The room was lit in beautiful blue lights streaming up the walls as you entered to smooth music and a sold-out audience at the BLOOM women’s conference at the Holiday Inn in Valdosta. The room was a buzz of ladies chatting with old friends, embracing each other, meeting new friends with warm smiles and soft hellos, and the wonderful smell of coffee.
Six speakers engaged the audience with topics of Health, Identity, Marriage, Parenting, Finances, and Lifestyle. They were local women with real stories who have persevered through difficult seasons of life and now walk confidently in their purpose with God.
Health & Fitness
Tiffany Courington spoke on health and fitness. She opened with the topic of fitness and explained, “Discipline is doing what needs to be done even if you don’t feel like it.” She encouraged the women to not give up on exercise. She gave some sound advice followed by a funny example, “If it doesn’t have a mother or come from the ground, you probably shouldn’t eat it. I don’t remember growing up with a Doritos tree in the backyard.” Tiffany gave examples of preferred brands of healthy foods like Amy’s, Cliff, and Eden. She encouraged the ladies to think outside the box when it comes to discovering exercises with great finds on YouTube, Netflix, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Identity & Destiny
Debbie Vizcarrando gave a wealth of information on the identity and destiny. The first thing we should do is understand our origin. Our origin is God. Men and women are made in the image of God. No two people are the same. God has given us different roles but not different worth. The only person you should compare yourself to is you. Embrace your uniqueness, the way God made you. She tied all of this together, “Release God’s love. The world is waiting for you!”
Strength In Marriage
Laura Keller shared from her own life’s powerful story of marriage. After asking God to help her fall back in love with her husband, she found out that her husband had been having a three-year affair with her sister-in-law. Faced with some difficult decisions, she said, “Divorce was never an option.” She understood that God loved her and only His love could complete her. Laura and her husband have been married for 33 years. She recommended The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
Patty Lee told some funny stories from her own life and taught about raising children with grace. “Teach your children how amazing God is.” She said. She explained how she feared God more than she loved him because she had a fear of her earthly daddy. This fear led her to raise her children with strict rules and consequences with little grace which resulted in rebellion. She added that raising children with grace does not mean there are no consequences or boundaries. Boundaries are the safety net for children and will result in a home having a steady beat. She said, “Pull the kings out of your sons and pull the princesses out of your daughters. Move them in God’s direction, not in your direction.”
Navigating The Financial Minefield
Johanna Vrboncic spoke on finances. She said, “Money is not a dirty word. Money is a tool to build what is eternal and important.” She instructed that money should flow to us by keeping our eyes open for opportunities that come into your life; don’t run away from opportunities. She said, “find your why.” You need the “why” because everything requires money. She instructed that writing things down will help make plans, help evaluate your goals, and realize if something is a distraction. She recommended www.everydollar.com app for monthly budgets and gave compelling reasons to set a monthly budget.
Lifestyle – Get Up & Move
Dedra Hughes opened with a challenge for all the ladies, “Have you been inspired enough (today) to be motivated?” She shared on life choices and informed the women that their ”now” leads to their future. Hughes said, “Find what you can do well. God will keep you at the top and not the bottom.” She read from Deuteronomy 28:13 that states that we are the head and not the tail and asked, “Do you believe that?” She encouraged the women to live a life of generosity and generosity would find them. She further encouraged the audience to find people who are going where they want to go and connect with them. She quoted, “Your circle should want you to win. Your circle should clap the loudest when you have good news. If they don’t, get a new circle.” She encouraged the women to be strong (able to withstand great force or pressure) and not get stuck in the middle of a dream, but keep moving to be able to reach the end of that dream.
What the Ladies Are Saying About BLOOM
The ladies were impressed with the conference and look forward to the next BLOOM event:
Vicky Shelton, “I loved spending the day with women of different ages, backgrounds, and places in life. It is powerful to hear other peoples’ stories and learn from them.”
Mary L. Twitty—“I really enjoyed the BLOOM conference. The speakers spoke on the importance of forgiveness and knowing your value, understand how God’s love is the only love that can complete you…this conference really spoke to me at this time in my life.”
Regina Dockens— “This is exactly what I needed and just the right time to inspire and motivate me to get into my goals and be an amazing woman and leader.”
Tiffany Conron— “Both men and women are created in his likeness, and He is in everything. When a woman knows who she is and walks with the Lord, her path to greatness is clear and the possibilities are endless.
Am Burchfield— “I am God’s masterpiece, and He loves me.”
Kate Moye— “BLOOM conference has been wonderful and even greater than I imagined. The smaller, more intimate setting allowed you to feel a closer connection to each speaker, all of whom were extraordinary… It is evident that this was God-ordained.”
Event Hosts: Evett Thompson, Monica Page, Regan Armstrong
Event Lighting, Audio, & Visual Provided By:
Chris Shelton, President & Audio Lead for Event Point
Josh Taylor, Visual
Eric Vinson, Technical