Packing Up for Lowell, MA

Hey, Siestas!

This week I never even put up my big fat red clumsy suitcase. (It’s got to be big enough to carry my fan. I never, ever leave home without my fan.)  I just pulled out the jeans from last weekend’s Wyoming trip and started putting in speaking clothes for this weekend’s Boston trip. Good thing I like to travel. Travis, the LPL team, Michelle and I are looking so forward to being in New England this weekend. Can you imagine a more perfect time than early Fall? I wish I could stay a while!

I love Boston. I had one of my very first grown up feelings there many years ago. The whole nation was in a financial slump at the time but that part of the country was in deeper despair than we were. Houston was still afloat in a puddle of oil. Keith got the idea to fly to Boston and interview men with experience in home services (plumbing, AC, etc) who might be out of a job and willing to relocate. Turned out to be a wise move. He asked me if I wanted to go with him and in those days I never left home unless it was for a well-scheduled-in-advance speaking engagement. They were mostly in Texas in those days and within driving distance for my Chevy station wagon.(By myself in a car with no cell phone. It amazes me now.)

By strict routine, I was gone two Friday nights a month and no more. This was the hook Keith used to reel me in like a fish: “We’ll stay in a hotel and everything.” It was a date. I got my Mom to help me with the girls (in elementary school at the time). Keith and I hopped on that plane and flew to the Northeast like real grown ups, which we were but didn’t know it. He conducted interviews for two days while I took the city on foot and must have walked ten solid miles visiting one historical sight after another.  I do love some American history.

I got my own map, chose my own sights, bought my own tickets to three tours and made friends with perfect strangers. I relived every scene at every spot in my wild imagination. I don’t know why that first trip to Boston stands out in my mind so strongly. I guess because I went straight from my mama’s house…to the dorm room …down the church aisle… to the hospital where I had one baby…and then another. Independence was not even a word in my vocabulary.  That day in Boston, I realized – for just the merest moment – that I was an individual. Not just somebody’s daughter, sister, wife or mother, as much as I cherished those relationships and would not have traded them for the world. For two whole days I just did what I wanted to. I didn’t have to please another soul. Not a great way to live but, oh, sister. It can be a great way to spend a day. It was beautiful those two days in Boston, Massachusetts and icy cold and I warmed my hands on a continuous drip of good dark coffee. And I did one of my very favorite things. I learned stuff.

And then I got homesick and went back home. Back to being somebody’s daughter, sister, wife and mother. And I was glad but I never forgot those two days in Boston when I pulled my big hair back in a pony tail, threw caution to the wind, and got rocked in the Cradle of Liberty.

I don’t know. It was just fun.

Lord have mercy. Where did that come from??

Here’s what I got on here to ask: Are any of you heading that direction for our Living Proof Live this coming Friday and Saturday? Or do any of you wish you could but don’t have the money for the ticket?? Well, that’s exactly what the Siesta Scholarship Fund is all about.

Call Living Proof Ministries at 1-888-700-1999 during work hours on Thursday or Friday and talk to either Kimberly or Susan. They’ll fix up the first 15 or so of you who call.

I love you guys.

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250 Responses to “Packing Up for Lowell, MA”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Michele says:

    Oh I wish I could come. But I’ll be praying for y’all.

    Have a safe and fun trip!

  2. 2
    Kate says:

    Oh my goodness, that entry made me cry so very unexpectedly.
    Paris. That’s where I was when I felt the exact same thing. Walking walking walking and realizing there was this huge world out there.

  3. 3
    Denise says:

    wish I had an airline ticket and I would be there in a minute. My precious son and his wife live in Boston. He is going to seminary at Gordon-Conwell. We miss them so badly sometimes that we could pop. I am so proud of them. Oklahoma kids livin’ in Boston and know the city like the back of their hands.

    My daughter in law will be there. Her name is Kristy. Tell her hi for me.

    • 3.1
      Suzanne says:

      Denise – I’m a Gordon-Conwell alumna and previous staff member…. Bless you for raising your son to love Jesus. May your life continue to speak loudly with love… 🙂 Suzanne Carter (GCTS, 2001)

      P.S. – Let your son and Kristy know that the New England autumn colors (especially in the White Mountains of NH – just an hour north!) will be worth every moment spent and will do more for their romance and their love for Jesus then two extra hours of study. It’s a good exchange! Bless you out there in Oklahoma, Mom…. 🙂

  4. 4
    Megan says:

    Beth– Thank you for sharing about all of your adventures. I hope you have a moment for a few comments–
    Thank you LPM for Melissa’s post this week. I was so inspired as I read comment after comment of women believing in God to reveal to them a transforming word for them straight out of Scripture. I am currently in seminary, and my mom frequently asks — what’s that word in Greek? What does it mean? Am I doing this right?– and I haven’t known how to respond because I lived well with the Spirit pre-seminary, and I believe God reveals himself through Greek and non-Greek. I was so inspired by the post to both use the knowledge I’m being given as well as encourage others to dig straight in. So thank you.

    Secondly, thank you to the scholarship fund for making these tickets and your resources available. I have a friend in Davis, CA who has been blessed by the DVD’s you were able to send their campus ministry that otherwise would have been unable to afford it. I am one who has been unable to purchase a ticket, but I pray that if God has something deeper to show me in the lesson of me needing him that he’s been revealing by coming this weekend (I’m just over in Hamilton, MA), that he will provide a way through you.

    Blessings to you all.
    PS– it is downright lovely here with the sugar maples. I really hope you’ll be able to taste some of our apples straight off the trees, too.

  5. 5
    marylee says:

    Here I thought you were going to ask “When was the first time y’all felt like a grown up?” Grin..I’d give anything to be there this weekend but you’ll be in my city in May and I can’t wait as I’ve never seen you in person. I’ll be praying for you this weekend..Blessings!!!

  6. 6

    I love this memoir, Beth. That moment of self-discovery was beautifully written.

  7. 7

    About five years ago I spent a week in Boston with my husband when he was attending a business conference.

    Like you, I walked my legs off and soaked up all of that history and fell in love with that wonderful city.

    One morning I decided that I’d go to mass at a nearby Catholic cathedral (I’m Methodist – but, when in Rome), when I got there it was empty and I wandered around at bit and then heard voices and walked into a chapel and sat down. I then realized that I was at a funeral mass! All of the ONLY ten or so people turned and looked at me, so I decided that I’d just better stay; I heard a beautiful rendition of “Ave Maria” paid my respects to Miss Katherine and scuttled on out!

  8. 8
    Bec says:

    I know exactly how you felt Beth… I had my first whole week away in August… flew to Brisbane & had a few days with my sister… then a few days by myself… it was so refreshing. As much as I love my other roles, it was wonderful to have a break. I am daughter, sister to 7 siblings, wife, and mother to 4 children.

  9. 9
    Sabrina says:

    I love you so much, Beth, but I just have to ask….why do you have to pack a fan? I’m just askin’. Big smile!!!xoxo

    • 9.1
      Beth says:

      Hi Sabrina! Because it helps me sleep in so many different hotel rooms and beds. It “sounds” the same even if I’m a long way from home. I know, It’s nutty.

      • Susan says:

        Beth, I sleep with a fan every night and take one with me everywhere I go too. I have to have the noise. Two of my girlfriends I’ve had since Jr. High are the same way. When we used to go on trips, we’d have to haul the big box fan. Anything that was loud. Driving trips only of course.

        When I was in the market for my current little oscillating fan, I went to a dozen stores asking them if they had any really loud fans. I needed one that made a lot of noise. They always seemed to look at me with the most peculiar look.:)
        Susan

      • Sabrina says:

        Oh, white noise! It’s not nutty, It’s adorable! I knew there was a good reason! May you be blessed as you bless the Boston area this weekend!

  10. 10
    Emily says:

    Oh, you must be related to my hubby’s family. They NEVER sleep without a fan. Well, actually, I can’t either now! All 3 of our children must have one and we even have pictures of our puppies (we had 7, down to 5 now) standing in front of a fan. Good for you for packing one. My husband always just buys a new one when we travel. It’s become a tradition. If you’re ever in Port St. Joe, Fl and need a fan you can stop by our house. 🙂

    I loved your story. I am really at a point that I am treasuring my roles as wife, mother, daughter and sister, but, I, too, went straight from home to a dorm to the altar. I am taking a girl’s trip with two friends next weekend and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!!! I’ve struggled with feelings of guilt about leaving my babies and spending the money and all of those things, but at the end of the day I just can’t wait. I know it will be the time of refreshing I need. Praying for your weekend. I know it will be just what the ladies there need as well!!

  11. 11
    Angela says:

    My family (and especially my two little boys) have learned such a valuable lesson and I owe it all to a recent blog made by you daughter, Amanda. I’m not sure how long ago it was so I will just post here. I read the blog about Amanda’s trip with Compassion International. I watched the clip of the children living (literally on the landfill) and my heart was just crushed! I asked my husband if we could support one of the children and he said yes. I asked my boys to watch the video. We scrolled through the list of waiting children and my four year old immediately spotted a boy his own age. We chose him to sponsor. We received our packet in the mail with his picture and my four year old holds it and shows it to everyone! I believe this little boy is going to be more of a blessing to us than we are to him!! Thanks for the blog without it we may never have heard or seen!

  12. 12
    Evie says:

    Hi Beth, no won’t be in Boston this weekend but certain ya’ll will have a blast!!! I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Boston…hope to someday.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say you felt “independent “. It was a new experience for you. That’s exactly how I woke up feeling this morning after listening to one of your Priesthood series sessions. I just had to share it with you so I emailed someone in your staff!

    I am overwhelmed to know that my right toe has been consecrated and that I cam walk the righteous path because of Jesus! This has forever changed my outlook for the rest of my days. Thank you.

  13. 13

    I love those memories. I WISH I could come, but we are in the Northwest. Autumn is lovely in Montana too. Can’t wait for you to make it up to the Flathead Valley area sometime.

  14. 14
    Carolyn says:

    Oh Wow! I didn’t know about the scholarship fund. I can’t go to this one, but perhaps, I’ll be able to catch one closer to Alabama. I just love you, your style of teaching, and the authority of Jesus you rely upon when you speak! I’m a Siesta and proud of it!!!

  15. 15
    Stacy Featherston says:

    I never, ever leave home without my fan either…wouldn’t sleep a wink:) Have a GREAT trip!!

  16. 16
    Leigh says:

    Beth (may I call you this, informally?), I have to say that my jaw just dropped open. Legitimately.
    I’m a Texas girl by birth, 26 years, and heart. I moved to Lowell, MA over 2 years ago, to pursue some dreams and take some chances. The East Coast is a beautiful, rich, astounding place.
    When I heard to you were coming to Lowell, my very town, and that the conference was affordable, I leapt for joy!
    Sadly, there have been extenuating circumstances (seems as if my life resides there most times, honestly enough), and I can’t even afford the reasonable and amazing price for tickets. I was going to break it to my friends who are going, tonight, but did not get the opportunity.
    When you ended this post with a number and a scholarship – I wanted to cry. Beth I truly wanted to be there, but without being overly candid about my financial situation – it was literally impossible to pay. I have to tell you how grateful I am that before I closed my computer for the night, I read your blog. How God answers prayers, that we are often to timid to ask – still floors me.
    If I can call soon enough (first thing), I will be in your audience, praising God for echoing a sentence I said months ago: “I believe God would want me there. So I have to trust He’ll get me there somehow.” How amazing, in the last hour – He hopefully does just that.

  17. 17
    Jen says:

    I’m going! I’ve had to move heaven and earth to make it a reality (finding a dear sister I don’t know willing to sell me her extra ticket at a reduced rate and also riding to and from with two sisters I’ve never met!). But, I just know the Lord has a word for me, and I’m too hungry to miss it! So I’ll be there with my mouth wide open ready for Him to fill it.

    I need Him to show up in God-sized way!

    Can’t wait!
    Jen

  18. 18
    Heatherly says:

    MamaBeth,

    So blessed you love “my” city. I won’t be with you in Lowell this weekend, so many of my sisters will be. Praying for many blessings on this weekend.

  19. 19
    Shonda says:

    So, this has nothing to do with your question about seeing you this weekend. But I have to say that I’m so glad that pack a fan everywhere you go too. I have a fan everywhere I go. I don’t care if it’s one night or where it is at I have to have a fan with me. In fact, so does my whole family. I just can’t sleep without one. Ok, I just had to tell you that.

    Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be praying for you and the women who are listening to hear a fresh word. Many blessings and safe travels.

    Shonda

  20. 20
    Tammie says:

    Not anywheres near Boston, just resonate with the Spirit of adventure and learning… L-O-V-E it!!!!!!! Oh, man… another post that makes me itch to pull my suitcase out and do some exploring….

  21. 21
    warrior in training says:

    I found out you are going to be in Pensacola, FL in Dec of 2011-I am SO EXCITED. I told my daughter-“it’s a date.” There was just a simulcast a couple of weekends ago and I had to miss it so I will just have to settle for “LIVE”, lol. I can’t wait !!!!!!!!!
    Love you Mama Siesta.

  22. 22
    Midge Edmond says:

    So love the story of your Boston trip. A number of years ago, long after I had been married and had 8 babies, I was able to go on a business trip to London. I was so cool! Anyway for most of the trip 4 of us were together traveling seeking antiques in the countryside. But one afternoon my traveling companions were all taking a nap and I ventured out into the city to get bandaids at a drugstore for my blistered feet. I went out the front door of the hotel and onto the London streets all by my lonesome. I just kept thinking as I walked by the flower stands on the street, the cute little coffee shops and pubs, “My what a big girl I am!” I had not been alone without a husband or child anywhere let alone a big city street in I don’t know how long! It was only about a half hour but it was so much fun! Like you Boston trip, it has stayed with me and come to my memory s many times. Still makes me feel like a big girl! Thanks for sharing and bringing up good memories for me too.

  23. 23
    Lindsey says:

    Hello Beth! I will be praying for this weekend! Have a great time with the Siestas and many others 🙂 Our “simulcast” (supposed to have been this past Saturday) has been pushed back two weeks from the original date…so MORE WOMEN COULD COME! Isn’t that wonderful? So we will be gathering on the 8th. V. excited!
    Happy travels, Lindsey in Aus

  24. 24
    Kara says:

    Funny. I remember the first time I felt like an individual too. I was married at 18 and then went on to have a bunch of children – six of them. Well, I went w/ my oldest to youth camp. I was suppose to be a leader during small groups. My schedule was pretty much empty minus 30 minutes a day of Bible teaching. And my daughter was nowhere to be seen the entire trip. I never realized God can make such a busy person be still so quickly.

  25. 25
    Natalie says:

    to put it simply, we love you TOO! 🙂

  26. 26
    Kathy says:

    I love being thought of as a Siesta! I don’t have a flesh and blood sister but God has graciously given me many Christian sisters…He is so good!

    I will be praying for you and the team. I was blessed to be able to attend in Chicago…the law of kindness has been instilled in my mind and heart since I left.

    Kindness is not a weakness
    It is for His glory that we are strong

    Kindness is a disposition
    Faking kindness flatters none

    When we are weary
    Kindness leaves us
    With a yoke that’s hard to bear
    But Christ says take up my yoke
    And you’ll be free of Satan’s snare

    Kindness looks at pain
    In a way the world can’t see
    When we are faced with hardships
    Trusting Jesus is the key

    Kindness is our Savior
    He is our only King
    His grace and mercy saves us
    So His kindness we can bring

    Kindness has good memory
    His faithfulness is real
    So grab hold when you are sinking
    He’s the cord that holds us near

    Kindness craves an outlet
    Remember God is love
    His kindness gave us freedom
    For us to share with those He loves

    Kindness leaves a legacy
    what more is there to say
    God showed the greatest kindness
    when he gave His son away!

    So remember to be kind in everything you do
    And when you need His kindness
    He will be there for you!

    Proverbs 31:26
    “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness”

  27. 27
    Lauri Linder says:

    Enjoy your time there. We actually have roots in Lowell but have never been there. Lowell is where my husband’s Irish grandmother grew up, married, and began raising her family through the days of the Depression and then the onset of World War II.
    I love American history, too, and am eagerly hoping for a future trip to Boston in the fall with my husband.

  28. 28
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Oh. The days of independence and good coffee. I spent a whole decade traipsing the streets of great cities: Portland, OR (college); DC (work); Jerusalem (more school). Then one day I woke up and said: “Now I want a husband and some babies.” I didn’t know it would take the small, Inupiat whaling village of Barrow, Alaska to get me a man – but that’s how it worked. Thanks for sharing your Boston reveries! Have a lovely time, Beth, and all you siestas who are going to be together in old Boston Town! Can’t wait to hear about it ~

  29. 29
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Praying for you and the team as you bring His message to Boston.

  30. 30
    Bridgette Jencks says:

    I SO wish I could be in Boston for LPL this weekend, but … not going to happen. I DID, however, just watch your first segment on Faithful, Abundant, True (you got PUNK’D!) Loved it, loved it, loved it! It has my appetite so wet for next week’s session.
    Have a great trip!
    xoxo

  31. 31
    Tina says:

    My Dear Sweet Siesta Sister Beth,

    Oh how I would Love to take advantage of the Siesta Scholarship fund, but I wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of the lodging costs. That is so generous of you, Hopefully in the future if you offer the scholarship again or we get more income I will be able to do it. Please pray for a job for my husband.

    I am praying for both you and Travis as well as the rest of the crew. Wish I could be there! I know it would be a great Blessing!

    especially praying for traveling mercies and the ladies hearts to be open to the truth and the message the Lord has for them.

    In Christ’s Love and Prayers
    Sis in Christ
    Tina

  32. 32

    I love that you never leave home without a fan, Beth. I’m the same way when traveling by car, but I’ve never packed one in my suitcase 🙂 I have, however, packed a white noise machine (Sleep Mate) to help lull me to sleep. They’re small. You might want to google it and get you one. They’re especially nice when it’s too cold to have a fan running. Or maybe in Houston, you never get days like that! 🙂

  33. 33
    Chrissy says:

    We will be in Boston this weekend celebrating my 40th birthday! I just had to get away from the harsh reality of this milestone! Wish we could somehow fit LPL into our schedule!! Here’s hoping from some great fall weather for all of us!!! I pray you have a wonderful weekend and lives are blessed.

    What was your favorite site in Boston?

  34. 34
    texatheart says:

    What neat memories. I went to South Korea by myself when I was in college for 3 months. I spent 3 weeks being a camp counselor, 3 weeks as a secretary for the missionaries, and then 4 weeks at the beach as the youth director. I didn’t have the freedom like you described, but I sure understand the independence.
    Wish I could be in Boston over the weekend, but distance prevents it. I will be praying for all the women attending and that God will speak a word through you. Enjoy the beauty of the fall season. I love changing seasons. It just reminds me of God’s power.
    Jan

  35. 35
    Rhonda says:

    Hey Beth,

    Wish I could go, but I live in California! Come back over this way! My friend and I recently got the book “So Long Insecurity” and we are going through it with the girls in the Monterey Bay Teen Challenge. We’re having a blast! It’s so good. Thank you so much for your generosity!

    We love you!

    Many blessings,
    Rhonda

  36. 36

    Why do I not find it surprising that you made friends with total strangers?! 🙂

  37. 37

    Oh heck yes I am coming to Boston! Along with a handful of other woman from my church in Woodstock, VT. My 2 daughters are coming too who have attended conferences with me at different times, one in Burlington and one in Houston at the SSMT gathering but never all at the same time! Oh it is a blessing already…! Thank You so much for coming up to the Northeast.

    Praying for safe travels for everyone and for the conference and all who will attend.

    Blessings,

    michelle in VT

  38. 38
    Deb says:

    Awww, you are not far from me this weekend. Wish I could be there but have plans with my hubby to celebrate our anniversary, so it’s not as if I can really complain : There will be lots of wind and rain this weekend but the leaves are still beautiful! They are actually a little early up here this year and should be at peak very soon. Thanks for coming up our way!

  39. 39
    Deb says:

    Oops, I’m wrong. Saturday will be sunny. Wishing you a safe trip and blessed event!

  40. 40
    Janet says:

    I loved the trip to Boston in my mind. Thanks

  41. 41
    Janet says:

    Hi Beth. My friend and I are driving from Hudson Valley, NY to be with you, the praise team, thousands of women, and a few brave men. We are so happy that you are coming to the Northeast and we are looking forward to the Word God will bring to us through you. It will be a girls trip and we will enjoy the four hour journey through New England and see the beautiful landscape the Lord puts in front of us. See you soon!

  42. 42
    Susan says:

    My Mom and I will be there and I can’t wait! I’ve been looking forward to this for months!

  43. 43
    heather says:

    Not heading to Boston this weekend, hope you all have a blessed time together:) I appreciate your sharing about your “grown up” moment. I usually don’t think about it much but to be free from all the roles we play is a beautiful thing, for a short time. I often don’t think much about who I am anymore. It’s hard to find the time when your up at 6am with a 1 year old and going to bed with a 14 year old at 10:30pm. Thank God for His wonderful grace…I don’t know how I would survive without it!

  44. 44
    Jane says:

    I’m leaving for Lowell, MA on a 7:00 am flight Friday morning from Rochester, NY to Boston, MA. Meeting my best friend, Joyce, from NC for a relaxing girls weekend attending Living Proof Live and taking in Boston! Can’t wait hear my favorite Bible Study teacher…that’s you, Beth!

  45. 45
    shana says:

    14 years ago last week I was on the east coast on my honeymoon (mostly Cape Cod), but as it turns out — although I would love to join you — this weekend I’ll be waiting (a little impatiently, unfortunately) for my sweet little 6th babe to grace us with his or her presence. I just can’t wait! Have a wonderful, wonderful time!
    Blessings,
    Shana

  46. 46
    Laura says:

    Beth this was a great story I think most of us can relate to the feelings that would come for two days of being just who we are…who is that anyway? Have a wonderful trip…pack a raincoat things are pretty wet right now on the east coast.

  47. 47
    Cindie says:

    Beth…your post made me so homesick. New England is home for me..but I have lived in Central Florida for the past 26 years. This is my very favorite time in New England…
    I miss our family that is still there and would love to hop on a plane to see you in Boston and then extend my trip to see my family.
    Blessings as you speak this weekend…I know that the women will be blessed.

  48. 48
    Village Sister says:

    I never leave home without my fan either!! I can’t sleep or do my hair without it!
    Have a safe, blessed trip. Love you Beth……just love you like crazy.

    Pam

  49. 49
    Colleen says:

    I can’t believe I’m the first one to reply, but yes! I’ll be there! Woo hoo!

    Leaving my three kids behind and flying up from Virginia today to spend the weekend with my family. My mom, sister, and I will be there on Saturday. I can’t wait! Did I mention I’m leaving my three kids behind? 6 hours till my brief vacation begins…

    But before I leave, meeting my Bible study group–we’re doing Jesus The One and Only.

    Can’t wait to hear the message God has in store for us this weekend.

  50. 50
    Flip flops says:

    Dear Beth, I lay here on my bed in mega pain from throwing out my back yesterday….I so wanted to go this weekend….you are so close! I am just in tears over it all! I will be praying that many hearts are touched this weekend and fog the whole team as well… enjoy! I love you so much…. BIG HUG! Lyn

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