Life can get cluttered sometimes.
Between the kids' activities, career, laundry, meals and squeezing in time with her husband, a woman may dream of finding a secluded island or at least a vacation to escape her stresses and cares.
Gwen Smith hopes to help women find their peace in the midst of the strains of everyday life when she speaks at the Ladies Encounter spring event.
(Courtesy photo) Gwen Smith from North Carolina is a singer/songwriter and a co-founder of Girlfriends in God. She will speak and give a mini concert at the Ladies Encounter spring event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 29 at Blair County Convention Center.
It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 29 at the Blair County Convention Center. Doors open at 9 a.m. Tickets to the event are a $25 donation with an additional $15 donation for the luncheon.
Joyce Bassler, chairwoman for Ladies Encounter, said the event offers women a day out and an opportunity to meet people while presenting a speaker whose topics will pertain to the issues of their lives.
Smith, a Christian music artist and speaker, will speak on "Uncluttered."
If you go
Who: Gwen Smith
What: Ladies Encounter
When: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 29
Where: Blair County Convention Center
Donation: $40 includes lunch with a March 17 deadline
Donation: $25 without lunch with a March 26 deadline
For tickets: Visit ladies
A wife, mom of three teens and an in-demand woman of ministry, Smith knows life can get hectic. She spends her weeks writing music and attending her two sons' and daughter's sporting events and activities. For 20 weekends a year, she is away from her North Carolina home, ministering on both coasts and everywhere in-between.
Her visit to Altoona will bring her closer to the community where she grew up. Smith is a graduate of Hempfield Area High School near Greensburg.
"We wear so many hats," Smith said of the lifestyles most women lead. "Jesus sifts through it all, so we can focus on him."
"Our true prize is his presence and peace," she said.
Smith, who is one of the co-founders of Girlfriends in God, started ministering to groups through her music 14 years ago.
"I started off doing concerts in 2000," she said, "and began my speaking ministry in 2006."
"It's great," she said of her engagements, adding that she and her husband, Brad, talked about her ministry before she even stepped on a stage.
"It's a win for my family [because she is home during the week], and I get to pursue what God has called me to do," she said.
Not only does she minister at churches and events, she speaks to spiritual needs every day through the social media. Whether you are a Facebook fan, tweet, pin it or can't resist a YouTube video, you can find Smith on all of them.
She said if women want to learn more about her, they can also visit her website: gwensmith.net or her Facebook page: Facebook
As part of Girlfriends in God, along with Sharon Jaynes and Mary Southerland, Smith contributes online devotionals that are read by about one-half million women daily. The women also conduct conferences together, but for Ladies Encounter, Smith will represent herself.
"I will do a mini concert, speak and lead worship. It's a one-stop women's conference," said Smith as she laughed during a telephone interview from her North Carolina home.
"She sings, leads worship and shares the Word," said Denise Miller of Hollidaysburg who heard Smith speak at a conference two years ago at the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown. "It was a seamless flow from one part to another." Miller said. "She wasn't performing. She drew us into worship and her message was an outpouring of that."
At Ladies Encounter, Smith will share "how God will bring grace, peace and strength to our lives," she said. She referred to Psalm 105:4, where David makes that declaration: "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."
A songwriter, who has produced seven CDs, Smith describes her sound as "a blend of contemporary Christian music and worship. It is praise and adoration to the Lord. It's reflective and responsive. It's not one genre. It's loving Jesus music."
Smith said her song "Broken into Beautiful" is one that speaks to listeners. "It's about how the love of God brought us through hard times, tough situations," she said. "It's a touch point. It's my story. It's your story."