GSB Summer 2011 Conference

July 16-21, 2011
Rolling Meadows, IL

Words always fail me when I attempt to describe what touches my heart so deeply. I could use every beautiful adjective in the English language and it still wouldn't cut it.

The majority of my family and I put a thousand miles on our minivan traveling to Chicago and back for the greatest Bible conference I've been to yet. Grace Impact outdid themselves and I have no doubt that the 2011 conference will go down in history.

I got to hear some wonderful speakers: Matt Walker, Bryan Ross, Ted Fellows, Richard Jordan, Des Strydom, John Verstegen, just to name a few. I was thrilled to be learning the information these great men put together for us and thankful for them sharing their knowledge. I was determined not to miss a session as long as I was there, and didn't (although I did walk in a few minutes late a couple times).

Not only did I spend a week immersed in God's word, I also got to spend time with some of my dearest friends and meet some new ones...
Kyle Fellows (our Marine friend who is always an awesome source of conversation and fellowship), Curt Fellows (who keeps me in stitches and didn't want to sit next to me), The Peters Family (my longtime Canadian friends/adopted family), The Luethge sisters (we were continually searching for one of them), Jazmin Rodriguez (the dear sweet girl I sadly did not get to spend enough time with), Matt Walker (fellow Eriean!), Charlie and Rochelle McQuillian, Rita Bauschard, Amy Fellows (so glad to officially meet and man, you sure got me addicted to Bananagrams!!), Debbie Collins and all the others I'm for some reason I'm failing to mention.

You may wonder what I thought of Chicago. Well as cities go, its' pretty cool, famous, huge and slightly scary. Truth be told, I didn't go to Chicago to see Chicago. I went to see the people that were IN Chicago. It could have been Timbuktu for all I cared.

Therefore, my memories consist of the people I was privileged to fellowship with.
Here's some of them:

-Seeing some of my favorite friends and meeting new ones.
-Getting to talk about GenerationNEXT on the stage briefly and with several people afterwards.
-Visiting the Miller family on Monday at their home nearby.
-Playing Ninja with Kyle, Em'Lee and Kylah. (Thanks you guys!)
-Looking at Afghanistan pictures with Kyle.
-The Family picnic.
-Surviving the almost 100-degree heat by remembering that at least we weren't over in Afghanistan with 90lbs of gear on our backs, on patrol and getting shot at.
-Taking pictures and video. So many great opportunities!
-SO much conversation!!! My throat was honestly sore from talking...and I even did more listening!
-I don't think I stopped smiling all week. :)
-I had been up quite early each day, until Wednesday when I overslept an hour and a half past when I wanted to be up, which made me late for the first session. So that night, Kyle offered to come pound on our door the next morning so I'd be up. I managed to be up before he came, but we had him come in and wake the boys up too. Imagine their surprise to find a Marine at the foot of their bed at 5am!! So thanks to Kyle, I made it to the morning session early. :D
-Watching Ted Fellows and Ed Yarber lead singing with Marvin Taylor specially on the song "Glory I'm Saved!" was incredibly special!! There was so much energy on that stage, I almost forgot to sing while watching. :)

I honestly could go on and on. Each day held so may moments that brought me near to joyful tears. I laid in bed each night, just grinning at the beauty and goodness I was seeing.

Saying goodbye is always hard for me. We left between sessions, so I didn't get to say goodbye to some people. I hugged Rita, the Luethge's, Curt, Jazmin, Matt and Kyle before running out the door. We weren't even out of the parking lot when I started crying. I spent the trip home looking at the almost 500 pictures and videos on my camera and reading Jazmin's and Kyle's notes in my autograph book and eating veggie chips. :)

I was terribly sad to leave the people I love so dearly, but euphorically happy to have been able to spend near a week in their presense.

I can say it was wonderful, beautiful, more than my wildest dreams. But the only description that comes even close is this: it was Heavenly.



  1. I really regret that I didn't get to get to know you better! That's my only thing that really stunk in regards to the GSB Family Bible Conference. :( I hope that we will be able to get to know each other. :)


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