Oh, Allume! It’s been so many days (weeks?) since the Allume Conference and there is so much I want to tell you about but there is no way with Christmas and with LIFE that I can get all the words in!
Have you ever been to a place where you just fit? For some reason, I didn’t realize how many people would be at the conference that I knew. But y’all, I walked through the ballroom during dinner one night and it took like 10 minutes because I had to stop and hug a person at every other table! There is nothing like finding online folks are even cooler in real life. (And y’all I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed!)
I also led a workshop at Allume. Like, I was a speaker. Like, I led a class and people actually came in and LISTENED TO WHAT I HAD TO SAY.
The topic was “Living on Mission with Family and Kids”. Clearly, this is up my alley–it’s what I want to do. But putting my finger on it and using succinct words to make it a practical, take-notes-be-insipred class? Not as easy.
I was nervous. Like super nervous. Afraid maybe I didn’t have a good word to share or that there were people at the conference more qualified than me to speak. Or that I’d give into nerves and make everyone feel uncomfortable. (Do you know what I mean? When you can tell someone is nervous and you feel uncomfortable for them? Ugh.)
But several people came along beside me to pray–Deidra who saw me post about being nervous on Instagram, Jen and Erin who weren’t even at the conference, Heather, Brooke, Jessie and others who love me and knew God would/could use little ole me.
So, when I stepped up to speak? I wasn’t nervous. Not a lick. In fact, I had fun. I was passionate and excited. I was literally lifted up on their prayers. Or God lifted me up. Or however God works with the prayers of His people–He in fact, did work.
And this is what God did for me at Allume. He reminded me that He gives me words. And He wants me to use them. It may be for a little class of 25 people at a conference. It may be for a blog post about a new Bible for kids (no, I haven’t forgotten my 31 days!). It may words to my kids. It may be something big like Truth in the Tinsel.
And it might not be as big as a NYT Best-selling author, or as big as 100,000 subscribers, or as big as 6 homeschooled kids or a staff-member at a church.
But He gave me those words. He gave me a mission. And I, like the men given treasure from their master (see Matthew 25) can choose to bury my words in the backyard by ignoring my mission, giving into fear that my words don’t matter, being lazy with my passion and therefore receive nothing else from the Lord. Or. OR! Or I can do my best with my words–put them out where others can use them, be faithful with the audience(s) He may give me and see Him (somehow, miraculously) multiply them. I want Him to say, “Well done! Come and share in your Master’s happiness!”
The whole weekend was full of stories about God’s intimate knowledge, desires and working-through-normal-people. Go read Amy’s story and Jessie’s story to see what I mean. And be encouraged–you don’t have to be a blogger, a writer, a staff-member, a anything to do the thing God has for you. God has you where he wants you. God has you in His hands. God has placed dreams and hopes and gifts inside of you. Use them! Be a good steward of the seemingly small–His desire is to lead you into His happiness!
Of course, there were a million other fabu parts of Allume.
I packed shoeboxes with Alex.
I took pictures with Heather.
I stalked…er, went to to Phil Vischer’s class. I had breakfast with the folks from What’s in the Bible.
I cried with Lisa-Jo.
And holy-smokes-are-you-even-kidding-me I helped Amy Lynn Andrews in her social media class. (That’s a picture of Amy’s back because I’m sitting up front with her!!)
I am so thankful God put me in this funny little place of the blogosphere. I’ve found friendships and God-sized dreams I never imagined.
And in all this, I carried the coolest bag you’ve ever seen in your life. (Is that an awkward transition? Oh, well. Just feel awkward with me.)
I am seriously not over-sensationalizing this bag. It is literally the coolest bag I’ve ever owned. I showed it to the girls at the HelloMornings meet up and all of them were wide-eyed. (I’m not joking!) It is magical.
Are you ready for this?
OK. Imagine you are at Allume and you get a stack of new books as gifts from publishers, etc. Like Emily Freeman’s new book and Ann Voskamp’s new one. And eleventybillion more you can’t wait to read. And then you have to take them home. Well, what are you to do?
Put them in your bag, of course:
All you have to do is flip over the inside panel…
pull the straps and voila–your bag is bigger and has longer handles!
What?!! Is that the coolest?! See. I told you I wasn’t over exaggerating it. I haven’t stopped using this bag since Thirty-one sent it to my front door. The second you think you’ve filled it up, you just flip it up and it’s got room for a small country inside. Without looking like you’re carting…a small country.
Plus, the pattern is Hidden Mickeys and it comes in purple. (Whoa. If I had the purple one, it would never come off my arm.) If you’re looking for a good Christmas present (for yourself), this Vary You Versatile bag is for you. I’m sure Thirty-one parties will be popping up around you for Christmas, but if you don’t know a Thirty-one consultant or want to host your own party, my sisterchick, Staci is a consultant and would be glad to help you get a bag just like this one.
OK. That’s all I got. For now. But stay tuned–I’ve got more fun Christmasy stuff planned (oh! wait till you see!!) and yes, my 31 Days will be back asap!
affiliate links included. thirty-one sent me this bag in order to facilitate a reveiw. all opinions mine.