Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: Writing community

My People

When I arrived at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference I felt out of my element. The idea of a large gathering of writers of all skill levels getting together to challenge and encourage each other to grow in the craft and business of writing was exciting. The reality of mixing and mingling with members of that group, complete strangers no less, was daunting to me as a card carrying introvert. I was never more thankful for our small local writers’ group that attended the event together. We would go our separate ways for classes, but they could be my lifeline during less structured times.

It didn’t take long for me to acclimate to my surroundings. Over the five days of the conference, I pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and speak with people I didn’t know. At the end of the first full day I called my husband and announced, “I have found my people.”

It didn’t matter that we came from different walks of life. Our various theological beliefs didn’t drive a wedge between us. Our varying levels of skill and success as authors were inconsequential. We were connected by something more, by the God-given desire to minister to others through the creative art of writing and a love of God. Never did I feel this more clearly than the first worship service of the conference.

When the husband and wife praise team led us in the first song of the conference, the connection of everyone in the room became its most clear. Some raised their hands in praise. Some stood still while lifting their voices. Others were unfamiliar with the songs but joined in as they caught on. In that moment, our differences didn’t matter. We were joined in praise of the One who blessed us with salvation as well as the ability to use our passions to further the gospel and build up the body of Christ.

It was a beautiful sound. For a moment I closed my eyes and listened to hundreds of voices raised in praise together. Even small groups lifting their voices to God in song can be beautiful. But listening to that many voices, united in purpose and ministry, bringing praise to God left me feeling completely connected to God and His people. We were part of something real together.

This time of completely united worship came to mind today during my quiet time. Revelation 5:13 says, “And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Did you see it? “Every creature” is praising. I was moved by the beauty of a couple hundred people united in praise. I’ve had opportunity to hear a few thousand do the same at a Women of Faith conference. But these are going to pale in comparison to the connection and love and beauty of every creature in creation bringing praise to God in unity.

Can you imagine the sound? The power of that praise? And we will be part of it. The connection I felt as I found “my people” at the conference will seem slight in comparison to the connection of all creation joining in unified praise. I don’t doubt that in that moment we will feel the full realization of being joined together as God’s people for eternity.

Exciting New Endeavor

It has been a busy week. Last Saturday, I made the trip to Kentucky to meet with two authors I met at a conference over the summer. We spent the afternoon recording for a new YouTube channel called Once Upon A Page. We will post weekly Author Talks. This week’s video introduces us and what we write. Next week, we will discuss NaNoWriMo. I’m including the link, and we’d love for you to check it out. Subscribe if you like what you see.

Anyway, back to my hectic week. My husband’s grandmother passed away at 103 years old over the weekend, and the funeral was Tuesday. She lived over an hour away, so the whole day was taken up with those family obligations.

I do have a book to review, but in addition to the funeral and the daily care I provide for my own grandmother with dementia, I spent my week trying to find the right video editing program, develop intro videos to add to each weekly video, edit this week’s video, and post it today. I also had the Friday post on my publisher’s blog. Oh, and did I forget to mention I signed up for two craft/gift fairs in November and spent half an hour trying to figure out how to tie a good bow to make gift sets out of my books? I’m a crafty person, but ribbon and I don’t get along at all. Hopefully the remaining sets go a little faster since I’ve now successfully tied one bow.

Now that I’ve sort of figured out the bow thing and the video editing thing, I intend to get back to my regular posting schedule. Monday, I’ll post a “What I’m Reading” review for the final book in an historical fiction series I’ve enjoyed. I’ll see you back here on Monday. Until then, check out Once Upon A Page.

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