Friday, April 20, 2012

Things are BIG in Kansas

Before Friday night's session of Living Proof LIVE
I am 5'1" tall. I do not feel short, or lacking in stature...but when I looked around as we drove from the airport to Maribeth's house, everything looked - well, BIG - to me. The houses were big. The shopping malls were big. The churches were big. The boulevards were big. And it was flat.

Where I live, there are mountains all around us. The majestic Olympic mountains are to the west, the Cascades stand due east, Mount Baker to the north, and Mount Rainier to the south. You can tell what direction you're facing in Western Washington, if you know your mountains.

We also have a lot of water around us. Puget Sound is the body of water next to our house, but there are also many lakes and other bodies of water: Hood Canal, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Lake Washington, Lake Union, Lake Sammamish - these are a few of the major ones. In Kansas, I saw a lazy, muddy river and a few streams. There were gorgeous, deep green deciduous trees covered with leaves, and lush grass growing everywhere. Magnolia trees were blooming. Birds were singing songs I had never heard before. Spring was in the air.

I lived in Illinois in 1980-81 as a college student, near a historic village on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. That was my first prolonged exposure to flat land and languid, muddy river waters, and it was an impressive experience of a different kind of natural beauty - bare deciduous trees in winter, clear blue skies over sparkling snow, plowed fields that stretched for miles like a patchwork quilt, an avenue of lilacs blooming in spring. I haven't been back to visit the area, and this "reunion" with that part of the country was a great pleasure.

Maribeth had a lot of activities planned for us. We went to her Pilates class, and out to lunch with her friends and her sister. We went to church for a Bible study, which she co-teaches. We helped to make blankets for charity, went to a fashion show, and visited her relatives. We ate meals with Alan, and we talked a lot. We played with Cissy. I loved entering Maribeth's life in Kansas.
Alan & MB introducing me to queso dip & lime margaritas
(note the photo-bomb-TV in the background!)
I had no idea what to expect from Beth Moore until I attended MB's Bible study class (in the biggest church I've ever seen). There was discussion and a video of Beth teaching, which was a good introduction to her lively, humorous, intense style. She is from a Baptist background; the study was held in a Methodist church, neither of which are familiar religions, to me. Beth Moore's sincerity, passion for God and women's ministry was evident.

On Friday afternoon, we packed a few things in the car and drove to Kansas City, where we checked into a hotel and met some of MB's friends. One of her friends, Amy, has a design business, and made beautiful t-shirts for this event. We wore them on Friday night to attend the first session of Beth Moore's Living Proof LIVE event.
Detail of the front side
The back
I love the color, the images and the message. If you'd like to see more of Amy's work, please visit her site, amelia's DESIGNS, and browse around.

Walking to the Civic Auditorium, I was impressed by the flood of women pouring along the streets and through the doors. When we found our seats, I looked around the huge space and wondered:  How could it be that so many women were willing to come together (on a Friday night, and half of Saturday) to hear this message? There was a cross-shaped stage in the center, enormous video screens suspended from the ceiling, stage lights, musical instruments for a live band, and seats all the way to the ceiling. The place filled up - it was completely sold out - and we saw many hot-pink t-shirts like ours all around. Then the lights went down, and the music started.


Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, you are such a good storyteller.....leaving me hanging like this again. :)
I can tell you had a marvelous time being in Maribeth's life, and I'm sure she felt the same way.
The t-shirts are amazing.
Photo bomb? Is that when someone bombs into your photo? You are so hip with the kids lingo. :)

ChiTown Girl said...

Ah, Sister Girl, if you ever want to have that reunion with IL, I know just the chick who would LOVE to have you. Just sayin'.... ;-)

Karen said...

I love Kansas, too. I've been there once. We have slow muddy rivers here in VA too. Living on flat land is different, and I have to admit I prefer mountains nearby. Nonetheless, it has its own charms. Sounds like an incredible turn out for Beth Moore. She tends to pack out the auditoriums. I heard her dynamic style when I lived in Hawaii years ago and loved it. I tend to prefer a less emotional/intense presentation now since my son died. Don't know exactly why...perhaps too much emotion of my own and a strong need for calm, quiet and steady.

Kay said...

First off...such cute shirts. : ) I love your descriptions of the flat land...I live in a very flat area. I can't even imagine being surrounded by the beauty you see outside your windows daily. That sort of view is a destination sort of thing for us. : )