24 hours in a hotel 20 miles away…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot exactly glamorous.

But to me it was a big deal.

And like I always do, big deals that promise be large blessings, morph into a huge burden.

It was called Raising Generations Today. A Friday to Saturday overnight at a nice hotel amazingly the next town over. With Christian speakers, many who were fellow bloggers, some local and wonderful, some “big names” in the blog world of writers I greatly admire, speaking about motherhood and Christ.

So why the stress?

Why the heavy sighs with dark grumbles: “I should of never booked to go” that increase with vehemence as the date draws near?

Well, several annoying things happened, because life is filled with annoyance, but mostly because I over-think things.  I over-think because I am desperately insecure.

I am beginning to understand we all are, really, and that helps.

Even though The Truth of the Bible resonates deep and real with me, sometimes an unexpected source of truth and comfort lands on my lap. This time round it was my checked out library book; neglected for three weeks and buried away forgotten in the library basket under a pile of Bailey Kids chapter books and Lady Bug Girl picture books.

The book title:

Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain.

This post is not a summation of this book.  You can check out the link if your interest is piqued.

I will say that this highly researched and secular book was beyond a shadow of a doubt, a gift poured from heaven, just when I needed it.

You see, I was slowly getting filled with worry and anxiety that I may end up going alone to this conference since the two friends who were going to go could not make it.  These women events are always filled with mobs of close friends and seemingly ridiculously happy groups aren’t they?  Like the flocks of over-hair-sprayed and lipsticked chummy girls that wound its way through your high school halls and descended in one giggling, whispering accord into the girls bathroom.  It is not that I was even excluded in school, I simple did not fit. I puzzled over myself for really, not wanting to fit, yet felt the pang that said

“jeeze, they all seem to be so much happier than me”.

And so, a thick, careful, if not always conscious, layer of hardening began to be self applied.

It looks a lot like confidence and independence.

Like snobbery and “nerdery”.

And in some ways it is.

In some ways it in my very DNA to be so.

And yet.

It always came with an ache.

Long story short: this book, after only a single chapter completely validated and liberated my conflicted self image dilemma that over the years has morphed into a scary monster than only comes out of its closet on dark, dark days.

Long story short: my sister *surprised the tuna salad out of me* by agreeing to come last second because she miraculously had the weekend free. {She has seven children and is not a spur of the moment kinda girl, and never, never has a weekend free}.

Long story short:  the message, set like a secret code set on repeat all weekend was:

you are not alone…

every one feels like you…

everyone is scared,

overwhelmed,

lonely,

uncertain,

and feeling guilty about it, on top of the other 77  things we feel bad about on any given day…

And yet.

We have this HOPE in Christ

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TEMPORARY BIBLE TATS: just some of the goodies given at the retreat. it is a great way for overly conservative people to feel cool and edgy!

our anchor,

our forerunner,

our high priest.

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We have each other if we only ask, if we only will slow down and decide to deliberately listen and make time for others

to anchor us

to run with us

the intercede with us

Because He is in us, and isn’t that something?

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So thankful for the sweet, tiny September McCarthy with a giant heart and ferocious passion, who I know prayed long, holy prayers over this event because His presence was strong.

So thankful for the obedient, Spirit-led, genuine, Lisa Jo Baker who flew in and was the event’s other keynote speaker.

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Does’t she look happy! Lisa Jo, i am sorry i took a picture of you unawares like a creepy stalker!

24 hours in a hotel 20 miles away is not that glamorous or exciting but when God shows up with a story to tell I think it is about as good as this life can get.

 

Linking up for the first time with the writing group:

#Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Click to join or be inspired by others simply telling His story.

Cheers.

* the expression “surprised the tuna salad out of me” is not my own, though I wish it were. I just use it ever so often, it’s especially fun to text.   It belongs to Mo Williams, writer of the hilarious children’s “Pigeon” Series.

 

 

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ANOTHER BIBLE TATTOO. i promise i am not naked, it just looks that way

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5 thoughts on “24 hours in a hotel 20 miles away…

  1. Oh my friend. I have so much in common with you. I understand because I am very similar. I like your temporary tattoos. They are cool. Gosh if I had more money than I knew what to do with, I’d get real scriptures tattooed all over my body. I have a few. People want to know what they are. It’s awesome! ❤️

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  2. “Quiet” was a gift to me, too. Love that book because it was so affirming that being an introvert is not weird and is not necessarily a handicap (even though in certain situations it feels like one). I’m glad you went to the event (and with your sister) and were blessed by your time there. God shows up when we do.

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  3. I wish I could’ve been there with you; I would’ve loved to go! But I’m glad your sister went. And I so understand this feeling. I went to Allume a couple years ago with a friend – someone I’d only met once and it was so nerve wracking. In the end I was so thankful!

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    • Yes. with you being a west coast girl and my on the East coast we will have to plan a retreat in perhaps….Texas?? I here Austin Texas rocks. Ministry base of Brandon and Jen Hatamaker!!

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