So I went to dotMOM this past weekend …

What can I say about an event that involves Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson except you know you’ll laugh! This year’s dotMOM conference was fabulous! It’s been a few years since I have been able to attend dotMOM and I was very excited to go this year with some of the ladies from our church.

For those who don’t know, dotMOM is a Lifeway|Women event and is my favorite non-writing conference to attend. This year’s platform speakers included both Melanie and Sophie and one of my favorite fiction writers, Karen Kingsbury! Christy Nockels led worship … y’all, there just are not words. {listen to a short video I shared on my Facebook page}  But hands down the best part of dotMOM is the variety of breakout sessions offered.  This year was no exception. I had a hard time figuring out what sessions to attend and ended up with a “divide and conquer” plan where one of my friends went to different sessions and we swapped notes. I know, you are currently thinking I am genius, right? 🙂

dotMOM 2015 recap


I wish I could give you all my notes from every session I attended because it was all. so. good. Since that’s a little impractical, I thought I’d share the highlights from my favorite sessions.  Will that work?

Main Session #1: Sherry Saurat

  • Moms are world changers because we are, every day, shaping world changers.
  • Being brave is having a heart tuned for God’s voice and, when we hear it, we say, “Yes!”
  • God doesn’t want to make me better, He wants to make me NEW!! {Isaiah 43:18-19}

Breakout #1: Jeannie Cunnion {It’s Not All about You … and why that’s good news}

  • Motherhood reveals the depths of our hearts.
  • You will make mistakes. You will have regrets. You will need Jesus.
  • We, as moms, are important—but we are not God. We are not the Creator and Redeemer of their souls.
  • God’s grace that saved me is the same grace that covers my ongoing sin and brokenness.

Breakout #2: Michele Dyer {Cracking the Code: Insight into Your Teen’s Personality and Behavior}

Note: This session focused on using the DISC profile to help us understand our kids and ourselves and improve both our communication and our understanding of our relationships.  I loved this session and gained many practical ideas for building a stronger relationship with Casiday, especially during this season fraught with independence, hormones, and exhaustion.  Ha!

Main Session #2, Part 1: Melanie Shankle

  • There is no room for comparison and jealousy in the body of Christ.  Let’s cheer each other on!
  • When we become secure in our choices we can celebrate the choices and joys of others.

Main Session #2, Part 2: Sophie Hudson

  • Unity is not just behavior, it is a condition of our hearts. {Psalm 133:1}
  • When we are united, we are being made holy for the Lord’s work.
  • A group of women united for Christ’s cause is a dangerous thing.
  • When the temptation to compare and compete comes, we must bless instead.

Main Session #3, Karen Kingsbury

Karen challenged us to write a best seller with the days of our lives.  As a writer, I loved this imagery!!

  • Love Well {1 John 3:18} – The characters in your story are yours to love well.
  • Laugh Often {Proverbs 17:22} – Let the story of your life be colored with laughter.
  • Look for the miraculous {1 Kings 19:12} – God works in the middle of the mundane to show us the miraculous.
  • Lift our children to Jesus {John 16:33} – Remind them often that Jesus is the hero of all our stories.

And the most poignant moment of the conference came as Karen reminded us, “We can celebrate all the firsts in our children’s lives but we have no way of knowing when the lasts have come. Savor the moments.”

Breakout #3, Karen Alexander-Doyle {Being a Supportive, Fun In-Law}

This session focused both on being a good daughter-in-law and being a good mother-in-law.

  • Don’t compete! There is no room for competition, instead commit to being an encourager and a supporter.
  • Don’t assign motives to someone else or assume the worst.  Be willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
  • Don’t make your husband {or son or daughter} choose!  No one will win.
  • Give up your expectations in exchange for a relationship.

Breakout #4, Jeannie Cunnion {We Can Be Free}

This was the most powerful session of the conference for me.  Much of the content was from Jeannie’s awesome book, Parenting the Wholehearted Child: Captivating Your Child’s Heart with God’s Extravagant Grace … you should get it. Seriously.

  • Grace has the power to remove all shame.
  • We are free from the burden of the Law as the means of gaining God’s favor and we are free to serve others well and love them.
  • Am I living like Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “Make me proud”? Because what He said is, “It is finished.”
  • When we are living in shame we will parent with shame.  But shame will not transform our children’s hearts – only grace can do that.

So, there you have it … my wrap up of dotMOM 2015.  The dates are set for 2016 and it will, again, be in my favorite city, Nashville.  Lisa-Jo Baker will be one of the platform speakers—I am already excited. You need to make plans to be there. And bring a friend or 20. You’ll be glad you did.

And I’d be remiss not to tell you I have a post at Mothers of Daughters today.  I’m sharing some of the music that has formed the soundtrack of my mothering as well as some great music for girls.  In fact, we’re giving away two CDs from one of my favorite local artists, Kristen Dunn … head over there now and read the post and maybe win a CD!! Here’s a picture of Kristen and me from last week … she’s tiny and precious and talented and oh how this girl loves the Lord!!

Music for teenage girls ... Kristen Dunn

It’s rare that I feel like a giant, y’all. Anyway, I’m hoping you’ll all go visit Mothers of Daughters and listen to Kristen’s music and then you can thank me for introducing her to you.  And don’t forget, my October series, STAND OUT: 7 traits of a counter-cultural life begins Thursday.


Teri Lynne

Just out of curiosity, are you a Karen Kingsbury fan? Y’all, the Baxter series … so, so good.

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!

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