My scuffed up Sunday shoes were uncomfortable. I pressed the gold button that brought the elevator down, only to take it back up to the seventh floor, Room 703. I slid my card into the door, and once inside, my back down a smooth leather chair. It was good to be alone. Flooded with hours of information, it seemed more than I could take in. Publishing and promoting, platforms and book proposals, it was all wonderfully overwhelming.
With one day left, I wasn’t quite sure what to roll tightly and pack away into my already full suitcase. Was it that I should blog on certain days? Join the world of twitter? Carve out more time to write? Build this little space of mine, which I think has less than a dozen or so followers. Begin to construct a platform, with goals of enticing more people to read these silly scattered words I take too long to peck?
But I listened to the words of Ann Voskamp Saturday evening as she stood center stage. I leaned into her quiet sentences strung together like a clothesline of fresh flowered sheets. She spoke of thankfulness and gifts that are found hidden in the mornings and the afternoons and when the sun falls low.
And as the writer’s conference came to a close; my thoughts raced down the halls of the hotel and in the parking lot where I hoisted my luggage into a SUV. Surprisingly, it isn’t of mindless marketing or 100 ways to make this blog of mine bigger and better and more inviting. But it is a rush to unlock these gifts tucked inside the corners of my own humble home. Gifts of rainbow-colored crayons waiting to be splashed on black and white pages. The gift of a frozen block of meat, taken out early morning, seasoned and prepared and set on a table waiting for those I love to surround it. Gifts of tennis shoes waiting to be slipped on, waiting to run wild without abandon and waiting to be lovingly caught.
And in unearthing these gifts, laced in simplicity, God gives me a newfound giddiness to write it and live it, share it and record it.
Again, thank you, thank you to author, Cecil Murphey for the award of a gracious scholarship that allowed me to attend She Speaks in Charlotte this year. What a blessing.
Thanks for expressing it so well, Amanda. You captured the very best thing to bring back from this weekend, and it ministers peace to my heart…
Oh my goodness! None of the words you have written have touched my heart quite like this one. Sweet sister of mine – I think He is smiling today. He orchestrated every detail of your trip and He had there wrapped just for you, A key to unlock the words and mesh them a little more with that precious heart to take your writing to a different level. You, your family and your writing will never be the same. I am so glad I got to share this with you and we get to make this journey together. God is sooooooooo very good! Love you girl.
This is beautiful, Amanda! And I had no idea you were there on scholarship. That is so cool!
I can’t agree more with what you said/how you feel. These gifts – all of them – are what drives me. So much blessing!!
As a fellow sister blessed to receive a scholarship from Cecil Murphey, I felt an even greater urgency to take it all in, to not miss a thing the Lord wanted to teach me. Thanks for describing my thoughts so well!
I did not get the privilege of meeting while we were there although our rooms were on the same floor almost directly across from me. You have so beautifully captured the beauty of the weekend, and even more the purpose behind it. Thank you.
Yes, yes and yes. Every single word. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was meeting you! Thank you for listening as I processed my thoughts and for your sweetness and encouragement.
Well, your ‘dozen or so’ followers has just increased by another one! I love your humble spirit Amanda, your blog is written from the heart and I’m so glad I discovered it. Found you through the Soli Dio Gloria site, another one of my wonderful finds of the year! It sounds as if the She Speaks conference was an amazing event for everyone who attended. I look forward to reading your blog in future!
Can I just say that “I concur?” I have ideas on how to improve, how to tweak, how to reach out a bit more, but just like you, there is not a rush. There is time to focus on love and growing my little people and my husband. There is time to lift my hands in praise to the Father who made me. All of the fruits from this conference will play out in His time. I just have to keep walking closer to Him.
Beautiful words that reinforce my desire to pay attention to the gifts.
Oh, what a pleasure to meet your smiling face in real-life. You know you are a fave. I can’t wait to see what you do with you your amazing writing gifts.
“Wonderfully overwhelming” — what a great description. I wasn’t at this one (find myself wishing more and more I had been!) but that was how I felt after my first writers conference. How wise to have heard Ann on the last day.
My first time here! I’m looking forward to unearthing simple gifts, too.
Looks like each one of your “dozen” followers just commented. 😉
You get a lot of followers by commenting everywhere, but then that takes time and something else has to go. My husband always says to just keep writing good stuff and the rest will follow (but I do spend a lot of time in the blogging world visiting and commenting too). Anyway, you have a sweet take on things and a good writing style.
Just thought I’d encourage you. 🙂
Hi Amanda! It is so nice to eet you and thanks for visiting LOV and leaving such a gracious comment. I have just sat reading a few of your posts and already know that we are kindred spirits! Not because I share your gifted way of producing words into phrases full of meaning and color, but I think that I think somewhat like you…it is nice to hear about your SheSpeaks experience. I have wanted to attend for about 5 years now….It is just not quite the time yet. So I will live it virtually through you and take out my frozen beef and put on y tennis shoes (or from my closet flip-flops) and run with abadon. Hope to visit again soon!
From the post that follows this, it seems you took Anne’s words to heart. Kudos.
This is really eloquent and beautiful writing, Amanda. And a much-needed reminder for me, the girl who gets a little too platform-obsessed from time to time. Oh how I wish I’d been at She Speaks, if only to meet you in person! 🙂
I want to go so much next year. Every year I say that but then I don’t. It’s only minutes away from my house so I have no reason not to go! So glad you enjoyed yourself!
I LOVED reading your reflections on the conference. I felt the same exact way … wonderfully overwhelmed! And I took away from it all exactly what you did, too. Here’s to looking for the gifts in our everyday lives!