The countdown has begun. In just a few days, we will leave for Tampa and the General Conference. Where did the time go? We received the first editions of the DCA (Daily Christian Advocate) electronically back in January. Then we got the hard copies. (If I figure out how to get a picture of them in here, I’ll do it). In just days all of the preparation will end and the work will begin. We leave on Monday morning to fly to Tampa. Before that I have to find time to finish all my reading, drive a 6 hour round-trip to deposit the dog with her “grandparents,” and pack for the trip. Packing for Tampa presents some challenges since it is hot outside and cool inside. Sounds like layers are a good idea. Sorting clothes and sorting thoughts.
I am excited and stressed about conference. Here are some of my thoughts as I prepare:
- I’m excited for the opportunity to be with all the wonderful people at General Conference. Last time I went I didn’t know anyone, but I met people riding in on the shuttle, got to know the folks in my legislative group, and by the end of two weeks I was seeing familiar faces over and over. This year I have had the opportunity to work with some great folks on the Commission on General Conference and various other experiences, and through the wonder that is facebook, I know they are packing up and heading to GC.
- I’m stressed about being prepared for the Rules presentation on Tuesday night (opening session!) I’m not really afraid to talk to large groups of people – I just worry about having something thrown at me that I wasn’t expecting. Prayers are welcome on Tuesday night.
- I’m excited for worship – GC worship is amazing.
- I’m worried about having the energy to do all that is before me.
- I’m excited to see how the new seating arrangement works (this was an idea hatched in a commission meeting). In the past delegates have sat at long rows of tables and this year will be at semi-circular tables, mingled with other delegations.
- I’m worried about my new wireless “hotspot” and whether it will be up to the task. (I’m going with that rather than the purchase of wireless in the hall for $50. For that same $50 I can have it wherever I am. Hope that’s the right decision!)
- I’m excited to see what proposals come out of legislative committees and how the whole idea of restructure takes shape.
- I’m nervous about whether we can rise above the nastiness that sometimes comes with disagreement. I have been praying that we can be so much better than what we are seeing in secular politics (notice that I’m not denying this, too, is politics!)
- I’m excited to share this experience with Joe and Diane (I’ve always wanted them to be there with me!)
- I’m most stressed about getting a little ahead of the annual conference work so that I can manage the details while I’m gone (Actually writing that down and realizing how impossible it is makes me laugh. The reality is it will ALL be here when I return!)
Well, that’s a few of the thoughts on my mind late at night as I contemplate the next three days of preparation. Last week our district had a panel discussion on General Conference. Four people from our delegation talked about our committees and also answered general questions. It made me realize the impact that what we are doing has on so many people. And I am in awe at the trust and responsibility that we have been given. I pray each day that God will give me the wisdom and discernment that I need. (I also ask for strength and energy!) I hope you will join me in those prayers as well.
Looking at my list, I realize my stresses aren’t earth-shattering. I’m going to try now to calm down my thinking and get to the packing. Last GC, I had my picture taken and splashed around several different places (and, thanks to my much more tech-savvy daughter, also on this blog). At least that’s one shirt I won’t be taking. But there is still a good bit of sorting left to do!