Sunday, November 6, 2011

What I Learned from Ann Voskamp at #Relevant11

From left to right: Janelle (Comfy in the Kitchen)
Clare (Peak 313 Fitness)
Ruth (The Better Mom)
And me (I had just stepped off a plane and I was exhausted and hungry!)
Obviously I was also thirsty, as you'll notice I have 3 drinks! LOL

If you don't know what Relevant11 is or what a Relevant conference is, let me start by saying that last year at this time, neither did I. But when I started to hear the buzz in the blogosphere, I decided to check it out.

Relevant is a conference for Christian bloggers. Me along with several hundred other women gathered together in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to meet online friends, listen to some incredible speakers and eat some amazing food.

After travelling for about nine hours, the three girls above picked me up from the airport and we stopped in for dinner before heading to our hotel. This was the first time that I had ever met these women, and they were exactly the way that I imagined they would be.

From left to right: Me with my glasses on :)

There were six of us in two adjoining rooms, so the way I see it, I was blessed with five roommates for those few days: Janelle, Clare, Courtney, Ruth, and Joy (Gracefull Mama). Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of myself with Joy. Ugh--so disapointed!

Me with my long-time blogging friend, Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience

One of the highlights of my weekend was seeing Ann Voskamp again. As some of you may know, Ann and I used to write together at Christian Women Online magazine. I also attended a writing conference in Seattle with her about four years ago at which time we shared a bedroom. It's a fond memory that we both cherish. At that time neither one of us were published yet. Now Ann has gone on to be a NYT Best Selling author with her incredible book, One Thousand Gifts. I'm not surprised that God has blessed her in this way.

While at Relevant I took away an important lesson from Ann. I asked her how she managed to keep up with all of the email and inquiries from readers, while balancing her family life well. Her response is wise advice that I will definitely take to heart, "Each time we say "yes" to one more thing, we are saying no to our family."

Those words solidified the work that had been stirring in my heart for weeks already. Answering email is one thing, but what I really needed to do is to pull back from some of those projects I love in order to lend my attention to the few things God has given me to do--family and my ministry here at Time-Warp Wife are a part of those things.

I came away with a definite focus for my writing. I write to minister to the hearts of women and encourage them in their marriage, and I write to sharpen the skill the Lord gave me.

Me with Janelle and Clare.

You are loved by an almighty God,


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