Marriage — It Won’t Be Perfect, But It Can Be SO Beautiful
You’ve said, “I do.” Now what? Learn how to keep your marriage flourishing in the face of day-to-day life and living with a person you love who may sometimes drive you nuts. Come and join Jennifer Kolasinski as she talks about how to have a healthy Cross-Centered Marriage.
Jennifer Kolasinski resides in Lincolnton, NC, with her husband of 15 years, Chris, and their two sons, Drew and Sam. They have a beagle named Winston, who may be part human, and a rescue cat named Sassy. Jennifer is a certified teacher by day and a full-time wife and mama by night. She truly believes that we don’t have it all together, but together we have it all through Christ Jesus.
Fresh and Full of Life? Same Ol’ Same Ol’? Barely Breathing? Dead?
How would you describe your marriage? Marriages go through stages, and the longer your relationship, the more of them you experience. As seasoned wives, we have learned to navigate through some rough waters and keep floating. But there is more to marriage than just surviving. How does God direct us to live as wives who reflect His love? Is it possible to find happiness in marriage when living with a difficult man? This session will address these and other mature relationship concerns. God’s plan for our lives includes joy in the journey through the good, the bad, and (sometimes) the ugly seasons of marriage.
Hope Goodman lives in Iron Station, NC, with her husband, Greg. They have been married since 1994, and have four sons — Nathan, Trevor, Stephen, and Thomas. Hope graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. She was a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled her sons for 17+ years.
Wife to Widow
Making the transition from a wife to a widow is a journey. What do you do with this new life that you never asked for, do not want, but must now live? In 2011, Vanessa Gilcreast joined a secret society made up of 700,000+ women who suddenly transitioned from wives to widows. While the title change is sudden, learning how to live life as a widow is not easy and the transition takes time. Vanessa desires to encourage those who find themselves on this journey that they did not choose.
Vanessa Gilcreast has served as an intercessor and minister of the gospel for 30+ years. In 2011, she joined a secret society made up of 700,000+ women who suddenly transitioned from wives to widows. While the title change is sudden, learning how to live life as a widow is not easy and the transition takes time. Vanessa desires to encourage those who find themselves on this journey that they did not choose. Vanessa was married to Eddie C. Gilcreast, Jr., for 31 years, 11 months and 10 days; she is the mother of 4 and the Nana of 6.
Divorce Recovery will focus on a variety of common challenges faced by those who are currently navigating the divorce process and those who may still be struggling in the aftermath of divorce. Join Licensed Professional Counselor Sherri Chavis as she shares her knowledge and experience.
Sherri Chavis, originally from Rockingham, NC, now makes her home in Denver, NC. She has three daughters, Brooke, Erin, and Olivia, and is Oma to 18-month old grandson Emerson. Sherri received her M.A. in Professional Counseling at Liberty University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in North Carolina. She currently works as a counselor at Gaston College in Dallas, NC.
Secure in Singleness
In this world where the focus is frequently placed on couples, we can sometimes forget that singleness is also a gift from God. In this session, Brooke Tucker invites you to discover and discuss what it looks like to find a fulfilling purpose in the season of singleness.
Brooke Tucker is a young wife and mother. She and husband Drew have been married for just over 5 years and have a 20-month old son. Originally from Charlotte, she and Drew currently make their home in Huntersville. Brooke attended UNC-Wilmington. She is an ESL teacher at VIPKid in Huntersville, NC.
Created for Intimacy
Why should we spend time with God daily? How can we fit time with God into our busy schedules? In this session, you will learn what intimacy with God looks like as Jackie Shrum shares with you how to make a daily devotional life your priority, purpose, pattern, and practice.
Jackie Shrum and husband Larry, a retired minister, live in Lincolnton, NC. She and Larry have been married since 1967. They have two adult sons and a grandson, Jackson. Jackie served as Connections Coordinator at The Falls Church in Falls Church, VA, from 1993-2008, and was Lay Volunteer at All Saints Anglican Church in Charlotte from 2009-2012. Jackie is a certified Inductive Method Bible Study instructor. She has a passion for discipleship and delights in walking beside others as they mature in their faith.
The Jewels in My Crown
How do we make discretion, dignity, and purity more than man-made legalistic ideas of things we put on and take off? We will explore how the Word of God can become a catalyst for transformation rather than a tool for self-debasement or critique of others. We will talk about the enemies and allies of godly modesty as well as how to respond to others grasping for answers in a world of twisted truths.
Sheryl Dorsey is the president and founder of the King’s Daughters Ministry in Stanley, NC — a shelter ministry and program for women and children escaping the trauma of domestic violence or drug addiction. She and her husband, Greg, have been married 29 years. They have two grown children and seven beautiful grandchildren. Sheryl is a speaker, educator, and businesswoman. Sheryl’s aim in life is to glorify God and display His splendor as He uses every tear, pain, sorrow, and ash heap of her life to bring deliverance and healing to those around her. “Though I am not the fixer, I am eternally grateful He has invited me to participate in His work” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Representing God Well Through Social Media
Who feels like they are on a careful, balancing act with social media? “It’s good. No, it’s bad. It’s a witnessing tool. No, it takes up too much of my time. I’m turning it off. No, I feel out of the loop; I’ll just limit my time. Social Media can be both frustrating and enjoyable. What would happen if we turned our “social media lives” over to God? What does that even mean? What would our posts and comments look like? Join Brooke Caldwell in this fun and exciting breakout session as she dives into the how-tos of representing God well through your social media.
Brooke Caldwell is an author and speaker from Lincolnton, NC. She loves to share her account of how God broke through her walls of religion and rescued her. She passionately believes God has the power to set people free from all types of bondage, fear, or depression. Brooke has been married 20 years to her childhood crush, Steven. They both love and serve the Lord at Covenant Church in Lincolnton and also oversee a Prayer Room they built on their property where they host speakers, worshippers, and missionaries.
Motherhood: Ouch! That’s Gonna Leave a Mark
Being a mother is one of the most profound gifts God has given to women. There is no greater joy. And, surprisingly, no deeper pain. It leaves a mark on us, and, inevitably, we will leave a mark on our children. What will those marks reflect? In the loving hands of a perfect Father, the scars left behind will be the most beautiful testimony of His grace. Join Traci Lester as she discusses the marks of motherhood.
Traci Lester has been married for 33 years and has four children (ages 17-32) and three grandchildren. She is the author of Teaching the Birds and the Bees without the Butterflies: A Stress-Free Guide for Parents on How to Talk to Young Children About Sex from a Christian Perspective. She has worked in the pregnancy care ministry for over 25 years. She resides in Denver, NC.
The Accidental Caregiver
Have you been thrust into the role of caring for a loved one, and you don’t know how to handle it? Come receive encouragement for your heart and strategies for survival. Kelly Wallace speaks from her own experience as a caregiver. Kelly and her husband Jason were thrust into a caregiver role when Jason’s mother moved in after suffering health setbacks. For more than 11 years, they provided love, care, and support until her passing. Kelly and Jason then gradually found themselves giving care to other family members or supporting those on the frontlines of caregiving. Kelly’s caregiver experience began as a teen when her own mother was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome that lasted for five years until God healed her.
Kelly Wallace is originally from Raleigh, NC. She and her husband, Jason, have been married since 1998. Recently, they relocated to Carolina Shores, NC. In addition to her role as Marketing Director for the McNeely Group, Kelly and Jason are active with “Leave the 99” evangelism ministry.
Growing and Blooming Where God Plants Us
Barbara Helms will be sharing with you how every season of our lives requires that we nurture, feed, maintain, and sustain ourselves and others. You will discover how gardening can bring you joy, peace and sometimes, even moments of defeat. Barbara will be sharing some practical tips on keeping your indoor plants and outdoor garden healthy and thriving.
Barbara Helms grew up in Laurinburg, NC, but moved to Charlotte immediately after high school. She and her husband, Roland, have been married since 1975. They have two children and four grandchildren. Many of her family members were farmers, so gardening takes her back to her roots. Barbara says, “whether it is flowers or vegetables, a garden brings things back into focus because God is always there in the midst.”
The Value of a Dollar
One of the main reasons couples argue is because of money. In her session, Shelly will help you better understand the value and power of money, why a budget is important, and why we shouldn’t argue over something that isn’t ours anyway. She will also reveal why her husband laughed when she told him she’d be speaking about money management!
Shelly L. Henderson was born in Detroit, Michigan, but she and her husband, Phil, have called Charlotte home for 44 years. Shelly is a wife, mother, business owner, and author. She and Phil own a full-service real estate company. They have been married for 28 years, and have two sons, Blake and Grant. She is the author of Starting from Scratch: One Woman’s Pursuit of Family, Business and the American Dream.
Declutter Your Space to Organize Your Life
There is no place like home. You should want to be there not run away screaming because you’re overwhelmed with too much “stuff.” In this session, Carlette Bynum will give you the direction you need to reduce your excess with tips on how to start and how to decide what to keep, donate, or discard.
Carlette Bynum has been married to her husband, Doug, since 2005; they have a 13-year old daughter. Carlette has an extensive background in health and wellness and is the owner of a Personal Concierge business through which she helps people declutter, organize, and repurpose. She also cleans, and, if needed, will offer to keep you accountable. Carlette believes in being active. She enjoys Burn Bootcamp, running, and obstacle courses like Spartan races.
The Pleasure of Your Company
For as long as she can remember, Vicki Shallish wanted family and friends to leave her table with fond memories of the fellowship and food she served. She honed her hospitality skills with the willing cooperation of her two daughters and a very appreciative husband. She has always found joy in making all who enter their humble home feel welcomed and refreshed — whether from a full meal or a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a homemade goody. Vicki believes God wants us to offer a touch of hospitality to everyone we come in contact with; and, she hopes that she can help unlock the key you hold to serving others joyfully!
Vicki Shallish has been married to husband Chuck for more than 50 years. Originally from Syracuse, NY, they moved to North Carolina in 2008 and make their home in Huntersville. They have two adult daughters, Amy and Denise.
Fitness From the Inside Out
Nearly every year, the top three New Year’s resolutions revolve around health and fitness (eating healthier, exercising, losing weight). But why should we focus on health and fitness? Rachel Hall believes our bodies were created by the King, for the work of the King. Rachel’s session focuses on the importance of self-care and honoring the Lord through physical and spiritual discipline.
Rachel Lewis Hall lives in Lexington, NC. She has a Masters of Divinity in Cultural Studies. She is a pastor’s wife, which she feels must count as “some sort of credential.” As a beach body coach, Rachel is provided awesome opportunities to minister and encourage some incredible women who are seeking a healthier lifestyle.