Oct 16, 2011

IU, and the final weeks of Summer

I'm sitting here on this Sunday morning at 7am drinking my tea, and watching the sun peek up over Mt. Timpanogos, and I can't help but think of how thankful I am for this life I get to live. Recently as most of you know I had the opportunity to go and speak to a group of men and women in Las Vegas at a fun little convention called Inspiration Unlimited. It was truly an amazing weekend.

My husband had a test on Friday evening, so we didn't get to leave Highland until about 5 and then traffic was bad, so we didn't get to my parents house until about 6pm, and then we finally left for Las Vegas at 6:30. It's a 6 1/2 hour drive from my parents house, and I was exhausted before the trip even began. I started driving because I knew it would give me some time to think. My Dad was asleep next to me, and my hubby, and Mom were in the back. It was quiet and I was listening to classic rock, and just thinking about these women and men that I was going to meet. I had a talk prepared for them, but in my heart I just knew that it wasn't the right thing. As I drove I said a silent little prayer asking my Heavenly Father and Savior to let me know the things that these people needed to hear. Let me know what I should tell them that would touch their souls, and lift their spirits.

It's amazing how when you're thinking of everyone but yourself how time flies. It felt like no time at all that we drove into the Green Valley Resort at 1:15am. I was tired, and looking forward to my bed. I knew that the next day I would be up going to meet some women before I spoke, and also practicing my speech. We got checked into our rooms, and because we were the last ones there they only had smoking rooms. I was so annoyed and frustrated, but I was too tired to care. I just had to tell myself to get over it, and try to get some sleep.

The next morning I woke up with energy that even I didn't know where it came from. I was so excited about the day. I got dressed, went and grabbed my Mom and headed down to the convention to meet the director, Teresa Collins. I was in for a surprise. :) When I met her she opened her arms and hugged me and with her sweet southern accent, told me how glad she was that I was there and what time everything would be going on that day. She introduced me to her group, and had a smile that would not quit. I learned a lot in this 5 minutes. She had spent all week traveling, setting up, teaching classes, and was probably extremely worn out, and yet here she was to greet me, make me feel welcome and important, and gave me a great hug. I was so excited about the night ahead of me.

After the meet and greet, my Mom and I went back to our rooms where Dave and I went and got a little bite to eat, walked around and just hung out together. It was nice to just get some alone time with my hubby. He kept asking me if I was nervous or worried, and for some reason I wasn't. I was so calm and felt complete peace. I still didn't plan what I was going to say, but I knew it would be alright. I was telling my story. No one knows my story better than me, and no one can tell my story better than me.

As the time came for us to get changed and head down to the ballroom, Dave and I got our on knees together and said a prayer. I just prayed to be calm, collected, to know what I should say, and that the women would hear what they needed to hear. I stood up, grabbed my husband's hand, and I knew I was ready.

My parents, Dave, and myself, sat in the ballroom as it filled up, and filled up, and filled up, with more and more women. Okay, about this time the butterflies started to flutter, but I was still doing okay. I promise myself I wouldn't look behind me to see how many women were there because I knew I would lose it. :)

Teresa stood up, introduced me like a pro, and made me feel a lot more special than I am, and then I got up and started. As looked across the room at all these women and men, and I was in awe of the energy and their presence. They had such a wonderful, kind, happy, and joyous spirit about them. I felt love from these people who had never met me, and I felt acceptance.

As I spoke about my life struggles, hardships, happiness, ups, and downs, I realized that I was telling everyone's story. Everyone has the same trials just in different ways. We all have the same feelings, same emotions, same reactions, and I was just there to let them know that it was okay. It was okay for them to go through every step of the process. It was okay for them to have a rough day and get down and discouraged. It is okay to struggle. The important thing is that you stick with it, stay as positive as you can, and you'll come out on top. Attitude is 90% of what happens to you in this life, and that is what I wanted these women to understand.

When I was done, I said thank you, and then I was shocked. Every single person in that audience stood and applauded for me. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love they were showing. I hurried to my seat as I tried to hold back my tears. I was touched that these amazing women were cheering for my story, when I was cheering inside for them.

After the presentation was over, I stayed for about an hour and got pictures with ladies, signed books, hugged them, talked to them, and made some amazing friends. It was an incredible experience. They also wanted pictures with my amazing husband who is the light of my life. I think they got to see the amazing man that I get to be with everyday and they wanted to eat Dave up. I loved every second of it.

I just want to say thank you to Teresa for asking me to speak. It was an amazing experience and it touched my life for the better. Thank you to all your wonderful women who changed my life, and gave me so much love. And thank you to my amazing husband, for being my best friend, my ultimate support, and my biggest fan. I love you with my whole heart, and I couldn't do any of this without you by my side.


Mangelson's said...

Jill - you are amazing. I wish I could have heard you speak.

Valery Klassen said...

Your inspirational speech will stay in my heart for the rest of my life. Loved every second of it!