this past weekend, i traveled to the raleigh/durham area for the annual carolina christian youth conference with our high schoolers. the theme was "hostage?" with the main idea being that we are all hostage to something in our lives, some kind of sin, but through grace, we are all ransomed and can enjoy freedom in God.
(pretty heavy stuff, but that was intention of the planning committee and it really went off perfectly!)
our group was in charge of the skits that opened several of the sessions, and they did an awesome job with this set design and the performances.
the daniel dabney band did worship again this year, and they rocked it out! love their sound and style...
and the main speaker was neal alligood--hadn't heard him before, but he was awesome. he was able to hold the attention of all of the high schoolers and brought an amazing message.
(some of our group during one of the music sets--we had 14 teens and six adults--a decent-sized group considering our attendance lately at our high school weekly meeting.)
the black and white handprints that we used in our skits and in a lot of the design elements for the weekend--we had three huge walls that we covered with handprints and then used them in the last skit.
and finally, our group on saturday afternoon. we headed over to streets at southpoint for lunch and some downtime before going out to "leave your mark" with a service project. (i did pick up some cute UNC onesies and a steelers bib at the mall--couldn't resist!)
for our service project, we chose to get bouquets of flowers and go over to duke hospital and hand out flowers to the mothers who were there on the pediatric floor. after finally tracking down some flowers (a great deal of a dozen roses for $10 at kroger--hello!), we went over to the hospital, found a spot to park, and split up the bouquets. we got permission to be on the units from the charge nurses and then made the rounds to all of the rooms that were available. the reactions we got were wonderful, and we even met some people who had kept up with "riley's army," a pediatric cancer support group that started in our city. it was an awesome way to have these high schoolers see how a small action could make a big impact on others.
the other thing i wanted to share was our mission for the weekend--rapha house, an organization that rescues children out of slavery and human trafficking. they shared some amazing videos of girls that have come through their program in southeast asia, and they also had products available that their girls made. i wish they sold some of the beautiful purses online! the bags and purses were all free-trade items, and they use the sewing projects to teach the girls new, marketable skills. please check out their website!
now it's back to the real world, with lots of photo editing to do this week and catching up on projects around the house. on the way back home, i met mom, grandma, alan and rachel for lunch and then did some shopping at the motherhood maternity outlet nearby. i found a ton of items on the sale racks that worked well and will carry me through the summer.
and then when i got home, justin had worked all afternoon to clean up the house and made me a cute homemade mother's day card from him and the baby :) so sweet! it was nice to be included in this mother's day, getting several cards and gifts from my family. there aren't very many holidays that you don't get to celebrate at first, and then get to join in on the celebration later on. can't wait until next year, when i'll get to have the baby here, too!
16 hours ago