I am in Nashville, Tennessee for Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference this weekend. Let me tell you how it all came together.
My Texas friends Chris and Allen, and my Colorado friends Luke and Jason, all attended Storyline and came away changed men. They don’t know each other but they’re all men I hold in high esteem, and they know me well enough to know that I needed to attend Storyline, and they told me so. Though I was hopeful, I knew it would take tremendous finagling and a small miracle to make that happen. And it did.
Luke emailed me a few months ago to let me know for the conference in Nashville would have a “pay what you can afford” option, and encouraged me to register. He and his wife wanted to help make this happen for me.
When we got our tax refund, I got online and registered, paying money that wasn’t “extra” but trusting that God and my extended friends and family would help make this a reality.
Chris has wonderful parents who have a time-share in Nashville, so he arranged for me to stay at a beautiful resort this weekend as their guests.
My friend Cherie gave me vouchers for two free car rental days with Hertz.
Luke rallied some other friends and they chipped in to pay for my airfare. (I want to honor them but don’t know if I have permission to publicize who they are.)
I had to come up with money for registration, the other 2 days of car rental, gas, food, and the deposits required. I’m a part of an AMAZING group of people! They’re generous, encouraging, and challenge me to leap beyond what I think is doable. I’m not a very good dreamer and tend to settle for less, so I am incredibly grateful for my people who push me to dream and pursue. I’m here in Nashville…pursuing.
Several years ago I attended a National Youth Workers Convention where the late, great Mike Yaconelli told us we tend to wear ourselves out at these things. We succumb to the pressure of attending every workshop and activity offered, sucking the marrow out of the experience so it was worth our money. He gave us permission to grab a bottle of wine and hole up in our rooms if that is what our spirits need. My spirit need both focus and rest this weekend.
I fell asleep watching a terrible movie last night, and woke up to a text from Benny. The hours in between were spent wrapped in blankets with the ceiling fan on and lots of pillows cradling my body. No dog scratching at the door, no children waking me up in the middle of the night, no saggy mattress that hurts my back, and no list of things I must accomplish today to keep life moving along. Just a dark, quiet, peaceful, beautiful room holding promises of the kind of rest that comes with stepping away from my daily routine for a bit. I chose to skip the pre-conference blogger’s breakfast this morning and wake up leisurely. No guilt. No regrets.
I’m heading out to the university for pre-registration and to find some lunch, but felt the need to blog first. I’m redefining and refreshing some things this weekend. I started this blog in 2004 and it’s morphed into several things over the years, just like me. It’s changed with my needs, wants, and pressures to be something other than what it is, and yet it’s still me and my journey.
My blog is an online window into my life. Not everyone wants that view, and sometimes I close the curtains for a bit, but I’m still here and I’m welcoming you to join me on my journey.