Friday, November 29, 2013

Time Out For Women

I'd never been to the Deseret Book sponsored Time Out For Women before. I'd had lots of friends who'd attended over the years and had heard good things....but I'd never made the time or frankly, really even had the desire to attend myself. Not that I didn't want to go, specifically. Just hadn't ever thought about going. I'm not sure why. But this year's theme was "Higher."

 Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
 "THINK HIGHER about your purpose, BELIEVE HIGHER as you face challenges that will require all your faith and heart, and LIVE HIGHER as you choose between good, better and best in this busy world." 

Being a member of a singing group called Higher Ground and helping co-write a song called "Reach Higher"...clearly a lot of my thought process and activities this past year has revolved around the idea of living and thinking HIGHER.

So I decided to look into going. Time Out For Women is a weekend full of faith promoting and inspiring music and speakers. There is a service project to participate in and a even a little bit of shopping to be had. My friend Julie (from Higher Ground) offered to join me and we opted to spring for the nicest seating section for the full weekend (you can choose to do just one day or both). Julie is a TOFW veteran so she knew all the ins and outs of how the whole event worked. And boy did we have fun! We laughed ourselves silly, took advantage of many of the photo ops and meet and greets, and spent more money than we probably should've on clothes and books. And then the actual speakers and performers....oh, oh, oh! We were most definitely lifted HIGHER.

Friday night we had the awesome opportunity to hear from Sheri Dew (one of my heroes...the woman is amazing), Terryl and Fiona Givens (a husband/wife historian and author team) the new Deseret Book singing group... quartet of men called Hudson Lights. And then if that wasn't enough, the finale of the night was Ann Romney (wife of Mitt Romney). Julie and I went home that night filled to bursting with light and goodness. Call me cheesy if you must but that's how I felt.
(When I told Sheri Dew that she was my hero, she laughed and told me to "aim higher.")

And if that's all we had, it would've been enough. But we had all of Saturday! And Saturday consisted of musical talents Sandra Turley (a Broadway singer) and the ever popular Hilary Weeks, and spoken messages from Mary Ellen Edmunds, S. Michael Wilcox, Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt and Laurel Christensen Day. We laughed till we cried. And then cried some more as our spirits grew from the messages shared. I learned so much. I was inspired.

Apparently Hilary Weeks presents often at TOFW throughout Utah and all over the country. And when she does, tradition states that the final song of the day be "I Will." This is a song that we have performed a few times in our Higher Ground performances. A song that has a message that has touched me so deeply that I even made it the theme of a Sacrament Mtg talk recently. And when Hilary Weeks sings this song at TOFW the words are projected onto a big screen at the back of the stage and we in the audience are invited to sing along. I can't tell you what a perfect way to end the weekend that was for me.

I hope that I can hold onto the feelings I felt and the things I learned during this TOFW Higher weekend. And I sure do hope I will get another chance to attend TOFW again some day in the future....


MG said...

When did you go? Wasn't that lasts year theme? You should sign up for the one in Layton in Feb.

Sarah@The Best Stuff said...

It was in November this past year. It was their first arena TOFW and was held at the Maverick Center in West Valley City. I'd love to go to the one in Layton next month but I'm going to be in Las Vegas that same weekend for a gymnastics meet.