Moms get away to laugh, learn
They packed up the minivan and headed south – a half-dozen St. Paul moms (and friends) took last weekend to relax and learn at the Hearts at Home conference in Peoria.
They ate dinner together. They laughed. They snuck in a few texts and phone calls to make sure everything was OK at home.
And they learned ideas on how to best nurture and care for their families.
“I’ve always been crazy about learning. I love to go to conferences,” said Anna Gibney, whose daughter, Audrey, attends St. Paul Preschool. “All of the sessions had usable tips and ideas. One of the most important messages I heard is that we are influencing and leading our families. We can use that influence for good, and can choose to be a fountain of life.”
Hearts at Home is focused on hosting conferences for moms. Led by Jill Savage, the first conference was held in 1993. Organizers expected 400 moms; 1,100 showed up. This year, more than 4,000 women attended. A Christian organization, the mission is encourage, educate, and equip moms in every season of motherhood.
They realistically sum it up this way:
Three hours of sleep last night? Been there, done that.
Helped with homework — while making dinner and planning out tomorrows car pool? We hear you.
Love your husband but can’t figure out how to talk? We can help.
Need a getaway with your girlfriends, to laugh, and cry and be yourself again? We’ve got you covered.
The weekend was Christine Lassers’ first time away from her kids. She returned home refreshed, and better able to handle the day-to-day challenges of parenting.
For Julia Marbach, who organized the trip, the conference is an important time each year to step away from her family and be with fellow moms.
“I need Moms’ Morning every Friday,” she said of the group who meets on Friday mornings during preschool at St. Paul. “I need Hearts at Home every year.”
Plans are already underway to get a group together for next year’s conference in April, she said.