I am still reveling in the glittery glow of a whirlwind Allume. I am also still avoiding my packed suitcase and hoping I don’t trip over it while I stumble around in yoga pants, drinking coffee, and smiling to remember the worship, the words, and those macarons.
The Allume conference is a generous one and we walked away with these amazing SWAG bags from Persimmon Prints, brimming over with sponsor goodies, books and a whole lotta love. Incidentally, the bags all happened to look the same this year— annnddd…. segue, if you please.
Ten minutes after my tires crunched over leaves in my driveway, I noticed my awesome SWAG bag held my roommate’s journal, marked with a pen and partially open to reveal her copious note-taking skills. Seriously, if you ever find yourself needing explicit instructions about how to dismantle an explosive device, Amanda is the one who you want writing down the directions. This girl makes thorough look easy and she’s pretty rad. Then I saw a few other items that weren’t mine —clearly we had swapped bags.
No problem, she and I could just mail each other our stuff.
Except that our other roommate Taylor, who also happens to be one of those people you always hope you will be with in a crisis because she makes you snort-laugh in the very best way, well she had MY bag…. and Amanda had hers. We’re pretty much a hot mess of mixed up stuff.
For the first few hours, it was all texts and photos of what we have, what we’re missing and oh by the way— who does this thing belong to— and can you mail it to me? And a couple “How on earth did we do this??”
So funny. We are basically that movie with Alexis Bledel and Blake Lively with the teenage angst and the traveling pants… except without the pants and the angst. Ok, not really even a little like that.
Clearly when you live with other people for a couple of days, your stuff gets mixed up with theirs.
Beyond the roommate antics, gracious swag, delicious food, and mind-bendingly-remarkable speakers, there is one major thing that we shared– Questions with hard answers.
We questioned our influence…
what we could do to change our culture. To make a big difference to the people inside our homes and outside of them. To change lives… those with our eyes & same last name and also those who look, talk, and act nothing like us.
We had hard conversations…
and shared parts of our story that we often keep hidden. The messy ugly parts that point only to our need for Christ. The dark corners, the places where the seeds of doubt and discouragement seek to sprout to the surface and grow roots deep enough to remain.
through elements of our faith and belief that we know to be truth, but that often keep us distanced from others.
At the end of all our questions we found very few answers— except that God is good and we get to be His hands and feet. That we have to keep trying to right the wrongs and that it is worth it. People are worth it. The Gospel is worth it.
to change our world.
to be a light.
to swing the door wide.
to speak words of life.
to be different.
and to keep. humbly. asking. God. to. use. our. influence.
I can tell you one thing about my Allume. It was not at all what I thought it would be. And I LOVE that.
This message, the message of “together” was not one I knew I needed until I heard it, but oh– how I need it.
I need it again and again and again. I applaud the Allume Team, and my sweet friend Logan for making this year a time for us to stop and be filled. To stop and look at all we can do to change this world when we do it together.
Mary Geisen says
Love this!!! It will probably take all week to unpack as well as process. So glad I saw you at the beginning and the end.
Yes Mary!! Your face was such a sweet sight!
Holly Paulette says
So, so, so fun to meet you girls. This post encapsulates it all so well–hard questions with hard answers…while simultaneously being beautiful questions and beautiful answers. Ohhh the highs of a conference that hits deep at the heart!!! Looking forward to walking out all we learned 🙂
Loved getting to spend time “together” with you, Cynthia!
I loved it as well, Wendy! It was a weekend full of information and it helps to have others to sift through it all with. <3
Taylor York says
You articulated the events of my first Allume adventure this past weekend in ways that I would have never been able to. This post is lovingly wrapped up, similarly to the sweet “welcome” gift you gave me upon our first in-person greeting. What a blessing of a woman and friend you are, Cynthia.