Tuesday, September 27, 2011

our D.C. excursion, part 2: the rest of the CWA leadership training

(part 1 of our trip can be found here.)

The rest of the CWA training was awesome.  It is so nice to be surrounded by likeminded people who not only love this country and our Constitution, but are wholly devoted to the Lord.
A favorite speaker of mine was George Tryfiates who expounded on some of our American history.  Well, what's not to love about that?!  ;)  He said that it was the story of Washington crossing the Delaware that caught his attention and flung him into a love of history.  So cool, because it's that same story that changed my life, too.   I recently wrote this article for our history club (a history co-op I am helping to teach) newsletter.

While visiting my aunt in New Jersey a few years ago, we visited the presumed site where George Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas, surprised attacked the British, and changed the course of the Revolutionary War, the future of the United States, and history forever.
I hated history in school.  I was bored memorizing dates and names for the sake of passing the next test.
But this day on the banks of the Delaware River, something in me was set afire.  As I watched the short film in the Visitor's Center, I recognized in my mind and heart the very obvious hand of "Providence" in the shaping of the great and free nation we call home.  Though God was never mentioned, I was unable to ignore His absolute favor on George Washington and this land.
Fast forward three years:  My boys are 4 and 5 years old and we are planning a trip to return to the east coast.  It is the summer before our first school year and I decided that America's beautiful history is a great way to kick off our home schooling venture.  We dove into the Revolutionary War, great Presidents, history's heroes, America's great technological accomplishments, and so much more.  We fell in love with Paul Revere, George Washington, Nathan Hale, and Abraham Lincoln.  We gained courage and hope from the examples of these who gave their "lives, liberty and sacred honor" for the sake of their posterity: you and me!  We looked around at the current state of our national and global culture and realized that if these great founders could change the world, then so can we!  And so can you!
Mommies and Daddies, we are raising heroes! 

Dr. Janice Crouse also spoke to us on sexual trafficking and other unpleasant, but must-be-addressed issues.  And Kenda shared some beautiful words with us.  Her love for this country brought me to tears.  She also told me that I'm not normal.  Actually that none of us in the room were normal.  I sort of already knew that.  :)  I find great comfort in my non-normalities, and in the fact that there was a room full of "not normals" there with me.

Kenda led us on a prayer walk that Friday afternoon.  We learned the history about some of the not-so-noticeable buildings in Washington, D.C.  ...particularly those surrounding the White House such as the Blair-Lee House, LaFayette Square, Daughters of the American Revolution, etc.  How blessed we were to pray for specific things at each landmark.  For example: at St. John's church we prayed for the salvation of living Presidents; at the Dept. of Veteran's Affairs we prayed for the recovery of injured military veterans; at the National Christmas Tree we thanked God for our religious freedom; etc.
Since we had such a large group (20+), Jamie and I offered to hold up the rear to make sure we didn't lose anyone in the shuffle.  You should have seen us all parading from the hotel to the Metro station, trying to figure out tickets, and ultimately pouring onto the train.  Amazingly everyone made it.
a self-portrait of Jame & I
on the prayer walk.
Jamie was a hit with many of the ladies since his gender was a minority throughout the training.  (Note: Concerned Women for America typically attracts women...shocking, I know.  Though, it is not an organization solely comprised of women -- a little known fact.)  Silvia, a woman from Visalia, CA, immediately bonded with Jamie.  She's a Spanish-speaking lady, so Jamie took the opportunity to try his police-Spanish out on her -- always an entertaining enterprise.  In a moment, he was commanding her to put her arms up, get her license out, lace her fingers behind her head and stand with her feet apart...and she complied.
The pew that Lincoln
quietly occupied.
Some ladies found our stop at St. John's Church an irresistible opportunity to pray inside the building.  Jamie and I waited a while for the ladies to come out, but as Kenda and the front of the group got further and further away, I decided to go in and herd them so we could catch up.  I exited toward the double glass doors and...  wouldn't you know that in those 3 minutes I was inside trying to collect these ladies, we all got LOCKED INSIDE ST. JOHN'S CHURCH.  Ha!  Of all the churches to be locked in, the one Abraham Lincoln (as well as several other Presidents) frequented scores pretty high.  Still, here I (along with 3 ladies and a very friendly gentleman) remained trapped inside.  Jamie waited patiently outside wondering why I wasn't walking through  those doors until I grabbed the handles and mouthed to him,
"THE     DOORS     ARE     LOCKED."
Never a dull moment.
Finally we broke free thanks to the help of the aforementioned gentleman who hunted down the man with the key.  I guess when the sign says they close at 3, they aren't kidding.

It was a prayer adventure.  Eventually Kenda commissioned Jamie and I to escort a bunch of the ladies back to the Metro and the hotel while she sought out the stragglers of the group who somehow got lost trying to find a bathroom.

CWA CEO Penny Nance, Southern California Director Ruth Smith,
and Senator Rick Santorum
Ruth and I
Former PA Senator and current Presidential candidate Rick Santorum spoke to us at an evening banquet that night.  It was really cool to hear his heart for the Lord, the nation, family, and his commitment to (and understanding of) the Constitution.  At the banquet, our worship leader for the training, Deborah, sang "Stand in the Rain."  Before she began the song, she said, "Do you ever feel like you are running and running and running, and you can't stop because if you do, you'll fail?"
Yes!  I feel like that every moment of every day.  That question stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes.  What precious little time God has given us on this earth "for such a time as this."  How desperately I want to be wise with my life and not waste it.  To stand for what is right.  To fight against what is wrong.  And to influence, influence, influence and to inspire, inspire, inspire a nation, my friends, my children, a poor innocent bystander toward righteousness and truth.

Sometimes though, we must pause, and refuel by standing under the spout of God's blessed rest.  
And then start moving again...centered in His will.

Saturday we said our goodbyes to the fabulous CWA ladies (and gentlemen) and awaited the arrival of my sis and her hubby.  But this post is too long already...so more on that later.

Click here to read about our time at my cousin Kyler's wedding.

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