This weekend has lingered in my mind for nearly a year – at least thoughts about what the weekend would be and what I would share. I ventured down to Dallas with my sister to join hundreds of other women for the Hope Spoken conference. This year I was slated as one of the speakers. It took everything in me to stand in front of the women and share. It isn’t so much that I am scared of speaking in front of people as much as it just isn’t on my list of things I remotely enjoy!
Each speaker was asked to pick a word…The Story of __________. I chose adventure. My story involves lots of waiting for dreams to come true and finding the adventure and miraculous in what can seem routine and mundane. I’m thankful that life’s greatest adventures don’t have to be BIG, but they take place everyday when we open our eyes to see God working the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary.
I cried a bunch – I’m not a crier, so that was weird.
I’m pretty sure my words were a little jumbled and my nerves might have got the best of me. Regardless, the women that came to hear my story were so kind and encouraging. Their words, I am confident, meant more to me than anything I shared with them.
This weekend also meant extra time with my sister and dear friends. I got to start with weekend rooming with my sweet friends Meg, Kimberlee and Shannan. Then a room change meant I got to spend a little extra time with my girl Ruth (I wish we could have all been in one big room!). Ruth and I laughed about how it is quite possible we couldn’t be more opposite in every way – I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I had the chance to meet other bloggers and friends I only knew through instagram. All gifts. All conversations, though too brief, I am so very thankful to have had. Seeing real faces, hearing real voices and hugging real necks is so much better than little glimpses on a computer or phone screen.
However, the highlight was meeting some of you. Before I left Chris prayed that some of you would stop to say ‘hi’ to me, that some of you would share your stories with me. I’ve been blogging for a while now. I really just write a post, hit “publish” then go back to laundry and sweeping floors. I don’t attend conferences or social media ‘meet ups’, so my chances for meeting any of you are quite slim. Blogging can feel very one sided.
This weekend I had the chance to see faces, to hug necks, to hear stories and experience you. Real people. Real stories. What a gift to me. For those that shared your stories (and photos of your beautiful cleft babies!) – thank you. You will perhaps never know how much your kindness to me was a gift I will treasure.
I came home exhausted and woke up to a new day. The sun is shining and I am back with my people – and loving that as I write this post I get to picture some of your sweet faces reading on the other side.