Showing posts with label Allume 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allume 2012. Show all posts

Friday, November 30

A Few More of My Favorite Things: Christmas Books!

I love books, I love Christmas books even more! Over the years I’ve asked what everyone’s favorite Christmas reads were, because I was always at a loss of what to read. This year is different! This year I’m coming to YOU with some suggestions! {I’ll give you a second to be awed of me…you’re welcome}.

Mind you…I don’t have a ton of suggestions and only have those I do because of a flyer I got in the mail for a local Christian book store.

9781451647013The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
There is a {e}pre-equel to this on called The Beginning

9780736951517Susanna’s Christmas Wish by Jerry S. Eicher

9781400072170A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs


9781426752490A Wild Goose Chase Christmas by Jennifer AlLee

9780800719272The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson

Have you discovered a new Christmas favorite? I’d love to hear about it.
Don’t forget to enter the Ladder Bloggers Giveaway if you haven’t already…be sure to check out the other blogs too. There are some awesome gifts!

Wednesday, November 28

A Few of My Favorite Things

The Sound of Music has long be a family favorite. My grandmother grew up in Germany during WW2, coming to America in the 50s: Her favorite song was Edelweiss. There’s one song from that movie that most of us probably know, My Favorite Things. Only a few songs can instantly cheer me and bring me to tears at the same time….and that is one of them.

In honor of our massive Ladder Blogger giveaway {Be sure to go and check out the more than 20 awesome items that you could win!}, I’ve decided to share a few things that make being a part of a Mastermind Blogging Group one of my favorite things.
  • A group of like-minded women who are willing to give me feedback on any number of crazy ideas and questions I may have.
  • Always there to answer any prayer requests I may have
  • They help to spread the word when I have something I’m excited about on my blog, whether through twitter or facebook
  • They make blogging conferences a lot less scary and a lot more fun
  • Accountability…being a part of a group helps me to focus on the what and why of blogging
  • The new friendships I have formed
Here’s what I have to offer you…if you are interested in being a part of a Mastermind Group, START ONE. Pick 2 or 3 of your readers that you have really connected with, invite them to join you, invite them to invite 1 or 2 people to your group.

My group consists of 20 women, many of which I have had the privilege to meet and spend time with in person as well as online, women that I would NEVER have met if it hadn’t been for one person, asking me to join their little group. We’re set up as a private group on Facebook, where we can share and talk about blogging…that thing that most people in our {REAL} lives do not get!

So, start one. It can be whatever you want it to be. But honestly, don’t go the blogging thing alone, it’s wonderful having other PEOPLE to share it with.

And yes, one of these Christmas, my girls will be dressed in white dresses with blue satin sashes.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Tuesday, November 6

Things I Learned at Allume

I’ve decided that the easiest way to start to share about Allume is in bullets; at least get all my thoughts out, then I can process them one at a time.

* It’s OK to blog for just one reader, to not be concerned about SEO {Search Engine Optimization}, to do it just for the love of it

* Take time; whether it be with people or alone.

DSC_0403* It’s OK to have NO expectations. Perhaps it’s even better to have none.

* Not everyone gets my sense of humor.

* It’s OK to approach your “celebrity” bloggers, they really do want to connect with you.

* Don’t take things personal when someone isn’t able to talk with you. Everyone is trying to pack way too much into just a few days.

* Don’t plan on getting to catch up on your sleep. It isn’t going to happen. I mean it would, if that was your plan.

* Make sure, when you sit down at meals, to not have your back to the stage…you’ll have to keep turning your chair and craning your neck.

* Be open to things not on the agenda.

* Prepare yourself for things you may not expect, open yourself to those thing and welcome them in {God truly is in the details}

*Seriously, EMBRACE the smilebooth…seriously.

*Do write down some of the names/blog/twitter of people you would like to connect with. Otherwise you’ll be like me and get home and realize you completely forgot to do that.

*If you ever have the chance to listen to Ann Voskamp speak, in person, totally grab that chance! You will not regret it.

My Allumie-Roomie had some great advice on her blog too, to help with getting the most out of a very crazy time.

There are a lot of words in my mind, trying to decipher what Allume was, but the one that I keep coming back to is

Tuesday, October 30

The First of Many…

3am -- I climbed into bed on Sunday morning, exhausted…physically and mentally. I’ve tried to articulate what Allume was and I can’t. There are seriously no words that I can find to describe how this weekend was, and not from the blogging and social media perspective, but from the GOD perspective.

Don’t get me wrong the seminars were fantastic, I can’t wait to listen to the seminars I didn’t get to hear. The keynote speakers were awesome {You can listen to them here}. The time getting to know online friends, making of them real life friends, was incredible.

Allume Conference Smilebooth 0127-LThe entire weekend was something that I have never experienced in my entire life. This sense of sisterhood and camaraderie; of people who GOT me, for whom blogging wasn’t just a way to keep family up to date, but a “pen” that bleeds the words that pour from our hearts and heads.

It was more than just staying up way too late, talking; more than just hearing other people’s advice on writing and blogging, balancing it with life and family; more, even, than listening to the words of Sally Clarkson and Ann Voskamp…as incredible as they were.

So, all that to say that I really can’t articulate all that is running in my head, but I certainly wanted to let you all know what a time I had and to share just a tiny bit of what I experienced. I do hope that next year some of you, my bloggy friends, will join me in Harrisburg for Allume 2013.

If you visit HERE you can see the pictures that I took at the conference.

Allume Collage

Thursday, October 25

On the road…

Written Wednesday, October 24th 9:40pm

By the time you are all reading this I’ll be on the road to Allume. It’s getting rather surreal to think that by this time tomorrow I will have no responsibilities to anyone but myself. It won’t be me putting kids to bed and doing dishes. Today has gone in spits and spats; one minute feeling like the day is flying, another as though it’s crawling. I didn’t spend nearly as much time with the kids as I wanted to, but we did get some cuddles in. Tomorrow is a first…I’ll be away from my family for 3 nights, for the first time since before Avelyn was born.

Anyways {before I write myself into a puddle of sobbing, homesick tears…wonder if I’ll have them at night}.

There’s a purpose to this rambling. The other day, you might have seen that Matt “hacked” my blog {I use the term very loosely as all he did was write and I posted} and posted about how the impending conference has been good for me, but there’s something he didn’t mention: If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be going to this conference.

As a stay at home I have no income of my own, no I don’t make any money off my blog. My going to this conference is being paid for by my husband working so very, VERY, EXTREMELY hard for his family. It’s an incredible gift that he has given me, not only in footing the bill (ie. ticket, gas, room, clothes, random odds-n-ends), but in being so very willing to step up and take care of the kids while I am gone.

There honestly are not enough words to describe how incredible Matt is, both as a husband and as a father. Matthew, thank you so much for supporting me in this, in all ways imaginable: Thank you! I’m sure you already know that I’m going to be incredibly homesick for you and the kids (just think of Celine Dion's song ;-)

Whatever prayers anyone is willing to send our way would be greatly appreciated: For my self, for Matt, the kids {especially Ave, who is going to have a really hard time with my being gone}, my mom and mother in law {who are taking care of the kids tomorrow and Friday} and for all my fellow Allumies.

Monday, October 22

Matthew Hacking Jessica White's Blog

Hi All.  This is Matt.  I'm Jessica's other half.
     First a little background. I work a lot, being a one income household. My wife works harder than me though.  Raising a 3 year old and triplets under 1 is not an easy task, let alone keeping up with the housework and bills.  I give her credit and help whenever I can, which isn't always much.
     Blogging has allowed my wife her sanity, just like I go hunting or brew beer for mine.  She started out writing and majored in it in college, which also gave me a little help in college comp.  She gave up writing to work in accounting in a milk plant after college because it was one of the few good paying jobs in our area, not much call for an editor or writer in our town.  Finally, she took up blogging to vent her frustrations on life in general and it grew from there.
     Fast forward to the present, she's going to Allume. One nice thing about Allume is that she has a reason to update her wardrobe. As for me,  I get a weekend with the kids all to my self.  Other than my wife, no one thinks I can handle it.  Honestly, I'm looking forward to it:  I get to spend time with my kids when they are awake and happy (usually I only get to see my kids after work when both me and them and my wife are all exhausted and cranky).
    So Dear, go and have fun and try to remember where home is before too long. Good luck, Godspeed, and we'll miss you.
   Lord, Please be with Jessica and her fellow Bloggers as they travel to PA and back home.  Give them courage and open hearts to learn as much as they can at the conference.  Amen.

Linking up with other Allume husbands.

Saturday, October 20

Thoughts on Heading to Allume

This week is it, Allume! It’s been 8 months since I bought my ticket. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had moments of wondering if this was the right thing, whether I should be going or not, how things will be at home, with me gone for 3 days, how the kids will handle me being gone for 3 days {Ave in particular}. Even though I have my concerns, I know, beyond a doubt, that I need this time away. I need to step back, regroup, and prepare for the threenage years and toddlerhood {times 3} that’s coming my way {not to mention the impending birthday-bonanzas and holiday season!}

While this is going to be an insanely busy few days, not to mention the weeks before hand to get ready, it also is going to be a time of rest. It has to be.

I’m excited, and nervous. I can’t decided whether it’s better to view the entire thing as a series of college lectures and go in with that mindset of learning, or how else to perceive this, because the lectures thing is the only thing I can wrap my head around. I’ve never been to a conference, ever, I’ve never even been to an event like Women of Faith or something. This is a first time experience for me.

I’m rooming with ladies that I barely know {Hi Mandy, Kalyn and Kristina}, which is exciting and terrifying at the same time. I’m driving down with two of them {Mandy and Kalyn}, which will give us some time to get to know each other, but I’m deathly afraid of those “awkward” silences, and I have no idea why, because silence is NOT a BAD thing, neither is conversation.

I’m not sure what to expect of any of the other women attending. I don’t know if the majority are going to be deep, intense Christians or if they’re going to be more like me, wanting more from their Faith, but being nowhere near having God as their default in life. Will they be as introverted as myself or more “in your face” and intense? Will they think that I’m rude {I don’t mean to be}?

I’ve been trying to figure out a wardrobe for this weekend. Which let me just has not been easy. I have not gone shopping for myself, for new clothes, since before I was pregnant with Ave. After having 4 kids in 2 years my previous clothes do not fit the way they used to, funny how that works. I’ve been questing here and there for the past few months trying to find things I like. I’ve had a few hits, but more misses than I care to mention. {It would be totally ok if I just wore a full spanx suit all weekend, right? Particularly since I didn’t lose that 50lbs I was hoping to lose before the conference} I’ll probably have more of a post on my fashion makeover after Allume.

I even went so professional as to have business cards made up. Let me tell how unreal it was to open that box! I’ve only ever had business cards once in my life, when I was HR assistant, and I don’t think I ever even handed one of those out.

All this to say that I am definitely venturing outside of my comfort zone this coming weekend and I would certainly appreciate your prayers; for me, for my mom and mother-in-law who are taking care of the kids, for Matt who is going to be home alone for 2 days {albeit only at night} and then have the kids all to himself. Yea, we’d appreciate the prayers :-)

And yet, despite all of this worry, I feel incredibly blessed to be going to this thing. I’m going with almost my entire Mastermind Blogging Group, so I’m certainly not doing this alone {which I think I would be freaking out and probably not going if I didn’t know a soul there}.

I have a husband and family who are willing to step up and make it possible for me to go, whether it be my ticket, borrowing a car, or taking care of my kids. It’s incredible how the blessings have flown down. Now I hope that the next week is fantastic and so much more than I could have ever expected. I have a feeling it will be.

Oh, and I will definitely be online. I’ll be tweeting/facebooking/posting as much as I have time for.

PS. I'm linking up with Mom's Mustard Seeds to "meet" other Allumies

Monday, October 8

Where is my Faith going?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?
Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouse

Isn’t that something we all want to know, where our paths will take us. Which choices will result in which outcomes? I know I do, and I know in my faith I am no different.

Wouldn’t it be easier if I just knew that I was going to go home to the Lord at a ripe old age, surrounded by friends and family who love me and, more importantly, love the Lord? Of course it would, but there would be consequences to that.

If I knew that I would be in heaven with our Father, wouldn’t that, potentially, make me rather lazy in my pursuit of Him? Couldn’t I grow cocky and remiss in my actions and purposes here on earth? Yes. Isn’t it the Lord who asks us to pursue Him? Yes. If we knew that we were guaranteed the best seat at the concert of the century, would we bother rushing and putting effort in to getting that seat? No, we wouldn’t. We would rest on our laurels.

I can’t pretend that my relationship with Christ is going to grow and increase exponentially through the years. I don’t know how I’m going to react to life events, whether I will cling to the Cross or turn away. I do know that in my past experiences I have had the desire to fall to me knees and pray, but looking back none of those things, as devastating and difficult as they were, were not, in retrospect, life-shattering. At the time they were, and some still are, but there was still LIFE.

If something thing were to happen to my husband or one {or all} of our children. I don’t know if I could forgive God. I’d like to think that even in my anger, my pain, I would still crawl to Him, but that is not something I know {and not something I want to test}. Even Job, as tormented and blessed as he was, God did not resurrect his family, that pain was still there. There was still just cause for Job to abhor God.

My faith can only go ahead in each moment.
His grace is not something that I can store up for a rainy day.

“…for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
~Lamentations 3:22-23

While I can’t guess as to my future, there are certain things that I can do to insure my future. I can live a life that glorifies the Lord. I can do my very best to spend time in His word. I can see to it that my children feel His love and grow in His word in their lives, having the foundations for their own relationship with Him. I can make the best possible decisions I can TODAY, for the life I hope to live in Him.

Sitting idly by and thinking “what’s the point if there are no guarantees” never did anybody any good. If we all did that we would still be sitting outside of the Garden wondering what we do now. Faith is a conscious choice, a conscious decision to pursue God, despite not knowing what tomorrow holds or whether we will be rewarded for our faithfulness.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day can bring forth.”
~Proverbs 27:1

Friday, October 5

10 Things My Allume Roomies Need to Know about Me

{I’m joining Brooke McGlothlin’s getting-to-know you link up}

This is just a smattering of the craziness that is me. I like to think I have my own brand of craziness. I’m so excited for the conference, meeting new people, and growing deeper with people I’ve briefly met before.

  1. I may jump out of bed in the middle of the night, thinking that I hear one of my kids crying or someone trying to open our door. Just ignore me…I’ll realize I was hearing things pretty quickly. I’m always on alert….don’t worry, I’m leaving the baseball bat at home {I can sleep closest to the door}.
  2. DSC_0066I have some potentially annoying sleep habits. See that guy? Over there? ---> Yea, he’ll be there with me. Feel free to tease me about it, but seriously do not try and hide him on me. Unless you want to see a grown woman have a freak-out session. I sleep with a sound machine (it sounds like a fan running)….I’m really hoping that this doesn’t drive any of you nuts. I have to sleep on the right side of the bed (when you’re in it).
  3. I guess I’ll be fighting Mandy for the shower at night. I promise I am not a lengthy shower-taker, I am used to showering with 4 kids in there with me. Then again I might enjoy being able to wash my hair without getting soap in someone’s eyes.
  4. I have a crazy-long bed time routine: Bathroom, drink, hand lotion, chapstick, lights out. Oh and sometimes there is some book reading or pinterest-surfing, which means I then have to repeat the process. Seriously, it takes me about 20 minutes to get ready for bed. My husband always gives me a hard time about it.
  5. I’m going to be seriously missing my husband and kids: I’ll probably have a smidge of homesickness…especially come Friday night. I haven’t been away from my husband, overnight, in 5 years. I haven’t been away overnight from my kids since they were born (well other than their NICU stay), and never more than one night since Ave was born.
  6. When I’m nervous around new people I have a really annoying habit of talking way too much about myself. I have no idea why, but this is one thing that has been on my mind constantly and I am praying about for the conference.
  7. Chocolate. I love chocolate. Oh, and nutella. I have no problem with downing either one late at night. Or pizza….love that too.
  8. I bought pajamas, just for this conference. Now, before you go thinking I’m a nudie-patootie at night…I’m not. It’s just that all of my pajamas were to the point of being rags and I figured I’d spare you all from that.
  9. My husband says I snore, but I adamantly deny this. I’m not sure how he even knows this as he is always asleep before me and sleeps like a rock.
  10. You can bet that I’m going to be really shy and self-conscious. Don’t worry it’s not you, it’s most definitely me.

*Disclaimer: I will try and keep my most annoying habits to a minimum, but cannot promise that I will be able to avoid them entirely, as I am rather OCD. My OCD’ed-ness comes out even more at bed time, because if I don’t follow my routine I have a hard time going to sleep.

Thursday, October 4

Do you own your faith?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

The other day I posted about where one's faith comes from. For myself, that's my grandfather, he allowed me to hash things out, without fear of being accused of blasphemy. Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouse

Which of course got me thinking: Do I OWN my faith? Not necessarily whether I have faith or not or whether I practice what I preach, but do I draw it toward myself, make it a part of myself. Do I live my life in a way in which others see my belief in Jesus, leading a life that exemplifies and glorifies Him. And for the record, let me just say that I fail, miserably, at this.

I think for many beliefs are handed down to them from their parents or whomever and just accepted because that is what was expected. It was just a passing along of a gift, without ever opening that gift themselves.  I don't know about you, but the gifts I get to rip open myself are usually a lot more fun, but no less meaningful, than the ones I just have handed to me.

While it was my Opa who helped me along the path to Christ, it is something that I've had to come to on my own. For many people there is a defining moment, or series of moments, in which they realize, or don't, that Jesus died for them, that He truly cares for them, that He has a profound and deep impact on their life.
For me, that was dealing with Matt's back and infertility within the first year of our marriage.

While I had my faith before, it was those years of blackness that drew me to the Cross, to my knees before God. We didn't know which end was up, we didn't know if Matt's back would ever be whole. We didn't know if we would ever have kids; if we would be able to afford our bills, let alone infertility treatments or adoption.

In some ways I do think I own my faith, for myself at least. I am able to approach God with my petitions and thoughts and feel that He will take care of them in some way. Even if I don't like how He answers my prayers, that he does use all for His glory. For us, He he has taken care of us through so many more difficult and trying things, than anything we're going through now. I certainly don't always understand the whys or hows, but I do believe He WILL.

So what exactly do I believe then?

I believe that there is a loving, almighty God, that actually cares about me and my life. That this existence is not totally random; that we don’t live our life, die and that's it. I believe that we have a purpose here and the people who truly figure that purpose out AND act upon it, to His glory, are incredibly blessed.
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer". 
~ Matthew 21:22
I believe that not everyone will get into Heaven, that just by being "good people" or even saying we believe in God, but still go about our OWN business, we won't receive an automatic PASS to eternity with Him.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."
~ Romans 1:21

I believe that He is a loving and merciful God, but just as we love our children we punish and discipline them, our Father will punish and discipline us, perhaps not here and now, but at judgment. We will have to answer for our faults, our mistakes, our dis-allegiances to Him and what He has asked of us, we will have to suffer the consequences of living a life for ourselves and our own selfish desires. He will not be mocked or made a fool of.

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."
~ Revelations 3:19

The question still stands....Do you OWN your faith? Do you make a daily and conscious effort to not only have, but GROW a relationship with the Lord? Do you live a life to His glory and not your own?

None of it is easy, and I certainly know that I fall short of being worthy of His glory, as all do. But, yes, my faith is my own, my belief is my own. It is not something that I believe because it's been handed down to me, or something that I've just blindly accepted, never questioning and discovering for myself. I have experienced His faithfulness and love, I have felt His comforting hand on my brow, I have known He loves me and cares for me, as no one else on this earth can.

I know that He is my God.

Monday, October 1

Where do you come from?

Other posts in this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

I've been thinking about my faith a lot lately. Not so much what I believe or why I believe it, but HOW I believe. A lot of the time I feel like a fraud. On the surface I'm a Christian, on the inside I'm a Christian, but am I really? It's been a while since I've had 5, 10, 15 minutes to sit down and actually read the Bible for myself. Even when I had time it certainly wasn’t a priority.

I'm frequently in thought with the Lord. I carry on a mental dialog with Him during the day and before sleep comes I have an “off-loading” with Him about how things went, what could've gone better, what's coming up tomorrow, and what and who are weighing on me. But does that make me a Christian?

I'm going to the Allume conference in the fall, which is for CHRISTIAN WOMEN BLOGGERS: Is that me? Am I real enough, devout enough, authentic enough, intentional enough to even be attending such a thing? God is certainly not my default response to anything in my life.

So back to my first question: Where do you come from? Or more accurately, Where does your FAITH come from?
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
I've never NOT gone to church; no, I haven't been there EVERY Sunday, but I've always been attending a church. Growing up it was mass confusion: I was baptized in the Lutheran church, attended a Presbyterian, then a non-denominational, then a Baptist church. Now, I attend an Episcopal church.

My dad didn't start going to church with us until I was older, then we switched to a new church when I was 16 and I just really never felt at home there. Then once Matt and I started dating {I was almost 18} I would go with him and his family to the church we now attend.

We didn't have family devotional time or prayer time growing up, we didn't really discuss Faith and Jesus and God. We said grace and our prayers at bed time, but that was about it. I think my own parents were really only coming into THEIR faith when I was a teenager, and even then it was only their beginning.

The odd thing is: When I was 14 or so I wanted to be a pastor. Don't ask me where that came from: I have no idea. Obviously I'm not a pastor, but at that age I so wanted to write sermons that would call people to Christ, to know His Love, and redemption. I guess, in someway, that is what I would like blogging to become for me.

My faith didn't really come from my parents. So where did it come from?

Looking back I would have to say my {maternal} grandfather, Opa. Some of my first memories are going to church with him and sitting in on his Sunday School class when we visited. I don't remember much, just being there.

Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouseAs I got older my Opa and I would talk. With him I could discuss my questions, my issues with being a Christian, my problems with the church’s hierarchy and traditions {which I still have major issues with}, without worrying about being told I was wrong. I could say things such as I believed that the process of evolution exists, but not that we come from apes, without fearing that he would brow-beat me for saying such things.

His love, his life, was more of an example to me about being a Christian, about following Jesus, than anything else. If anything, my faith comes from him. He allowed me to question without condemnation, he allowed me to talk through what I did and did not understand. He was my "Rabbi". 

With him there was no fear, on his part, that my questions would lead to renouncing God or Jesus. There was just open acceptance that we do have questions, and in having those questions we can seek answers, and through those answers come to know Christ better.

Where is this path leading me? Who will I touch? How I will I shape my children and their faith? Where is my faith going? Those are the REAL questions aren’t they?

Saturday, August 4

Hi! My name is….

Jessica, Jess, Jesse, Mommy, Osica, Pumpkin, Fezzik (my sister calls me that – I didn’t know what it was from until last year, when I watched Princess Bride for the first time), Jessica Margaret Mackelaney Millpro Beckmann (what my dad called me as a kid). Lots of different names for one person, huh?

* While in the blogging world I am know as “Jess”, the only people in real life who call me that are my friends and family (which I guess is what I was thinking when I decided on that), and only a select few call me “Jesse” (or as I always preferred “Jesse like a boy” – which is what my best friend calls me).
But don’t be surprised if I introduce myself as Jessica, in person.
You guys can call me any of those.

* In school all of my best friends (at various times) were named Jessica. I guess that is what happens when you were born in 1982 and the most popular name was Jessica (there were 5 in our class of 87 people, plus 3 “Jesse”s).

* My parents were originally going to name me Nicolette….which I liked growing up because NO ONE was Nicolette, but now I really am glad that isn’t my name.

* I insisted that my name be changed, when I was around 10 or 11, much like my favorite literary red-head {Anne of Green Gables…I think I declared my name change before I had actually read the books though}.
The name I wanted “Victoria Anne”….so elegant isn’t it  :-P

* Since no one in my family would call me Victoria, I amended my name to be Jessica Victoria Anne Margaret.

Names are funny things. It's pretty much guaranteed that SOMEONE else in the world will have the same name, but we’re still entirely different and despite that God still knows OUR name…not the name our parents gave us, but a name only He has for us, each of us our own, His own. <----CLICK TO TWEET How cool is that?!
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine…” Isaiah 43:1
Do you like your name? Did you ever want to change your name? To what?

Wednesday, June 20

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis

Last night I had the good fortunate to be blessed by meeting up with some of my Ladder Blogger Ladies for dinner. Oh what fun we had! I had never met any of these wonderful ladies until last night, except for the instigator leader of the group, my friend, Trina, whom I haven’t seen in at least 10 years {and only reconnected with her by chance via facebook….you see, last I knew she was still living in a tipi and didn’t have a computer, so I never thought she’d actually be online}.
We had a great time. We discussed a lot of different things regarding our blogs, the future of our blogs, different books, our faith and a whole lot of non-sense (such as…I found out that one of the ladies husband used to go to our best friend’s church). It was a great time to get prepped for the Allume conference in the fall, since I think we’re all going to it. Unfortunately, some of the NY ladies weren’t able to attend, as well as the ones from across the country, but we were able to video chat with them for a few minutes.
LB Panera dinner
Everyone was so gracious and sweet, especially since I seemed unable to stop talking last night (must’ve been the rare adult interaction)—Sorry about that ladies.
It was a lot of fun…and hopefully we can manage to do this soon, or at least once a year.

Wednesday, February 29

Taking on the Beast that is Shyness

Growing up you wouldn't have pegged me for being shy, just ask anyone who knew me. I was loud, to the point that I probably was obnoxious. At least looking back I think of myself as obnoxious. I listened to loud music, said really weird and crazy things, and said and did things that made me seem tough (but not in the tough-guy sense, just in the sense that nothing people said or did could hurt me).

My philosophy was to make fun of myself and put myself out there before anyone else had the chance to call me on the spot or otherwise draw attention to me. I felt that if it was me doing it I was at least in control.

As an adult I'm really rather the opposite. I'm still very shy, but I now avoid any situation that would draw attention to myself. I'm most comfortable staying at home or with family. I don't feel comfortable meeting new people. I always talk way too much, say things that I end up rethinking, and in general end up feeling like people, for the most part, would rather have not met me.

In spite of this I think I'm going to a Christian blogging conference. Me, who has only met 4 people that I know from online, is going to a blogging conference. Me, who is EXTREMELY quiet, shy, and reserved about her faith is going to a Christian blogging conference. Of course, this comes with it's own set of issues, beginning with transportation and lodging.

On top of being shy...I'm also a bit of a control freak. I have to do things certain ways, like have my own car, have my sound machine at night, etc etc. For me, it's really a lot easier to stay home, but I'm really feeling that I have to go to this conference. I'm not sure how things will be managed on the home front with me gone for 3 days or where the money is going to come from to foot the bill for my lodging and gas, but I think I'm going to go.

Now, I'm asking all of you to pray for whomever, if anyone, I end up carpooling and rooming with. But Allume 2012...HERE I COME! Tickets go on sale March 1st...let me know if you're going!