What a crazy full week! I would normally say busy - but it was filled with so much goodness, it didn't really feel busy! (Plus - you know - we found SUNSHINE, ya'll!)
Oh but - first - the fine print: if you don't know what FMF is! Five Minute Fridays are hosted by Lisa Jo Baker. It is open to anyone, so to learn more about it - and to jump in yourself (the more the merrier!) or just to find a linky to see what everyone is writing about today - click HERE! The idea is to simply write... for Five Minutes flat... no editing, no deep thinking - or at least REthinking, no spell check - just write! Let it flow! We all write using a prompt that Lisa posts at 10pm Thursday night (EST.) I'm loving the community of amazing bloggers and the creativity that flows from these magical Five Minutes!
So - here goes: Five Minute Friday - The Word Prompt is: CROWD
I don't know if you have missed it or not (somehow) but I am doing Lent for the first time ever and I don't really know any of the rules or rituals that go with it. I jumped on board with The Love Idol Movement and then prayed and heard the most ridiculous thing... God whispered that what He wanted me to give up, the Love Idol He wanted me to lay down... was Self-Doubt. I've written about it for a couple of weeks now and so I will not go on (and on and on!) but let me say - the timing of it all felt a little bit like a set up!
I mean - Hello? God - don't you know that I am going to a - gasp - WRITER'S conference? I mean, honestly!? Is that not breeding ground for this Idol of mine? Still... I laid it down and I was determined to not pick it back up.
I went to Allume last year... I loved it. I loved it more after I was back in the safety of my Comfort Zone and back behind a screen. It was good... but hard... for all the Self-Doubty reasons that one could think of!
But this time? This was a conference closer to home... and I knew I would have some of my tribe there... (but I knew that at Allume too - and it's not like this Idol of mine wasn't working hard at reminding me of that!)
Still - we pulled up to the first night of the conference and found this gorgeous church:
Newberg Friends Church
My Honey, ever supportive and loving and taking care of me, parked the car and planned on waiting in line with me... hoping to ease my fears.
But here's the deal... I didn't really have any fears? I wasn't having all the feelings and it turns out - I honestly didn't pack Self-Doubt, and Hestitation didn't make it into my bags either. I felt ready and eager and at peace... joyful even.
I'm not sure My Honey believed me when I said I was fine. Yeah - these Idols have been in my back pocket longer than he has been at my side. I wasn't nervous about the Crowds and the people that I didn't know... the people I was hoping to meet... the 'networking' that should be happening! I came expecting Community - not a Crowd, and when Self-Doubt doesn't interrupt, Expecting is an amazing companion! (I highly recommend him!)
So - the gift that God gave me? As we rounded the corner and approached the line for Registration, I heard someone say my name. It was my sweet friend Renee, who had flown in and didn't know anyone (other than me) and we both just praised God right then and there because He is just so good!
Me & Renee at the end of the amazing Faith & Culture Writers Conference
So, Renee and I got to sit together that night, and at the main meetings on Saturday as well. It gave us time to hear each others' stories and get to know each other, live and in person. We both had a history of shutting down a bit in the midst of a crowd - but there is no need to shut down in the midst of Community!
Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click here to read what others have to say about "CROWD"
I loved that God set us up like that... giving us a friend to help ease us in to the crowd!