Monday, August 08, 2005

Ambleside Online Texas Conference

There have been many narrations given about the Amblesdie Conference. You can read all about it here. It's been fun to read about everyone's experiences and what they came away with. I'll add my two cents to the stash....

Someone has already mentioned their surprise at how different each of the advisory members were from each other. Believe it or not, this fact was actually the best part of the conference for me. The reason their differences mean so much to me is that it was obvious that they loved and respected each other, and that is not so easy to find these days. Many people look for “like-minded” families to be with, and while I can appreciate that desire/need, I appreciate even more when people learn to put the important things first and put away all of the little (and big) doctrinal differences that often interfere with real relationships.

It was obvious that none of the advisory women were attempting to encourage anyone to “be just like them”. Each of them went out of her way to try to uplift those in attendance, to encourage them and meet them right where they were. They did everything they could to release people from the bondages that they so often put themselves under and gave “permission” for them to do what works for their own families. They each tried to show that they were not perfect, not some object to be put on a pedestal and admired from afar but just mothers who loved their children and are willing to lay their lives down for them, no matter how imperfect the offering is.

Sure, there were highlights for me: Leslie taking me back to the first PUO days when there were only about 20 of us, Donna-Jean as Charlotte Mason, Wendi’s comparison between the real Heidi and an abridged “that’s-a-wicked-book-Mommy” version, Lynn’s “Wickham at 2:00” statement, Karen’s advice to “put the big rocks in first” and many more that have already been mentioned by others. But what struck me in a more profound way was that all around me, Kingdom-work was going on. Everywhere from young girls serving others with cheerful hearts and all the behind the scenes work that makes a conference like this successful to very shy people getting up in front of everyone and giving of themselves when it’s not easy. And all of this to promote a service that is freely given, with nothing taken in return for all of the countless hours poured into not just creating it, but maintaining it too.

I saw and experienced love.


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

"They did everything they could to release people from the bondages that they so often put themselves under and gave “permission” for them to do what works for their own families."

I'm so excited by your 'narration!' This is very much a part of what we wanted to convey!

MamaLion said...

You conveyed that very well. You all did a good job of meeting the needs of a variety of people, which I know is not always easy. I think everyone came away with something, from those just thinking of homeschooling to the old pioneering veterans. Though selfishly I liked the idea of a more exclusive tea party, that is not what Ambleside has been about and I'm glad it was open to others.