When I first heard about Allume in the spring and saw that it was going to be in my hometown, I thought, "This might actually work!" Child #2 would be running cross country, but he told me that he was fine with my missing a meet. With it being his senior year in high school, I really want to be available for everything that he does. Just me! I got in touch with the co-host of Allume, Logan @lifefordessert, and chatted. Since I really don't blog on a regular basis, would Allume be something that I might want to attend? ( I am rolling with laughter at that comment now! Mercy!). Sweet Logan invited me over to her house--totally GORGEOUS by the way---and shared with me about Allume while we sat on the back deck watching her little one play.
I prayed and had such a peace about it, that I did register for this conference not really knowing what God's plans were for me by attending.
Fast forward 6 months to last weekend:
Since I lived in town, I volunteered to help with set up the day before Allume began. "Hello" to 50 new friends! Two of my Noonday collection "sisters" stayed with me here at the Hood Hilton (yes, I named my home that to get me motivated to discard the dust bunnies, clean the bedrooms, and paint the bathroom.) It's amazing at what a little motivation can do! My husband was thrilled!
The conference began on Thursday and lasted until Saturday night. Y'all, it was amazing! I met so many girls who love the Lord and write about their daily ups and downs and recipes and shopping and decorating all under one roof. The common thread was Jesus. Here I was thinking it would be just about blogging and technology and this and that and the other....nope. Blogging was mentioned, but Jesus was given the glory.
Friendships that had only been online became real. Meals were shared with new besties. Prayers were lifted throughout the days. Mission groups told their stories and shared videos of pain that had been overcome with hope. Songs of worship resonated in our hearts. On Friday night, Anthony Evans Jr. (son of pastor Tony Evans, brother to Priscilla Shirer, and former member of "The Voice")shared worship for 453 women. Y'all, "It is Well With My Soul" has never sounded more beautiful! I saw and heard a little glimpse of Heaven.
Authors shared their stories and their hearts. We received a gazillion books to take home with us! (Being the bookworm that I am....I was in a happy place!) Questions were posed and answers shared. Keynote speakers discussed what God has placed on their hearts in this season of their lives. One of my many take aways was from my online Bible Study teacher, September McCarthy. I have been doing a study on Luke for the past few weeks through Good Morning Girls--it was excellent! It was so neat to actually sit in a room with my "teacher" and hear her heart. September told us that we live on a mission. Whether it's your family, your friends, children you sponsor in another country, the homeless in your communities....we do our mission work on a daily basis, and we must be intentional about it. Can I get an "Amen?"
During the lunch on Saturday, I received a text from my husband letting me know how our son had done in his cross country meet. He ran the JV race and gave it 110%! He placed 10th overall in the county meet and had his fastest time this season. I missed it. I cried....but with joy! I had missed my son's last XC meet after his running for 5 years. But, God is good! This past week, it was announced that he would be running varsity based on the time that he had run at Saturday's meet. What a blessing! I am still watching him run as we head to the state meet next weekend.
Here are some iphone pictures from Allume to see just a smidgen of our time together. When you trust God to be over an event, it's going to be awesome!
Some of our fabulous Noonday Collection girls and Anthony Evans, Jr.
I loved this African proverb! Snapped it during a video.
One of the sponsors, World Renew, treated us to yumminess!
Sweet Jennie Allen, author of "Anything"
Ok, you local girls, sponsors Mary& Martha (cute stuff!) provided these from Greenville's "The Chocolate Moose. " This picture speaks volumes!
She is so sweet...Ann Voskamp author of "1,000 Gifts"
Love these two!
Precious Kate....she ALMOST makes me want to bake!! Fabulous recipes.
My online teacher, September McCarthy--what a heart!
Melanie Shankle @Bigmama --loved her words
Noonday gals Paige, Corrie, and Brandi--I heart them!
Can you tell this was an awesome time?!!
My darlin' friend Shannon standing in front of the Hyatt with "Free the Girls"--love their mission statement.
Ok, I hope that you know what a blessing Allume was to me! Early bird registration for 2014 is just around the corner! And, yes, I will be headed that way again next year.