Last week I went to a Christian Women's Conference on Mackinac Island with some friends. We went up on Wednesday evening to stay in a hotel in Mackinaw City since it's a 4.5 hour drive from here. The next morning, we got up early and took the ferry over to Mackinac Island for the conference! The conference was at the Grand Hotel, which is usually VERY expensive, but they run a really good rate for the conference. It was $170/person (if you stayed 4 in a room) which included the conference itself, ferry ticket to the island, the room, and a fancy dinner/breakfast and lunch! Last year I paid $110 for Women of Faith, and that only included a boxed lunch, we still had to cover our hotel and other meals! So this was an amazing deal!
The first thing we did when we got to the island was find a Starbucks! We were very excited because the last time I had been to Mackinac (about three years ago) they didn't have one!
Walking up to the Grand Hotel:
My friends and me outside the Grand:
I was super excited to go to the conference because my absolute favorite author and speaker Lysa TerKuerst was the main speaker! She is the author of "Made to Crave," "Unglued," "How to Be a Good Bible Study Girl" and many other books! Her "Made to Crave" book and DVDs changed my mindset on how I view myself. I always dealt with a very negative body image and wasn't taking care of myself as far as what I ate... I went through periods of binging to periods of very strict dieting (including diet pills, HOURS of exercise at a time, and eating too many processed sugar-free foods that were really bad for me)... Reading her book showed me that our bodies are the Temple of Christ and that we need to honor God with our bodies!
Lysa spoke on Thursday, then afterwards she did a "breakout session." They offered two breakout sessions (one each day) and there were three speakers. I knew that I definitely wanted to hear her, so my friends and I went to hers the first day. We sat towards the front of the room, right in the middle. I was looking over to the left of the room and noticed Lysa sitting there in the front row waiting to share her message. She was on her phone talking for a little bit, then either texting or on Facebook, but then she put her phone down and was just sitting there drinking water. I *really* wanted to meet her, but didn't want to seem like a stalker (LOL) or cause a mass-meeting of everyone else wanting to meet her right then, too. I kept looking at my watch to see how much time was left. Finally, I told my friend, "Let's go see if we can get our picture with her!" My friend was a little shy about it so she stayed in her seat. I went up to Lysa and introduced myself, told her I loved her books and teachings, and would she mind if we had our picture with her. She said yes, and told me to sit down. I called my friend over and grabbed someone to take our picture!
I ran into my great-aunt and second-cousin at the conference! I didn't know they were going to be there, and it was actually an amazing coincidence to see them since there were almost 900 women there! They just happened to be sitting in one of the main isles as we were walking by to find a seat!
They have a rule at the hotel that everyone must be dressed up after 6:00pm. We got all "dolled up" for the fancy dinner:
It was hard to decide what I wanted for dinner, it all looked good!
I ended up choosing the white fish:
Followed by the pecan ball with Mackinac fudge (ice cream dipped in pecans and yummy hot fudge!)
That night they left a "kiss" and a bedtime prayer on each of our pillows:
The view on the front porch in the morning was stunning:
We didn't want to leave, but "all good things must come to an end..." Back on the ferry headed home (it was FREEZING!)
I would love to go again next year! This one was so much fun!