I'm rarely away from the kids, and have never been gone two weekends in a row. When I bought plane tickets for these two special opportunities, I had no idea we would be in middle of selling our home and the whirlwind of hoping to purchase (and then losing) a (dream-to-us) foreclosure on auction. In the area we live, homes of the size we need + land is simply not affordable. We're praying for just the right timing, just the right home, and hearts that are set on the eternal and not the temporal things of earth. We are trusting that whatever He has for us is always the best...is always a reflection of His goodness. (You all were so sweet to share your stories of buying and selling homes...and I was encouraged. I realized I wasn't crazy for feeling overwhelmed and a little perplexed about how one actually does such a thing with littles in the mix. So, thank you.)
But, I do want to tell you about where I've been the last two weekends...
Two weekends ago, I traveled to Phoenix with my friend Annalea, to attend the Be Crafty workshop. These workshops are held all over the country and the crafts are always different. I must admit, I'm creative and love to make things, but I don't really itch to "craft" or pull out the hot glue gun. I pretty much only craft when making gifts or attempting to replicate something I'd rather not spend money on.
(Pics above by the talented Lauren Jean Photography.)
So, I truly went for three reasons: 1) To be with my friend, Annalea. 2) To accept the invitation to stay at the home of Heather of Life Made Lovely. 3) To meet sweet online ladies that I had developed relationships with. But, the weekend far exceeded my expectations. I felt pampered and spoiled by these sweet ladies. Heather's hospitality and talks around the kitchen island were my absolute favorites. I am a firm believer in the connection between feeding hearts and feeding bellies.
A highlight of the weekend was when I had the opportunity to whip up a little breakfast alongside Annalea, in Heather's kitchen...and chopped and listened....loved with words and basted eggs. The fancy party that night and the fabulous Be Crafty workshop the following day were both amazing, but the simplicity of sharing life in PJ's was equally memorable.
Be on the lookout for a Be Crafty workshop in your area (and hopefully coming to New Mexico!)...it's an event to remember.
Then, this past weekend, I flew out to Dallas for the first Hope Spoken conference. Before the conference even began, I had the surprise of being welcomed and taken out to lunch by fellow boy-mom and blogging friend, Heather. She took me to the Bishop Arts District, and it was a treat...the touring around, but especially the fellowship with a sweet friend.
I had not been to a conference connected to blogging or my shop since I was pregnant with Number 6. Maggie Whitley and I met at Allume, where we were both preggers, and decided to be roomies for Hope Spoken. I couldn't have asked for a more special time staying up late talking, encouraging, and swapping stories. You know how conferences are...it's not always the main events, but rather the many small moments in between, that make the greatest impact.
If there's one thing I want to share about Hope Spoken, it is this: It was truly about making much of God with every person's story. It wasn't about passing out business cards. It wasn't about celebrities. It wasn't even about the pretty decor, speakers, or tasty goodies around every corner. What Hope Spoken accomplished through small groups, a well-written devotional study by my dear friend, Hannah, and through the tone of the event....was to remind each of us that Jesus is in the midst of your story, in the midst of your pain, in the midst of the unknown. He is more than sufficient for our every need, and there is simply no reason to question his goodness when living out the story--whatever story--he's called us to.
So yes, I was blessed by the conference, by the treasured women I met there-- online friends turned real-life friends.
And, I'm excited to finally share, that I'm on the speaking team for Hope Spoken 2015! I'd love to meet you, but more importantly, I'm honored to speak HOPE with you there.
Because of grace,
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