This is my eighth day back from Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat (Andalusia, AL). After a crazy quarter, I’m allowing my body and spirit to just breathe in the peace of a new home–we had to move three months ago unexpectedly because of a neighbor–and quiet stillness (I spent a month with my grandchildren: my five-year-old drama queen granddaughter, my five-month-old grandson who bears the name of my beloved father, and my daughter’s beautiful boys before and after she gave birth to her third son under five, a rainbow baby named Simon. It was non-stop physical demands. And a lotta love. A Christian writer is always looking for love…
Babies Bring Everything into Focus
Whoever can’t sense the existence of God after witnessing the miracle of a baby being born is pretty heard-hearted. Whoever has written or published a book understands birthing in a whole new way. Just saying.
Also somewhere in this first quarter was a two-week vacation/study tour in Israel, immediately followed by an unexpected trip to Atlanta (my pregnant daughter had pneumonia), immediately followed by surgery for my husband to repair a double hernia.
When you’re well into your sixth decade, that’s a lot. When we push tools, cars, or relationships too hard, they break down. When we live inside a human body, we must understand and nurture its limitations or pay a price.
On the seventh day, God rested.
So this past week I rested a bit. I spent days listening deeply to our Lord, looking for direction in what He wants me to write. I hung a few pictures, worked on my notes and new contacts from the retreat, and prepared to polish a children’s manuscript/proposal for an agent with whom I’d love to work.
The “retreat” is a misnomer. It’s really a full-out writer’s conference on a small scale (90 attendees) and a schedule that’s a little less crammed with activities and workshops than the other conferences I’ve attended. Thank goodness! But I like the insiders joke on the newbies that it will be a restful experience.
If you are a Christian writer…
and have attended only secular writers conferences, please do yourself a favor and go to a Christian Writers Conference or retreat. Search for @FloridaChristianWritersConference on Facebook or check out one of the conferences listed below. Everyone shares! We’re all working to do God’s will and the fearful spirit that someone will steal my work does not find any open doors. Beautiful writers’ souls float in the hallways and sit beside you. Encouragement abounds. Friendships, deep and nourishing, begin to grow. God is praised.
It is well,
It is well with my soul.
Since this first quarter was paced like a thriller novel, my spirit’s grateful for this long-awaited rest. It’s still eager to please God, however, so I’ve been brewing in His grace like a tea bag that must sit quietly in warm waters for a while until the leaves have fully released their goodness. The Holy Spirit’s fire is working on me happily. And I’m warming up to new ideas and genres to write.
I’m full of gratitude for all God’s blessings. How about you? Have you taken a little time to rest your soul? To thank God for all He’s done/doing to and through you? It’s a good day for that.
If you are a Christian writer or seek to know other Christian writers, or wish to join a critique group of Christian writers, I highly recommend Word Weavers. Now with over 60 chapters, we meet monthly to network and critique in a Christian manner that helps us practice how to present to editors and publishers. Check for a chapter near you, or join an online chapter.
Upcoming Christian Writers’ Conferences
Elizabethtown, KY June 20-22, 2019. Includes a teen track www.kychristianwriters.com
Juy 30-Aug. 2, Lancaster, PA
Learn from home. No travel costs. Pitch your script. Learn your craft. Sept. 20-22, 2019
American Christian Fiction Writers
San Antonio, Texas
September 26th-29th, 2019
Southeastern Christian Writers Conference
Oct. 25-26, 2019
Sonrise Baptist Church, Newnan, GA
Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat
Florida Christian Writers Conference. Oct 21-25, 2020
The Florida Christian Writers Conference isn’t the largest one on the circuit, but attendees who’ve been to others find FCWC to be more relaxed, while faculty and offerings take a back seat to none. Floridacwc.net