When You Need a Bit of Warmth to Get Through the Winter {Mom Heart Conferences in 2014 are Just the Ticket!}

bg-collageby Kristen Kill

The pudgy fingers of my toddler clings to my shoulder as I to type this, a bit slower than my usual speed as I listen for the cues in her breath that tell me she is still sound asleep. Her other arm is stretched across her brother. Yes, there are two of them that have taken over tonight, friends, finally sleeping soundly after one of those drag out bedtimes. Its not every night that my children collapse in my bed, but stretching back into a school routine has us feeling rather harried and just plain worn out. I’m weary and find myself wondering if you might be just a bit weary today too?

Ruth and Misty

The lists don’t ever end and as Autumn blazes on, we are already planning for Thanksgiving and then Christmas and up the hill for one final push to get us back on routine once again. The beautiful part about the cold of winter though? Tea and knitting and movie nights with popcorn….and Mom Heart Conferences. Because mamas,  bit of refreshment is in order for our own hearts and souls. At a time when several of us often feel the cold seems the bear the greatest chill and we aren’t sure we are cut out for this life you are carving and crafting at home, there is a place where you can come to be reminded of beauty and friendship. A retreat for your soul to be warmed and to exhale and recommit your heart to being a bearer of beauty and light and Jesus to our families. Maybe When you need a bit of warmth to get through the winter , you’ll think about joining us?

Our band who represent momheart and itakejoy,  love big and hug long and share openly. We’d love to get to know you; because maybe even more important than the rest (I’m talking sleeping through the actual night and eating a full meal and nibbling on chocolates kind of rest), is the linking of arms and gathering of hearts that want to live this life together.

This year, our conferences have some of the most encouraging speakers ever, a beautiful book table that is full of all the Clarkson Family favorites and opportunities to nurture your heart along side kindreds.

And friends? Right now, we are Giving AWAY a ticket! If you register before midnight on October 31st, you’ll automatically be entered to win a drawing on November 4th. If you win, your ticket price will be fully refunded- how cool is that?! Check out the details for the conferences below and visit www.MomHeartConference.com to register.

Mom Heart Conference 2014

Denver, Colorado- January 24-25, Denver Marriott South

Irvine, California- February 7-8, Irvine Marriott

Irving/DFW, Texas- February 21-22, Dallas Marriott Las Colinas

Click on the image below to see all the details about this year’s conference locations and speakers!

and this poster is printable or downloadable to share with your support group or blog!


Would you help us please, and share with your friends on facebook, twitter and in your support groups? Thanks so very much! And please leave a comment and let us know if you have been to a momheart conference and how you enjoyed it!


Richard the Lionheart and taking time to make memories afresh

Today, I am home after 4 weekends away out of 5 weekends. Whew! So happy to have had the conferences, and speech tourneys and have finished the book–but now, even though my house awaits cleaning and mail is in stacks and suitcases need unpacking and cabinets empty of food, I know that if I do not regularly rest my body and soul and heart–I will not last well and I will burn out. Life pulsing through patterns of light and dark, spring and winter, busyness and laze–illness and health–disaster and mundane–whatever seasons come my way, I lean into them and ride their waves instead of fighting against their patterns of washing through my life.

And so now, weary to the bone, but content of soul, I ponder just how I might visit my daughter, Sarah, who is in Oxford, before she returns. I think I may have a free overseas ticket–of course I will find a way to justify my secret pleasure–time alone with my kindred spirit, who always fills my soul and inspires me, as do her siblings, and so I plan my course. As I was searching, I came across this memory–(doesn’t Joy look young! Oh, my–just a few years ago, and now gone!)

So, I am thinking, a trip to my beloved Austria would be just the remedy to this soul in need of fresh stimulation, pondering, dreaming and rest–so I share this memory with you today. And maybe this is the day you need to take a break and make a memory, too!


All work and no play makes Joy, Sarah and Sally dull girls. Recently on our mission trip, we had spent an endless stream of days speaking and giving out books and then hopping on another train or plane to go to another group of women with whom we would speak, minister to, give out books and serve. My children usually have to take care of other children, help serve meals, haul boxes of books and wait patiently for me to be through.

How delighted we were, at the end of our trip, to find a whole day free to do as we please. Since we had one free ride left on our train ticket, we decided to take a train to one of our favorite little towns that sits right on a quiet curve of the Danube River. Durnstein is the name of the town. It was a medival town with one narrow road passing through the small, ancient houses. Even today, only one car at a time can fit through the narrow passageway. Once when Clay and I were very young, we visited this town on a free weekend and stayed in the home—(bed and breakfast) where a wine press, over 900 years old, filled the middle of the house.

We chugged along through prim and predictably orderly Austrian villages. Flowering bushes, tulips, and daffodils marked the roadways and pathways and towns. Finally, we arrived at our destination. Story has it that Richard the Lion Heart went to the Crusades through Austria. When he reached his destination, he unearthed Leopold of Austria as the ruler in charge of the Crusades. In retaliation, when Richard was on his journey back home, he was capture by Leopold and place in a prison cell in the castle at the top of the mountain in Durnstein. He kept the whereabouts secret so that no one could rescue the English monarch.

Blondell, Richard’s beloved friend and servant, was a musician, seeking to discover the whereabouts of his master. The story tells us that Blondell strolled throughout the Austrian countryside strumming his lute and singing songs that were familiar to his king. He hoped that his king would hear him through the cell windows and respond. Sure enough, as he climbed around the mountain castle of Durnstein singing, Richard heard and sang back as a sign of his whereabouts. Blondell was then able to bring a group of English soldiers to rescue the King and take him back to England.

The morning we started our hike up to the top of the castle was chill, but sunny. The hike was straight up and arduous to my worn-out knees. Yet, with the encouragement of my younger hiking companions, Sarah and Joy, I completed the hike one more time to walk among the ruins of the old, remains of the legend tale. The views were incomparable as we looked out over the budding vineyards and caught the curl of the Danube winding its way through the sleepy valley. Rewarding ourselves with a hot, marrillen (the small town boasts of its apricots!) and cream cheese pancakes, lathered in whip cream, satisfied our overwhelming hunger. Then, seeing that the time was late, we literally had to run at full speed, a quarter of a mile, fearful of not being able to run another step, to barely catch the last train of the day that would return us to our friends in Vienna. What an adventure to put in our memory books.

Momheart conferences 2012–Register now!

Often, I am asked about my secrets of motherhood. “What did you do to open and win your children’s hearts, and fill them with God’s truth? How do you hold their hearts now as they move into young adulthood? What is your secret?” I always smile a little because I know there’s less to my perceived success as a mother than meets the eye and ear in my books, blogs, and talks. I have told many stories about my mothering exploits, and shared many biblical insights about motherhood, but they really all boil down to only a few key things I have done in my 28 years of mothering. Three simple secrets that enabled me to open, fill, and hold my children’s hearts. They are the personal commitments of what I will call heartshaping motherhood.

My message for you this year is simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated. I am determined that no one will go home wondering whether or not they can be the mother God wants them to be. You can be! That’s my message. You can be confident. And no matter how complicated motherhood may seem at times, or how complex the maze of motherhood experts and advice may become, at the heart of everything you do for your children can be three simple commitments that will keep you on track. I want to share those three commitments with you (my “secrets”) because I believe they can change you and, even more important, your children.

Each year, I am more convinced than the one before that the world is ready for–indeed, is in desperate need of–a restoration of biblical motherhood. Young women today are entering the sacred calling of motherhood often with no model to emulate, no teaching on God’s design to follow, and no community of mothers from which to draw strength. This Mom Heart Conference is just one thing I can do to partner with the Spirit of God to renew the hearts of mothers. I hope you can join me.

I wanted to get this information out to all of you as soon as I could, because there is a great deal for the end of November registration deadline! Not only will you get $10 off of the regular registration price, you will also recevie a $10 voucher for the Book Table!

The Heartshaping Mom ~ How to Open, Fill, and Hold Your Child’s Heart


with Sally Clarkson & friends
Wholehearted mother, author, blogger, and speaker

Now in our 15th year of ministering to mothers!
Since 1998, this two-day conference and getaway has been a bright light in the gray days of winter for thousands of Christian moms in nearly 50 conferences in eight states. Sally Clarkson is a faithful champion for biblical motherhood, and this year her message for moms is personal and powerful. She will share her life-learned heartshaping secrets for how to open, fill, and hold the hearts of your children. She will be joined by other moms who share her passion for motherhood in messages, testimonies, and panel discussions.

Get away with us for fellowship and inspiration!
You need to be with other wholehearted mothers like you! You need to be able to laugh and cry and shout and sigh about the same experiences. Come be refreshed, revived, and restored by being around other moms who want the same thing for their children that you want for yours. In addition to Sally’s and her guest speakers’ messages, this conference also includes practical workshops, inspirational worship, special media presentations, a lovely banquet luncheon, book tables, and more. Please join us


January 20-21, 2012
Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows, Littleton, CO


February 3-4, 2012
Irvine Marriott Hotel, Irvine, CA


February 17-18, 2012
Dallas Marriott Las Colinas, Irving, TX


Registration dates vary by location. Please check your city for specific dates.

Early Registration: $89.00 (see Super Early Registration Bonus below *)
Regular Registration: $99.00

* Super Early 15 Year Celebration Registration Bonus! Register by November 30 and receive a $10.00 book table voucher! If you register by November 30, your $10.00 voucher will be included with your registration packet at the conference. You will not receive a coupon in the mail. Usable only at the conference book table. Not transferable. Offer expires November 30 at 11:59pm MT

For more information, full details, hotel information about conferences please visit:


Grace undeserved

Love a man, even in his sin, for that love is a likeness of the divine love and is the summit of love on earth.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Life in the contemporary is standing against my ability to be mature all the time. The pace of life, the interruptions, the lack of time by myself to become centered, and the constant flow of food and messes are the hardest for me or most stressful for my personality, I must say. Looking back at this post from a few years ago, I see that often the struggle with myself is still pretty much the same. But even as I see the beauty of His hands all around me, and His grace happens every day, so I know His grace for my frail humanity is constant and new every morning. Great is his faithfulness.

Everything is a rush and hurry and then a wait and see. Yesterday, I found myself sinning far too easily. After three attempts to confirm some seats on a plane going overseas, I finally got the auto response to go almost to the point of confirming seats, after thirty minutes of frustration. I did not find it humorous that a very soothing, recorded voice was placed precisely at one point of choosing an arbitrary host of numbers, to comfort me—though I know a machine cannot really feel emotion. “I’m sorry! I didn’t understand you. It must be my fault.”(Can a machine be faulted for making mistakes and can it feel sorry Does it really care for my frustration???)

Finally, a real and very surly woman answered my phone call. I gave her all the right numbers for our ticket and then told her I wanted to be sure to secure seats on our overseas flight, as the seat numbers were deleted from the confirmation I had received on the Internet.

“You cannot secure seats until the morning of the flight. It is company policy that once we book our flight more than 45%, we cannot give out anymore seats. And, by the way, I am the supervisor, and there is no one higher than me that you can talk to!” (Obviously, she had had a difficult day and didn’t even want to have to address the fact that there was no one higher up that I could talk to—and we had only just begun our conversation. Could there have been a hard phone call before she ever got to me?)

“I have never heard of an overseas flight where I couldn’t get my seat assignment. I am traveling with three of my children and would like to sit close together,” I said in my most authoritative voice.

“If your children are over 10, they can obviously sit anywhere on the plane by themselves, and I can’t guarantee that they won’t all be in different rows. You will just have to wait until you get to the gate. Obviously you haven’t traveled very much. It is always done this way.”

I raised to my full-bodied stature at this point, even though she couldn’t see my shock or my rising at such a statement. After all, I had been traveling overseas for over thirty years and had never come across this particular problem or such a definitively closed airline operator.

In a very irrational and immature moment, I asked the woman, “If I call back, is there a good chance I won’t have to talk to you again?!” Well, I had been on the phone a long time and she wasn’t very nice to me and I did have a hard day and……..

Immediately, when I had hung up the phone, remorse set in. The accusatory finger in my mind said, “Well, that was real mature! Bet you made that lady feel real good. I can’t believe you are a serious, committed Christian, and you actually talked to someone like that! The Lord is so disappointed in you. Probably He is eventually going to quit using you in influencing others, because you just keep blowing it!”

I must admit, when my own life is stressful, and I have had a hard day, I want sympathy, kindness, forgiveness, grace. I want someone to understand that I am doing my best and to tell me it is ok. It is what I want from God. It is what I want from my husband. It is what I want from my children.

My heart became open to the Spirit’s prompting. Just happened, my morning reading came across this verse: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Now this much I already knew and agreed with.

But the context of the verse was further explained, “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jew or Greek or the church of God. Even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many in order that they may be saved.” I Cor. 10: 31-32

So, I glorify God, not by knowing all the right theological answers, or by keeping a perfect house, or having quiet times every day, but by glorifying God by seeking the good of everyone else–even a stressed out operator.

My sweet children have taught me this. They see through false piety. They know what it means to be fair. They comment on other adults in our lives who speak loudly about piety but whose lives scream loudly of hypocrisy. But, they are also very willing to forgive.

Joy placed her arm around me and sat sweetly in my lap. At almost 12,(now almost 16)  it is too rare of an occurrence, (but she still does sit in my lap on occasion), but oh so cherished. “Mom, we’ll get some seats. Don’t you worry. It always works out.” A kiss on my cheek and then she was gone. Suddenly I saw God’ s glory in an unsuspecting angel in my own home, who chose to give me grace, and then I felt He, the one from whom patience and love was given their meaning, had gently restored me to himself.

I’m Getting Sooooo Excited !!!!!



Today, I was in a meeting with some wonderful friends planning our mom’s conferences and praying over them. I am getting so excited today about the Mom Heart Conferences. Let me share with you just a few fun things we are adding this year!

Clay’s new version of Educating the Whole Hearted Child will be available. We will have a special one hour workshop on Nurturing a life of Education in a Life-giving Home

Mom’s Tea–On Friday morning, we will host a mom’s tea again for all the women leading small mom’s groups and for all of those who want to find out about leading a group.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL–at each of the hotels, after the conference is over, Clay and I will host a gathering where you can spend a couple of hours with us,  asking questions, spending personal time with our family and just relaxing together. This may be limited in size, so we will let you know about it soon.

Mom’s just like you–lots of moms of all ages, young and old, will be sharing with you throughout the weekend about all sorts of topics that will be of interest–babies, teens, organizing, failure, personality, and more.

Kid’s panel–Older kids of some of the speakers will be sharing from their own lives what most helped them to want to walk with God as they went out into the world.

Lots of speakers

Jeanna Young, author of the new Princess Parables story books, will be sharing with us about how to build character in the lives of children.

Special Treats! A Time of Retreat, Refreshment, and Renewal for all moms who are so busy the rest of the year, with hundreds of moms just like you.

In California, the Hilton Hotel, where we will be staying and host the mom’s tea and Saturday night meeting, has also included 2 full buffet breakfasts for each room for the moms who stay there,  just to spoil them.

The Raleigh conference is in a new hotel and is giving us the whole hotel. It is a lovely hotel with a full porch of rocking chairs to sit in and discuss your heart’s issues with friends.

The Marriot in Colorado Springs is newly redecorated and has hot, homemade pretzels or another goodie for all the attendees when you arrive at the hotel.

The Dallas Marriot is putting together some special breakfast and dinner menus and promises to make it the most special stay we have ever had.

Everyone everywhere is seeking to really serve our moms this year.

There is so much more.

Early Bird Discount

Be sure to register early to get the $20 discount! (If you happen to win the conference giveaway, you will get a refund on your conference registration, so don’t miss the discount.)


January 21-22: Colorado Springs, CO: Mom Heart Conference

February 4-5: Irvine/OC, CA: Mom Heart Conference

February 18-19: Irving/DFW, TX: Mom Heart Conference

March 4-5: Raleigh/Durham, NC: Mom Heart Conference


GIVEAWAY You can still enter the free conference giveaway by promoting us on your facebook, on twitter, on your website or blog. Go here for information.

We love moms and I cannot wait to see all of you there. Praying for you already. Thanks for helping us!