Allume. It’s a cross between a weekend retreat for your soul, blogging summer camp, and a crazy fun dinner party with 400 of your closest friends— all rolled into one. If there were an Allume Fan Club I would vote myself it’s #1 cheerleader. I simply LOVE Allume. Last year, my expectations were completely blown away and I came straight home at the end of October and immediately marked off 2014 on my calendar.
Last year was amazing, but this year I came with stuff. I was over the moon excited but more than anything I was expectant. I needed clarity. The direction I was asking God for– I needed my next steps illumined, or even just to be told that my next small step of obedience was to remain exactly where I was. I was in need of hearing from Him in the moments away from the everyday.
And somewhere between hugging familiar necks at registration and that very first keynote, the clarity began. It continued through every single message, breakout session and quiet moment alone– I was, and continue to be– overwhelmed.
Yes, this is the most beautiful conference I’ve ever been to. And it has spoiled and ruined me for all other conferences. But the biggest, most delightful part– is the evidence of God Himself in every detail. This year I loved being with “my writing people” but more than anything I LOVED being ministered to by my God who heard my questions, and lovingly, patiently guided me a few more steps in His direction for me.
The biggest, most wildly wonderful thing about Allume is that it is covered in heaps of prayer, and that prayer shows. Sure, we were loved on, welcomed and spoiled– but we were ushered to the foot of the cross to meet with God and remember just WHY we do all this writing anyway. And now I am completely humbled and full to bursting and ready to get back to it. Thank you, Allume team. You blessed us in such big ways.
Now– for a few photos and my favorite moments–
Ruth Simons of GraceLaced designed the artwork for the programs & name badges. She also created that print on the right especially for Allume! It, and all her other gorgeous prints are available here in her shop. (The photo does not do it justice!)
Hearing Shauna Niequist speak on True Hospitality was a definite highlight of Allume. Her most recent book, Bread and Wine has brought me so much direction and joy in the area of Life and the Table.
Another highlight– finally being able to meet this beauty, Kristen Steele! And yes, if you’re wondering, her hair looked that good the entire weekend. 🙂 I met Kristen through the B&H Publishing Blogger Program and meeting her gave me the added gift of finding her sweet sister Caroline who lives right here in Georgia with me!
Books, Books and more books! Between the sponsors, our swag bag and some great conference deals, I am SET for reading material for well, all of 2015.
Tea and Cookies with Sophie Hudson was memorable for sure. She encouraged us in her honest and sweet way and I wrote in big letters across my notes one of the last things she said to us. “Trust God with your Dream, with your Ministry. Trust Him and Go get after it!”
And last but certainly not least, being able to spend some quality time with my good friend and Allume roomie, Jacqueline. She is a GIFT and a hilarious riot all rolled into one. So glad you allowed me to talk you into Allume, Jacqueline! It would not have been the same without you.
Well, those aren’t all my favorite moments– but I don’t have any more photos. At one point early on in the weekend, my husband texted me to ask if my instagram was down because I wasn’t doing my usual over-gramming of every little detail! I only took 8 or 9 photos the entire weekend, but I soaked it all in and sometimes that is so very necessary.
One more thing, a quote from Logan Wolfram on Radical Hospitality–
“As Bloggers, we are often a people of windows– but as Believers, we are called to be a people of doors– a people of living invitation.”
Yes! May our homes and our blogs be open, welcoming places where those visiting are loved deeply!