Highlights From Allume {including my notes from Ann Voskamp}

My Roomies: Peak313.com, TimeWarpWife.com, The BetterMom.com, GoodMorningGirls.org 

It’s Monday morning and I’ve discovered I am simply too old to live on 5 hours of sleep lol!  I partied like a teenager for the last 4 nights and I’m EXHAUSTED!  But…I had a Fabulous time hanging out with my bloggy Christian community at a blogging conference called Allume.

 One highlight was spending time with my all time FAVORITE parenting author and now personal friend Sally Clarkson.  I just love soaking up her wisdom.  I had the privilege of sitting at her dinner table a few times and I love how she goes quickly to the deeper things of life and makes the most of our moments together.  I miss her already and can’t wait till we meet again!

Sally was a keynote speaker.  She spoke on the importance of building strong foundations on which we build our homes.  The 4 foundations are: Love God, Love Your Neighbor, Seek First the Kingdom of God and Live by Faith.  This is how we build a strong home that will make a difference for generations to come!  Sally is certainly impacting the next generation and I am so thankful for her willingness to spend time with young moms to listen, advise, laugh and love.  If you aren’t familiar with her – you must visit her blog here and her group blog here. (I was a contributor when it began but due to a busy season of life I had to step down.  But the writers here are excellent and I cannot recommend then all highly enough.)

Then the final keynote of the conference was the amazing word crafter – Ann Voskamp.

 My first photo of the conference was with Ann – her hotel room happened to be just a few doors down from mine so we stood at the elevator a few times together small talking.  In real life – Ann is engaging…she is an intent listener, an encourager, and a warm balm.  She truly loves people deeply right where they are and while I admire her deep love of people – I admire even more her deep love for God. 

As the closing speaker of the conference, she challenged the room filled to the gills with bloggers with a powerful message – here’s my notes: 

The only way a tree grows tall is to grow into unknown territory.

Creativity is good theology – God began with creation.

God didn’t give Abraham a map – he gave him Himself.  He did not give him a guide book but a Guide.

A calling you never stop listening for.  Listen to where he calls you.

A career is about the plan.  A calling is about the person.

When you can’t hear your father’s voice – you’ve gone too far…the heart of faith is your ear.

God’s call is not to do more for Him but more WITH Him.

Christ bent down to write in the sand…go low to write.  Jesus stooped with no platform and wrote with his bare finger.  He did not write on paper – he wrote on people.  Write on family, kids, neighbors, elderly, needy, faces, hands and hearts…then write on screens.

Writing on screens brings applause. Matthew 6 says – it’s what is done in secret that will be rewarded.

The secret to good writing is good living in secret.

Do not exchange fame for faithfulness.

“Your writing is only as credible as your life is credible.” ~ Max Lucado

The moment you give the words of your story to the world – you cannot control where it goes.

We are all broken.  Brokenness breaks us from the need to be right. 

Christian conviction cannot negate Christ’s Compassion.

Jesus did not worry about guilt by association.  A ministry of of association leads to reconcilliation.

We aren’t defined by our gifts but by God.  Gifts are meant to be given away.  Break yourself and give yourself away.

Glory not in your strength but in your brokenness. 

I have lots of notes to ponder this week.  I thank God for the Christian blogging community.  Sometimes writers can feel alone and kind of quirky.  It was amazing to walk through the halls and see all the little square profile pictures from twitter and facebook come to real life.  These bloggers and writers are real women with real stories and a real love for their creator.   It was so good to be with other women who understand some of the challenges writers face.  It’s good to not be alone.  And while I’m so sleepy this morning – my heart is filled up and I’m excited to get back to writing on the hearts of my family, those God bring across my path in real life and then this screen.

Walk with the King,





  1. says

    What BEAUTIFUL photos of you girls!!!!!! That Ann V…she has such a gift with words and humility. Ohh and Sally, I want to be like her when I grow up, 😉 Love those women. Thanks for sharing your notes Courtney! Love, Nelle

  2. Holly Rist says

    What challenging thoughts from Ann. Thank you for sharing!! I’m glad you got away and were encouraged with likeminded people. Get some rest :-)

  3. says

    Living vicariously through all of you who went, and Tweeted and FB’d, and now blogging about it. Thank you for taking such great notes!

    I hope to come to Allume someday, God-willing.

    ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee

  4. says

    What a treasure chest! God is so good to love on us and fill us up with encouragement! Glad you got to have a fun weekend! God has used Sally and her wisdom to change me as a Mom. Our home life is so much more peaceful and gentle these days as a result of things I’ve learned from her!

    Have a fun week and I hope you get a good, long, 3 hour nap!

  5. says

    So fun to meet you in real life at Allume! What a BUSY weekend— I’m so glad to be home but enjoyed hearing from the wonderful speakers. Thanks for sharing your notes from Ann— I missed some of these. May God continue to bless the online ministry He has given you, and I pray for rest, real life living, and wisdom, as your reach continues to grow. Most of all, may He utterly satisfy your soul… with Himself. Love to you!

  6. says

    Thanks for giving us a snapshot into Allume, Courtney. I was so blessed to be able to watch the keynotes online through Teach them Diligently. However, it’s not the same as being there in person. How neat for you that you were able to put a real person to the faces you’ve seen on twitter and fb! And just like you said, we can feel alone in this online ministry. May we all be like Jonathan’s to one another. I just love that!! Ann’s message brought me to TEARS!

  7. says

    Thank you so much for sharing these notes from Ann- They have truly ministered to me and I have them saved!!! Oh someday I hope to get to go to Allume!

  8. Sheila Payne says

    Thank you for sharing your notes from Ann Voskamp. She is one of my absolute favorites. I love the pictures. It is so fun to get a glimps of the fun you guys had.

  9. says

    Thank you for this post! I was just wondering this week if there was a Christian blogging conference. I just started blogging a few months ago and I hear so much about all the blog conferences out there. I was hoping to find something where I can actually fellowship with other believers rather than just go somewhere because it’s where other bloggers in my niche go. I check it Allume for next year.

  10. says

    Sweet Courtney,
    I am so very glad we are now friends. Your words are very generous and dear. I am just now getting on my computer and then will leave for one more week–trying just to live! So good to see you and praying blessing and blessing. Love you.

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