Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ACFW-Blessings and Lessons

As for me...

I walked away from the ACFW conference blessed, enriched, amazed, overwhelmed, and excited.

I wrote this on the last day of the conference. Sunday. There were no appointments with editors/agents or in-depth classes. No furious notes to scribble on the hotel pad of paper because I couldn't find the spiral in the hotel room shared by three wild alley cats.

We did have breakfast, alley cats tend to function better with food. :) 

But most important, we had worship. We gathered around the tables and worshiped God in song and praise, heard a devotion, prayed then said our goodbyes to friends we only knew from online pictures. 

More than a picture or an online user name, we saw each other as a child of God who desperately wanted to serve Him through written words on page. 

Brandilyn Collins spoke to us about the importance of serving God through our writing as Marys not Marthas.

Karen Ball said, in one of her classes, we are to be about His work and not our own, thinking our Martha work pleases Him. The Mary work He has called us to do brings great blessings.

One of my biggest takeaways from a Christian writers conference is witnessing acts of kindness. Conferees went out of their way to help others with their writing. Some gave up appointments to help others meet with a needed editor or agents We prayed with each other, reminding ourselves the appointment was for God and not us. 

Did we sit idly by hoping God would do all the work for us? Ummm NO. Like Mary we sat attentive to speakers and mentors, we soaked up the instruction. I sat in one of Karen Ball's classes. Moments before my meeting with an editor she happend to give an example appropriate for my pitch. I then applied the information in my meeting. My friend, and sister alley cat, Julia, did the same.

So then,

The blessings rained down from heaven. We shared with each other treasured droplets filling buckets from God, and like children we held our hands out and stood amazed.

God is good.

What blessing has God rained on you?

This blog post is by Mary Vee
Mary lives in Montana with her husband and loves to hear from her three college kids. She writes contemporary Christian fiction with a focus on the homeless population and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website
Step into Someone Else's World
Ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids


Debra E. Marvin said...

It's very clear (though it happens every day in 'real' life) at conference how holy appointments happen all the time. We go to conference with expectations and fears. Will we accomplish all we want, and prove successful in our scheduled events?

Yet, isn't it always that our expectations are always exceeded. The unfortunate changes in our schedules, the people we didn't get to meet are replaced by experiences that bless us. You will see in six months or a year how what felt inconsequential last weekend is now a clear door to your next opportunity. It's amazing!

I can't wait to hear about all the good news you will share. Conference is a great shove forward!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

What a blessing this post is, and what a blessing YOU are! I sooo love your heart. I'm excited to see what God is going to do you with. :)

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

I love that concept of serving God through our writing as a Mary, not as a Martha. I've never thought to apply that story to writing before. Would love to hear more about what the speakers said on this topic. If you remember the names of those sessions - let me know! I'll see if I can order a recording. :-)

Lisa Jordan said...

Mary, I loved meeting you in person at ACFW! Your quick smile and sweet spirit are imprinted in my memory. Your post is such a blessing. Thanks for sharing the nuggets of wisdom you gleaned from your classes.

Unknown said...

Oh Mary, I think I missed meeting you. Sad! But I'm so glad you were blessed during the conference. I, too, just felt overwhelmingly blessed through the whole conference. I love the atmosphere of love and encouragement that covers the attendees. One of my favorite things was seeing people pray together...

Mary Vee Writer said...

Your words ring all to clear. How many times do we walk through our daily lives blinded to divine appointments and escapes from what we thought should be but what would have lead us to failure.

God is ever with us, always protecting and guiding.

I also think that God understands our limitations and is pleased/honored when we finally figure out His blessed hand guided our steps.

Mary Vee Writer said...

For the first time I read your words hearing your Texas accent. I am so glad I saw your face, heard your words and felt your lovely spirit. What a blessing to see you at the conference.
No matter what the outcome of the requests I received, I am excited beyond all words because I have never had requests before. I feel like a toddler who took her first step...all by herself.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I am not sure if the Sunday devotional was taped, but that is when Brandilyn spoke on this topic. Karen spoke on this topic in her Saturday continuing ed session.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Seeing you was like happening across a meeting with my sister in an unexpected place. I immediately recognized you and rejoiced when you won the Carol. My excitement for your accomplishments bubbled over. I feel blessed.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I did see you from afar. You had great opportunities at the conference and spoke with grace. And your role in the MBT skit enhanced the fun. God has taken your testimony and love for Him and blessed your work. I am so excited for you and what God has planned for your life.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

One of my favorite thing about the ACFW conference is the worship, looking around the room knowing so many have been called to write His love and in the moment sing of it.

Good, good stuff.
~ Wendy

Mary Vee Writer said...

So true, Wendy, especially the music and seeing God's work. Wished I could have seen you this year. But I rest in confidence you are following God's leading.

Unknown said...

Mary, I was sooooo glad to finally meet you after reading together and e-mailing all these months. :) What an incredible lady you are. I appreciate your post today. It brings back the joys and highlights from ACFW, as well as the reminders that God's got me. He's working out details for the story He gave me, crafting the plans for how He wants to use it.

I tend to be a Martha-type gal myself. The worship times and devotions gave the opportunity to practice a Mary lifestyle. I need to do some of the work, but I must also know what God's role is in this, and what my role is.

So lovely spending time with you!!

Lindsay Harrel said...

Mary, it was awesome to get to chat with you a little during the conference. You have such a heart of gold!

Just being there and meeting so many like-minded people was a HUGE blessing to me. God used it all the confirm to me that THIS is the path he wants me on.

Mary Vee Writer said...

There is something special about meeting someone in person. We may discover many things online, but until we see the face and hear the voice, we truly miss a lot.
I am thankful I finally connected with you, as well.

The Lord tugged at many hearts, steering and straightening our course. All of which I am thankful.

Mary Vee Writer said...

There is nothing better than a message of confirmation from God. Sometimes the confirmation is to seek another avenue, sometimes it is to step up the pace in a job well done. I am so glad you received a message of confirmation to walk forward in your writing career. I can't wait to see your first book published. Oh, and I'd like a cd as well. Love your singing voice.

Casey said...

God rained on me the blessing of knowing all of you. Truly, I am one blessed, blessed girl and it's because of all of you!

Angie Dicken said...

Good post, Mary!! I think I am going to write about what Karen Ball said, on Monday. It was definitely God- inspired, giving you the words for your appointment, and giving me focus on my calling.
Love you!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Friday night as well as the rest of the conference truly was a treasure. Meeting so many for the first time face to face, only confirmed embedded friendships already formed. I think we all walked away feeling very blessed.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great idea. We already had a request for that in an earlier comment. Glad you can do it.

Keli Gwyn said...

I was blessed to meet many wonderful people at the conference. What an amazing group the members of ACFW are. I enjoyed seeing some of you Alley Cats, if only briefly. You're awesome!

Mary Vee Writer said...

And so are you Keli. I sure loved seeing you there. You smiled so much during the conference, I could tell you had a blessed time.:)