Did you know? Jen Hatmaker is my BFF. So what if we’ve never actually met?
This message brought to you by a refreshed and relaxed me who just returned home from…wait for it…a girl weekend.
I know. A little get-away like this doesn’t seem like much. But remember who I live with. I love all of my many male people so, so much. But this weekend I got to go to where there were all women, all the time. For 26 hours.
Here’s part my private Facebook thread conversation with friends before leaving Friday:
Tonya: What are you guys wearing tonight/tomorrow?
Emily: Jeans, tennis shoes…
Me: Capris and comfy flip flops. Debating on a bra. #girlweekend
Of course I was serious. So off we went to the Women of Faith conference. (Fully clothed, with all appropriate underthings in place.) The closer we got, the more excited we got.
Now I’ve got to tell you something before going any farther. I am not one to be star struck. Our family has been to Newsboys concerts in which Michael Tate was close enough that we could reach out and stroke his hair (which we did not do). All my guys were like, “Dude, that is Michael Tate!!” and I’m all chill with, “Now which one is he again?” We’ve been to a Toby Mac concert where we were sitting so close that the sweat from his brow could have sprayed our cheeks. We rocked out with Lecrae and loved it. But hey. These are just regular (very famous) people. No need to get all silly about it.
All that went out the window though, because this weekend, here’s what I discovered. Sometimes you just need to get silly. Need I remind you of the lack of male people in the arena this weekend? Not to mention my complete lack of any responsibility or need for thinking, answering questions, or any other such mothering or wifing on my agenda for 26 hours. This brought out my silly. I’m not even ashamed about how totally age 12 I was acting half the time. For real – laughter is so good for the soul, as is quality time with girl people who speak my language.
So guess what? My favorite author and best friend, Jen Hatmaker, was going to be speaking at the conference. If you do not read every word that she writes, I encourage you to change that immediately. I adore her writing style, but mostly her heart for Jesus and people. I’d never heard her speak before (which is so odd seeing as we are best friends and all.) While I was looking forward to many things about the weekend, I was really looking forward to seeing and hearing Jen. (I dropped the last name here because we are on a first name basis, obviously.)
Here’s where I started to get silly. I mean, I already was silly, because #girlweekend. But as my friends and I were talking more and the conference was about to start, our hashtag turned from #girlweekend into #mybestfriendjenhatmaker (because my friends claim her too).
When we first saw her come out to be introduced with the rest of the speakers, I got so excited I actually jumped up and down and pointed (see age 12 behavior admission above). This is when I knew, whoa, I cannot even believe how excited I am that she is here. I now want to turn into a weirdy weirdo about this. I just love her so much.
At this point, since she was so closely in front of me, I decided I’d best try to get a picture. It was either that or holler her name, jump over eight people, and grab her into a big bear hug so we could start catching up on the past 40-whatever years we’ve missed out on together. I totally could have done it (like a weirdy weirdo), but I settled for a picture. (You’re welcome, Jen.)
Allow me to now present to you, the Jen Is About To Be Introduced and I’m Seeing Her For the First Time Scrapbook. What? The only reason I took so many shots was because I hoped to get at least one good one (which I did not). It’s okay though. I don’t need no stinking picture. To be star struck is sooo silly.
Here is #mybestfriendjenhatmaker standing beside another conference speaker when she first came out from back stage and stood eight people in front of me:
Here’s another of her smiling and talking to that same other conference speaker. Told you I didn’t get any good pictures. Being a groupie is not my gift.
Here’s another in which she continues to talk expressively with her hands. Isn’t that so endearing? Yes. It is very endearing.
Jen, pointing to the left.
Jen linking arms with other speakers while the lights went down.
Jen sitting in the chair farthest left by the stage where she would later impart wisdom and humor and blessing.
The evening continued with worship, fun, and speakers. And also #mybestfriendjenhatmaker was there.
By the end of Friday night, I was at a high point of silly and decided to just go with it because it was #girlweekend and I was having so much fun. This is why, as my friends and I were leaving the conference arena and we walked by the very chair where #mybestfriendjenhatmaker had been sitting, I was all, “Ooh, there’s her chair, I’m going to touch it!” One thing led to another and well, I have no idea how I ended up sitting there, but would you just look at that?
There’s me. In the very chair #mybestfriendjenhatmaker had been sitting on.
Well anyway. I had a super fun weekend. It was a blessing to see #mybestfriendjenhatmaker and hear her heart on stage. If you haven’t already, go right away and read her new book, For the Love.
Now I am back home and no longer acting like I’m 12, nor am I speaking girl language because of all of the obvious male household mothering and wifing reasons. (Spell check does not like the word wifing. I think it is a brilliant word, so you just need to get over it, spell check. What makes you think you are the spelling authority? My brilliant words trump your red squiggles of dismay.)
While I found the Women of Faith conference to be less meaty overall compared to last year, I still feel filled up because I had so much stinkin’ fun. I have not let my guard down and laughed so hard in months.
Also, I really recognized the value of enjoying friendships this weekend. While I’d love to have a sit down with #mybffjenhatmaker sometime because I appreciate her Spirit-filled life and work – lemme just tell you how blessed I am with the women right here in my life, right here on my porch, right here in this very place.
I am loved by many. I have many to love. Life is fun and full and rich.
May we live life entirely. May we see people through the eyes of Jesus. May we love and be loved, bless and be blessed.
And every few months, may we all have the chance to act the part of a silly 12 year old, laughing for hours until we almost pee (because you are – in real life – much older than 12 and your bladder does not agree with your choice to revert to that time of life).
Elizabeth G says
Weird. Jen is my BFF too!
But seriously. I was so bummed I couldn’t come to the WOF conference. I have an 8 month old at home who won’t take a bottle :)
But last year my friend and I saw her speak in Witchita. Weekends with friends are amazing.
My babies were just the same. Hope you have an opportunity in the future to go to something like this! I heard she was in Henderson a few years ago, but I guess that was before I met her and she became my bff. :)
I find this especially humorous because I fondly used to refer to you as “my bff laura” :) And btw thanks for your name pronunciation post a while back because I was mispronouncing laura, what a bad bff I am!
Aw, I love all of this. :) :) :)
You are awesome! (I left a comment just to say that).
Well, way to make my day! :)
Thank you for making me laugh today! I love that whole story. :)
Well, yay. I might have had a little bit of fun writing it. :)
I was there too and loved her message! I might just have to buy the book!
Thanks for sharing about your fun girls weekend!
I don’t have much time to read anymore, but I am making time for this book. (And for my Bible too, but that is just a given, right?) :)
Carolyn Stutz says
Oh my gosh. You are hysterical.
And now I’ll have to go read something written by your BFFJenHatmaker – LOL!
Then she’ll become your BFF too. :)
Lol! I refer to you as “my friend Laura” pronounced correctly for the above mentioned reasons. Haha! My brother played baseball professionally and I wasn’t at all impressed, but give me a good blogger and I am star struck- haha! You’re famous too, y’know. All my friends already read your blog when I tried to get them to read it. “What?!?!” They’d say, “She’s your friend?!?!” And of course I’d say, “yes! Totally!” Hahahaha! “And she’s completely awesome!” Helps me make friends here… ;)
You totally get to claim me as your friend (I mean, everyone does) – but you do because we have had so many in-real-life-face-to-face-and-email conversations, plus I miss running into you now that you moved. AND your kids were in a Cake Boys video, so there’s that. :) Tell your friends I said “hi!” Would love to catch up with you sometime!
Oh, I laughed hard at this story – thank you! I love your real-ness; your posts are always a breath of fresh air. Bless you, Laura!
Laura A says
You should totally come to Austin some time to visit your BFF. And if she doesn’t have space for you to stay with her, then come stay with us! :-)
I adore this post! I really wanted to see Jen when she spoke here last year, but it was on the ONE weekend that my husband and I were going to take our first no-kids trip in 3 years. You’d think she’d have consulted me first, since I also planned to meet her and be BFFs. I did actually consider cancelling our trip which had been planned for months, but my husband didn’t seem to understand how important it is to actually meet your BFF. One day…