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the

beginning

of {breathe}

 

From the Founder of {breathe} Jen Slater  

With the desire to minister to women, I began to dream of what a weekend of intentional ministry would look like. There are so many different directions that I had seen women’s ministry go over the years, many of them good. However, I was asking God for something specific for us; us girls here in northwest Wisconsin. I knew that He saw us, really saw us. I knew that He loved us, really loved us. And I knew that He longed to have our attention so that He could minister to the deepest part of us.

About a month into seeking His heart, I woke up one night with a memory so vivid that I had tears on my face. God was taking me back to a moment in time that was important to remember and I remembered it like it was yesterday.

I was in my early 30’s, had 4 kiddos at home, and my hubby and I were both working a lot and serving in the church. The typical busy life. I had taken a group of ladies to a women’s conference in Minneapolis and we planned for a few hours of shopping. I dropped the ladies off at the door of this home decor store that looked like a huge 2 story warehouse and then parked our 15 passenger van in the back. As I entered the store on my own I remember coming to an abrupt stop about 10 feet inside as the atmosphere of the store hit my senses. All I could do in that moment of stillness was to slowly look around and take deep cleansing breaths. There were beautiful things everywhere. Up high, down low, all around me. It was a feast for my eyes. As I took deep breaths, I could smell the newness of home goods, candles, and the comforting aroma of good coffee. The soothing music playing in the background was like a balm to my heart. I slowly walked around the store, all alone, with tears on my cheeks, quietly touching things that brought me joy and wonder. The part of me that loved beauty, the part that had been dormant for quite a while under the weight of daily tasks, was being nurtured and quietly coming to life. I had encountered an opportunity to stop and just breathe. 

So when I woke in the middle of the night with that vivid memory, I had a clear vision of what God’s desire was for our conference. There were two directives:

First, I knew that God wanted us to create a space where women could come, put life on pause for 24 hours, and just breathe. Where when they walked through the door, their senses would encounter beauty that they could see, hear, smell, and taste. 

Secondly, and most importantly, I knew that God wanted us to create a space for women to encounter the goodness of His presence, no matter where each person was in their faith journey. He desired to nurture our bodies, heal our souls, and set our spirits free through the power of His Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

So in March of 2019, {breathe} Women’s Conference was birthed. A gift straight from heaven designed specifically for us. From the moment we opened our doors, God has poured out His lavish love on us and we are so grateful and honored

 

Pictured below: The opening prayer of {breathe} 2019