This past weekend, I had the honor of speaking at a women’s empowerment event I in LA, alongside several other dynamic speakers and celebrities.
There are so many threads I could pull on the tapestry that makes up these last few days, but I want to paint a broad stroke filling you in on an overview, and then focus in on one of my biggest takeaways.
This weekend was packed! My friend Robbin, my tech girl and behind the scenes guru, and one of my best friends, travelled with me. Because she turns 50 in October, she decided to make this weekend part of her celebration. Back to that in a moment.
We got to the hotel Thursday night where we met up with our friend and fellow speaker at the event, Niki Perry (also my dancing bestie) and her friend who we had never met, Amy Barnes.
My best friend, Amy Ramsey spoke Thursday night and although we were in too late to hear her in person we streamed it and she brought the house down with her empowering talk…so good!
Oh Me, of Little Sleep
My turn was the next day as I was the first speaker on deck. My one goal that night was to get a good night’s sleep…I slept 2 hours. Being a light sleeper I’m at the mercy of being woken up by the slightest sound and the sounds were many so God had to show up big because this girl needs her sleep.
And God showed up. Jesus, adrenaline, and coffee make a fabulous trio and I had so much energy and was able to soak up every moment pouring into the many women watching virtually and in person!
What a honor. This event was put on by my friend, Real Andrews who, if you’re a General Hospital fan, know as Taggart.
He has such a heart to pour into women and this event was in honor of his mama who raised him to be the the amazing man he is!
I love speaking and this was definitely one of my favorite events I’ve ever been asked to be part of. My topic was: Aging backwards: how to make the next years your best years so the rest of your years can be lived in service to Him. We simply can’t fulfill all the roles to which we’ve been called if we’re not caring the vessels He provided for us to serve in.
Each speaker was incredible and so many lives were changed! The testimonials are rolling in and it’s so beautiful…you simply must be there next year.
The rest of the weekend was spent celebrating Robbin’s early 50’th, good old friends, our new friend, and adventures.
Robbin and I took an uber and spent over $100 getting to the hotel from the airport and our plans were to uber everywhere we went that weekend because…who wants to drive in that traffic?! So you can imagine our excitement when Niki told us they rented a car and that we could hang with them all weekend… and so we did!
Saturday, we started the day with a workout with Billy Blanks. Now this man was a big part of my life after my oldest was born. He’s one of the reasons I began martial arts years later so getting to workout with him then hearing him speak at the event the next morning was such a treasure!
The rest of Saturday we coined #LAallday. We headed to LA and went to the Griffith Observatory. Niki and I danced, with the Hollywood sign behind us, and we just took in the beautiful scenery.
From there we headed to Rodeo Drive and to the Beverly Hills sign (where we danced again) got some photo’s of the 4 of us, and enjoyed time walking around and some local eats.
From there we went to Hollywood Blvd. and got to see the famous stars, ate at Hard Rock Café, and then hit a cookie dough spot next door for some dessert.
That was a full day… and this is where my biggest weekend takeaways begin.
Now let me set the stage by saying we were actually staying in Santa Clarita which, with traffic was an hour from LA. So ending our day on Hollywood Blv. At 8:00 at night knowing we had another hour drive, I was perfectly content heading back to the hotel. My normal bedtime is at 9pm after all.
But Niki asked if we wanted to go to the Santa Monica Pier. I bravely piped up…I’m good with whatever you girls want to do (all while silently praying everyone wanted to just go back to the hotel). But my new friend Amy said, “let’s go!”
So off we went another 40 minutes, to our next and last sight of our LA all day…day. And let me tell you, it was the highlight of our Saturday.
Because it was dark, all the businesses and restaurants, the famous Ferris wheel and vendors were all lit up and so colorful. After a brief walk down to the beach, we headed to the end of the pier to see what was down there and that’s where we found the treasure.
A man playing a Sitar…an instrument of Indian culture that looks like a very long necked and crazy guitar, was laying down some incredible tunes that you just couldn’t stay still listening to.
Niki and I began dancing…and dancing. There were very few people at that part of the pier when we got down there but now, a crowd had formed, phones were out and people were able to hear this man’s amazing music and he was being tipped more because of the draw.
That right there was sheer joy…we were able to have this incredible experience, AND this man was blessed with more ears that needed to hear his gift!
It was so organic, so natural, so free, and so fun…a perfect ending to an incredible day. And I would have totally missed out had we just gone back to the hotel.
But the story doesn’t end there. Niki and Amy planned to head to church the next morning where her old pastor had moved to preach all the way from Georgia…wait for it…it was 2 hours away.
Once again I found myself hoping for the path of least resistance which was not to spend 4 + hours in a vehicle. I. HATE. SITTING. And that was a lot more sitting that just didn’t sound appealing at all.
But I felt the Lord nudge me and I was, again, amazed by what I would have missed
out on had I skipped out.
Not only was the message impactful and exactly what I needed to hear, but we connected with some incredible people at that church and even exchanged numbers with the worship leader…what a dynamic and humble lady!
Then we headed back and stopped for another 2 hours to eat, take pictures and, of course, filmed a reel in Santa Barbara.
We slowly made our way back stopping for more photos by the ocean…it was perfection.
Perfection I would have completely missed had I stayed stuck in the flow of my comfort and norm. While we were in Santa Barbara eating, next to a fire on the patio, staring at the mountains, it hit me hard.
I’m surrounded by precious friends, scenery that brings me tears, out on a patio where the weather was cool but comfortable, breaking bread and sipping coffee.
Thank you, God, I didn’t miss this!
If you can relate to that feeling of just wanting what is comfortable and familiar, let me encourage you to open up your heart to the unknown, to get unstuck from the need of the familiar, and see what kind of adventures await.