Wow. What a weekend.
Of incredible speakers, enthusiastic attendees and huge doses of challenging inspiration, including that from the mouths of William Paul Young, author of The Shack, and Ken Wytsma, founder of The Justice Conference.
After the Faith and Culture Writers Conference, I feel like my brain is soaking in a tub of brilliance and questions — the folds soaking up the yes and the what do I think and the what next.
The Faith and Culture Writers Conference represented my first writers’ conference and also my first time on the planning committee for something of this magnitude, and it stretched me all kinds of ways, and I am glad I said yes.
In particular, I delighted opening my house to three attendees (and friends!) and talking with people at the event with whom I’d matched writing mentors and agents so they could share their vision and those stories just dying to come out.
In a week and a half, I’ll fly half-way across the country to Nebraska for my second ever conference, or retreat as it’s being called, for writers and artists and dreamers of all kinds.
And, though I don’t know the exact why of my going, I’m pretty sure I officially count as a dreamer. And sometimes it’s joy and other times struggle to place these dreams in the context of this everyday life of laundry, practice shuttling and bedtime routines.
I’m working to receive the dreams without accompanying answers. Trying to sit quietly in the presence of the Giver of Dreams and see the dream in the faces of my children and listen, and do one small thing, and trust — not yet seeing the evidence.
I wrote about it this morning at (in)courage:
The wind rushes the length of my street, stirs the shiny green leaves of the laurel and the delicate red-tinged crabapple, setting berries to shimmy like dangly earrings.
The wind brushes between my socks and the hem of my pants, cues the chimes to play.
I know the wind is real, but I believe in it fresh when I see it and behold evidence that it’s moving.
Many years ago in a nearly empty café, I wrote line after painful line, stomach churning over my inability to express myself the way I desired. That day God spoke to me through my own pen that I needed to write, and he would take care of the rest.
At the age of 18, God told me I’d marry a wonderful boy. A few months later, the wonderful boy broke up with me.
Six years later, we married.
Fifteen years ago, on a college mission trip, I cleaned rooms in a trash-filled, bloodstained single-room occupancy hotel in San Francisco. I felt deep inside the pain of those who lived there, along with an unfathomable peace. I felt the stirring of God’s message: he had chosen me for painful work, walking alongside the broken and hurting.
God rushes, God brushes, God speaks, God nudges. Sometimes in the pebbles of everyday circumstances thrown in water, rippling in slow motion circles; other times with rocks placed right here, creating monuments of remembrance that we heard his voice.
But what of the times all seems still, when we don’t see or feel God moving? What of these times we wait?
Won’t you join me here to read the rest?