Last year, I went to a conference called Allume for the first time. It’s a weekend full of over 400 women who love God and also happen to blog. I was scared to death. I knew some women from the wild and wooly Internet, but I’d never met anyone in person. And I was going to share a room with two of these random bloggers (women whom my husband may or may not have wondered aloud might kill me).
This year also felt different because last year at this time God was about to kick off one of the craziest and most wonderful (but also busiest) years of my life, while this year God has been calling me to step back. So I had no agenda other than to hang out with some girlfriends.
But I picked up some things over the weekend, some of which I’ll blog more about later because I’m only just now touching the surface of what I might do with these ideas:
1. From our very first keynote Thursday night, Logan Wolfram set the tone that we are called to love neighbors and literally open the doors to our homes to welcome people. I met two women who inspired me to buy a picnic table for our front yard and start monthly entertaining people who live on my street because up to this point I’ve been a pretty invisible neighbor and that’s just no way to live.
2. From the incredibly hospitable Shauna Niequist, we were charged to have people leave feeling better about themselves than they do about you.
3. I received several confirmations that I am being called to a season of quiet, including from The Nester who reminded us that rest is not a reward for finishing.
4. The vivacious and hysterical Annie Downs had me captivated. Despite my hesitation of how I can help the generation, Annie was adamant, The women behind you deserve you now!
5. The author of the beautiful new book, Breathing Room, Leeana Tankersley, connected to all of us who hover on the brink of crashing during hard times. She warns, If we’re not offering ourselves hospitality, then it’s difficult to authentically offer it to others.
Most of all, Allume was about my girlfriends. The people I love. The people who get this crazy blogging thing and develop deep relationships over the vast ocean of the Internet. My friend Delonna calls our pack her tribe, and I couldn’t put it any better. This weekend was about uninterrupted time with these amazing women.