (Sorry about that.)
I look forward to this week because I get to hear good Word preached by people I respect and admire and I always walk away feeling refreshed and inspired to do more, to be better, to conquer obstacles, and to fulfill my calling. I know from experience that if I attend these meetings with an open heart, and a spirit ready to receive from the Lord, I will not be disappointed.
You see, it doesn’t matter how much or how little church you sit in, what matters is the readiness of your heart to receive from God. And it doesn’t matter all that much who you’re listening to, for that matter. God can speak to you through all kinds of different people. It’s a question of whether or not you’re open to hearing. The Bible calls it “ears to hear.” That used to confuse me because I would think, “Well, sure I have ears, can’t you see them?” But you can have the biggest ears in the world and not really hear from the Spirit of God. Just ask Oral Roberts.
Not that he didn’t hear from God, ha! He definitely did. I just mean that he had really big ears! Aren’t you glad I clarified that?
I know God’s got things to say to me and I intend to hear every Word. I will set my heart to receive and my ears to hear. I will ask God to reveal His Word to me, to correct me where I’m missing it, to hone my rough edges, to stretch me in my weaknesses and to put His soothing balm on my hurts.
I will be coming home filled-up and ready to rock!