I have just returned from being in Chicago with more than 6,300 women for the True Woman 08 conference. It was an amazing weekend with women attending from 48 states and even some from beyond our borders. We were challenged by John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Karen Loritts, Mary Kassian, Janet Parshall, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and others.

Along with my Empty Nest co-author Susan Yates, I had the privilege of speaking twice to groups of over 350 empty nest or soon to be empty nest women. We were thrilled at the attendance and so very encouraged that these women want to use the rest of their lives for the kingdom of God. These women are not like so many who consider their life’s work finished when their children leave home. Nor are they planning to retire to the rocking chair on the porch. These were note-taking, affirmation-giving, laughing women who, as it says in Proverbs, “smile at the future” because they know God and they know He is in control.

Here are a few quotes from conference speakers that are worth repeating and following:

  • “Women who stand when everything under them gives way have powerful theology,” John Piper.
  • “In every situation God is always doing a thousand different things you cannot see and do not know,” John Piper.
  • “I resolved three things: I will not embarrass my husband, I will not embarrass my God, I will not embarrass myself. Instead of listening to myself and how I feel, I need to talk to myself of the truth,” Karen Loritts.
  • “If you want your diamond in your engagement ring to really shine, you get out a toothbrush and give that jewel a good scrub. And a real jewel is a lot tougher than it looks. God knows the same is true with us. We are not as delicate as we may think. He is not afraid to give us a good scrub knowing we will shine more brightly for Jesus in the end,” Joni Eareckson Tada.

My prayer for this weekend is to see an army of women who will return to their homes alive to Christ and committed to changing their world for Him.