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.