Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The 2007 ACFW Conference: What I Learned

Drawn from a post to the ACFW email loop ...

What I learned … wow, where do I start?

I learned that I was right where I needed to be during the past year (esp. the last 6 months, when I followed a path that I knew was God’s leading but seemed to make no sense “market-wise”) … that this past year was specifically for growing … that the answer to crushing stress is “Be still and know that I am God.” I also learned how to manage the monster pile of research I’ve been wading through, and how to shape it all into the story I see. That I now have several “stories of my heart,” and that this is okay, and all have their own appointed time.

And I learned all over again that if I never reach publication, it’s worth it for ALL the kewl people I’ve gotten to meet!

Thanks to every one of you who encouraged me (and prayed with me!) and handed me Kleenex when I wept.


And from the Southeast loop:

I arrived back late Sunday night from the ACFW conference in Dallas … and I’m still getting caught in moments of awe over it all. If you aren’t on the main loop, whether or not you attended, I’d encourage you to visit the archives and read at least a few of the “what I learned” posts. (Mine is there as well.) How awesome and humbling to be in this great company of writers and seekers of God—and to see strong people broken and weeping in worship, or on their knees, or more excited over their daughter’s engagement than over winning Book of the Year. It really is more about our journey with God than about seeing our words in print—and I was reminded all over again that if we are completely surrendered to God’s plan, He will see that our words reach those who need to hear them. (I just realized, that’s a whole new spin on “seek ye first the kingdom of God …” although I never heard that verse quoted this weekend.)

It was so wonderful to meet some of you, to put faces to names, and if I met you in the hallway and read your name tag then only smiled and didn’t introduce myself, it’s because I really do feel rather shy about putting myself forward as “your zone director.” It was both a special privilege and responsibility to realize during the conference that even as a minor officer I represent ACFW, and as such I should work harder at making people feel welcome than promoting my own work. (That’s a huge struggle for me.) Thank you to all of you for allowing me to serve in this capacity—and thank you to Ane for making it so much easier to do so, with all your enthusiasm and encouragement!

My apologies for the fizzling of the Southeast breakfast on Saturday! LOL, none of us knew that they’d be having the faculty hosting (or is that, ostensibly hosting?) tables at breakfast on both Friday and Saturday. (They’ve never done this before, but we heard that because Friday and Saturday dinner either were not provided for or not hosted by faculty, they decided to assign tables at breakfast.) As my one ribbon said, whatever! God was the one in charge of the whole thing, and I chose not to stress about how many people I told to find Louise Gouge’s table, only to find that there WAS no table with her name! :-)

I pray that the Lord helped you all to similarly let go of the stress and ride the awesome wave that was this year’s conference experience.




More to come ...

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