I have learned over the years that rest, rejuvenation and re-evaluation means something different for every woman.
There is physical rest, a slowing down, getting more sleep, exercise and taking care of the body God has blessed us with. There is rest for our minds, hearts and souls in the quietness of slower days, intentional study, less technology and more time spent in conversation with Our God and actual people, face to face.
The answer to those prayers as well as the results of those conversations guide our way in dealing with a current circumstance that challenges us or making new choices for our future.
This weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to go away to a writing conference in Orlando, FL. I did not think it would be possible this year given the current economic climate but my husband and I we were able to make it happen at the last minute. I was really looking forward to learning more about the craft of writing, spending time with my writing friends and enjoy being away from the day to day grind.
God blessed this time away from the very beginning. The trip down had a little excitement when the Orlando air traffic tower was hit by lightning and lost power for about 45 minutes while I was still in the air. After a delay the plane landed safely and my weekend adventure began.
I missed a few of the opening night events because of the travel delay. Instead of being disappointed, God surprised me. I was able to spend some one on one time with a dear writing friend. We talked, we laughed, we cried as we shared life’s ups and downs. Instead of being in a room with 2,000 other writers trying to hear one another over the music, the chink of glasses and so many voices, God allowed for this quiet meaningful conversation. It was an unexpected gift and I am so grateful for it.
The next two days were filled with fantastic workshops on the craft of writing, supporting a writing career, as well as the writer’s life. They were informative and incredibly helpful to me. For such a drama queen I figured out that the emotional element of writing is at times difficult for me. I hold back on the page and as writer you just can’t do that. Creating something new by hand or writing a book can be invigorating but extremely challenging at the same time. It was wonderful to be encouraged and learn a few new techniques to help me in this journey.
Many of my writing friends have had an incredible year being nominated for writing awards, picking up new agents, selling manuscripts or getting requests from editors/agents for their current works in progress. God revealed the true gift of this weekend was the opportunity to celebrate with these incredibly smart and strong woman. They have worked so hard and their time in the spotlight has finally arrived. I so enjoyed cheering them on in their pursuit of publication.
For an extrovert like me it was rejuvenating to be surrounded by such exuberance and excitement. For the sister in me, I was honored to be able to listen and quietly support a few friends whose years brought them new challenges and in their moment of need, they sought a compassionate word and a shoulder to lean on. Thank you for my sweet friends for trusting me to provide that shoulder.
Thank you Lord for giving me the strength and wisdom to listen and do as you asked.
This weekend also challenged and emboldened me in my writing. It was an opportunity to look at my life with a realistic eye, not comparing myself to others. I needed to decide how I wanted to proceed. Or rather, how God wants me to proceed. I came home yesterday and sat down for the first time in a long time and made a writing plan. It was simple and direct, hopefully allowing time for all the craziness in my life.
So on this Monday, I am grateful for…
#8- a fabulous group of strong woman with different voices who are all searching for the truth. May God be a light to them.
#9- an incredible husband who wishes only great things for me and is encouraging me to live out my dreams.
#10- for a son who really stepped up this weekend helping his Dad care for Court without so much as a complaint, allowing me the time away without worry.
#11- really bad (but so fun) karaoke at 1 a.m.
#12- pink gowns, bejeweled necklines, strappy shoes, giggling girls and the magic that only Disney could create.
#13- the whisper of God in my ear all weekend encouraging authenticity and truth.
#14- prayers of faithful friends
#15- coffee…lots of coffee
#16- flat shoes and no Spanks!
#17- rest, rejuvenation and re-evaluation
God is good all the time….
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