Home From a Conference

By Trillia Newbell

Two days ago I returned from a long weekend of fellowship and sitting under the teaching of some of the most respected theologians and Bible teachers of today. I was at The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference. The theme was “Here is Our God” and it was both refreshing and tiring. You know the type of brain tiredness that comes when you’ve thought deeply about the mysteries of God. Often as I listened I would join with David thinking, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). But it was time to fly home so I said goodbye to the resort-like hotel and headed back to East Tennessee.

When I got off the plane I was greeted by my sweet daughter, running towards me with open arms, screaming my name: “Mommy!” My

My son decided to dress his sister.

son, turning 6 in a few weeks, played it a bit cooler, but then asked me to hold him. I kissed my dear sweet husband whom I missed dearly and we were on our way. On our way back to our home. On our way back to the beautiful mundane. On our way back to the normal that I call my life.

Once I got home my kids needed me– immediately. My flight home was very early so I had been awake since about 3:00 a.m. My kids did not know, nor would they have understood if I shared, so to them mommy was home and that was all that mattered.  Immediately I needed to clean up spills, immediately I had to wipe noses, immediately I listened to stories of super heroes. Thankfully my husband is discerning and brought home dinner for us. I was tired. But, I was home.

Home is Where the Heart Is

I don’t know about you, but after a conference that is filled with wonderful teaching and wonderful people, coming home can be like reverse culture shock. Have you ever been in a foreign country? Culture shock is when you feel a bit disoriented by the unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, etc. from another place. Reverse culture shock is when you become acclimated with the foreign and then return home only to feel out of place.

When I came home it took some adjusting. I had to readjust my thinking. I had to remind myself that I am a mom. I had to remind myself that I am a wife. I had to remind myself that I am a writer who has deadlines. And it wasn’t as if time were going to stop to let me readjust—it was time to serve, love, enjoy, play, plan– right at that moment.

Thankfully it didn’t take long. It didn’t take long because my home is where my heart is.

The conference was wonderful—that is an understatement, it was fantastic. But it is a false reality. My reality is much sweeter. My God and his Word are available to me every day and thankfully those Bible teachers have books and websites, so they are accessible via the Internet. But then, I also have my own Pastors who are near to me and dear to me. The friends I made on the trip, Lord willing, will be life-long friendships and I imagine hugs and fellowship when we see each other again—perhaps in a few years. But my friendships here are accessible and deeply personal. The hotel was nice and comfy. But coming home and snuggling with my family—well nothing can match that.

The God I learned about hasn’t taken a retreat to Florida. He is available in His Word every day. His Spirit is with me.  Here is my God is available to me just where I am.

I am home. I am full. I am thankful.

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2 Comments to “Home From a Conference”

  1. Aimee Byrd says:

    Trillia, I love your ending: “The God I learned about hasn’t taken a retreat to Florida. He is available in His Word every day.” Amen to that!
    It was a pleasure meeting you–I had so many questions for you though. Maybe one day we can do a cyber coffee break 🙂
    Love the “super girl!” Looks like she had things covered for you while you were away!

  2. admin says:

    I agree- I wanted to chat much more than we had a chance to Aimee! Let’s definitely do a cyber chat. Thanks for the comment also. She was taking care of my boys! 🙂