I should have titled this post something more along the lines of…
Family Reunion 2014.
Lessons From a Really Great Weekend.
On Meeting With an Agent and Other Things That Whisper Hope.
A Weekend of Blessings.
Or, all of the above.
I flew in late Sunday night after a glorious five days spent in the beautiful city of Greenville, South Carolina. Seriously, y’all (do you HEAR me getting all Southern already?!) I heart this city. I have plans to bring some of you TO this city. If I didn’t love where I live so much, I’d be tempted to move my family down there so we can eat fried green tomatoes and sweet potato cake for the rest of our days.
Maybe I love it for reasons like this…
Because, YES. I do want to live in a city that has signs like this on their sidewalks.
Mel walks into cute, upscale boutique.
Is greeted by cute puppy.
Immediately trades browsing for puppy cuddles and a picture.
But chances are, I love it most of all for this.
My heart sisters. They are forever that.*
When I started my blog back on that lonely, cold morning in January 2011, I had no idea it would turn into Community. Family. Sisterhood.
These are my people…
The ones who stay up late and chat deep and laugh loud with me when I totally explode my drink mid-flight. Yes, yes I did.
The ones who, when you finally meet in person for the first time, are just as wonderful and sweet and encouraging as you knew they’d be.
The ones who take the time to hold my hand, share a hug, and whisper Hope to me in a season that doesn’t feel like there’s much to hope in.
The ones who pray me through a knee-knocking meeting with a literary agent, the kind in which I hand over my proposal. (aka: My. Heart.)
The ones who don’t count how many cupcakes I eat in one weekend.
The ones who will sit and drink coffee and share life, even just minutes before they have to leave.
The ones who make me smile just because they’re near me.
The ones who will stand by my side as we worship our Father and trust that He is good in ALL.
The ones who share their dreams and stories…the pretty parts of them and the not-so-pretty, too.
Loved the God-sized Dreams meet up!*
Yes, I went to Allume…and it IS a writing conference…an amazing one. Logan and her team did an awesome job, and I’m so grateful for the prayers, sweat, and tears they put into it for all of us.
But it’s also so much more than a writing conference. It’s that place where I find so many of my friends…sisters. It’s a place where we just get each other. It’s a place where we raise our hands and praise Him…completely…even when it’s hard and the tears flow. It’s a sweet, precious gift, and when it’s over…well, it takes more than a few days to process it all.
I didn’t know how much I needed to be there this weekend…how much I needed to just go and cry and laugh and be…and then find some healing. And there was…it wasn’t the kind of healing that makes it all go away. It was the kind where God used people, over and over, to remind me that He still loves me so much and that there are so many blessings still to be had. Even in loss.
There were some cool God stories…and I’ll share those someday. Stories about how God opened up seats BOTH TIMES on full flights so my sweet sister and I could sit together and share life and eat cupcakes at 20,000 feet for a bit longer. Stories about how God brought two precious women…now friends…into my life to bring some Hope to a heart that has just begged for a glimpse of light.
I love this girl…she has such an amazing heart.
And she makes some of the most awesome jewelry ever. (See Mel’s necklace.) 😉
With my friend, Dawn, in the middle next to me. LOVE her, her story, and how God planned our meeting.
(And we’re with two super awesome women who I wish I’d had a chance to talk with longer!)
Today, though, just think of this post as the scratch-the-surface-and-dump-my-photos kind. Feel free to share some smiles or grab a picture. One of the whole twenty…maybe…I took. 😉 And if you’d like a copy without the watermark, just let me know and I’ll send it your way.
To the wonderful women…friends…sisters…who were part of this weekend. Thank you. You mean so much to me…and though it’s hard to put into words, I think you understand just how much that is.
Until we meet again. And I hope it won’t be too long.
*I’m not sure which of my GSD sisters get credit for these photos. But, thank you!!!