Monday, September 24, 2012

ACFW update


Well, I got in from my flight around midnight, and even though my eyelids are puffy and my thoughts come like their being pulled through a strainer, it has been a fabulous weekend.

We got to celebrate as our wonderful Cindy Wilson was listed as a Finalist.

And spend so much time just chatting together on Friday night (as you could see in the video)

The BEST part of ACFW for me is the relationship-building. Oh my goodness! God has been so good to give me (and many other people here) to create new relationships and renew older ones.

I want to really encourage all of you to keep this point in perspective. Building relationships, especially our spiritual relationship, trumps all the editor/agent appointments, requests, and great pitches.

Rachel Hauck brought attention to the scene in the Bible with Mary and Martha. Martha was working away, taking care of Jesus and his disciples, while Mary sat at Jesus' feet. Martha started complaining, saying "Jesus, I'm over here working away and Mary's just sitting around listening to you." (paraphrase ;-)

What did Jesus say? Something like - "Martha, you are worrried about many things, but only ONE thing is important right now. Mary's found the ONE thing." (again, Paraphrase :-)

What is that One thing?
Jesus - and the relationship we build with him.

Conference can be hectic, crazy, and scary. It can pull your mind and spirit in good directions and bad. But only ONE thing is the most important at the heart of all the chaos.
His Call in your life - His direction of your path - His guidance related to the story written on the pages of your life.

I LOVED meeting my Alley Cats.
I LOVED spending time with fabulous people like Lindsey Harrell and Gabrielle Meyer. Laughing with the marvelous Jeanne T and dosey-do-ing with the MBT gals.
I LOVED having prayers with Beth Vogt and laughing with Tina Radcliffe and Mary Connealy.
But at the end of the day, when you check out of the hotel and are faced with a blank computer screen on the flight home......there is only ONE THING that holds all this together.

btw, thee pic at the top was taken by the fabulous Renee Ann Smith.


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Beautiful, Pepper - and so true!! Thank you!!

Beth K. Vogt said...

Beautifully said, Pepper.

Angie Dicken said...

You are speaking my heart, Pep. I am amazed at how much God blessed me with friends on this journey!! You are right, more than the success of editor and agent appointments, I treasure the wonderful times with you ladies. And I am also excited to deepen new friendships next year! I love you!!!!!

Unknown said...

Pepper, what a great blog to get us moving forward from ACFW. I can't tell you what delight and a blessing it was to meet you, Mary, Casey, Angie, Ashley, Sherrinda, Julia, and Krista (did I forget anyone?). Oh my, you ladies made my first ACFW rich! Thanks!

Gabrielle Meyer said...

Pepper!!!! You're so right. My greatest blessing this week was meeting all of you. I was overcome at EVERY worship service when I listened to almost 700 other writers around me, praising God, seeking His will, listening to His heart, desiring to serve with His words. C.S. Lewis said it best: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

Sherrinda Ketchersid said... was such a blessing to be surrounded my beautiful, talented, Jesus-loving women like the Alley Cats and their friends. And truly, it is our love of The One that makes our friendships so awesome!

Ashley Clark said...

I feel the same way about all of you! Spending time with you all was SUCH a pleasure, and I feel like God really renewed my vision over this weekend to focus on the things that are most important. I loved what you said about Mary and Martha because I tend to do that... always fuss over little details... when all God has really called us to is the next step, you know? So glad to have all of you on this journey! :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

If someone were to ask me what the highlight of the conference was, I'd say that God met me there...and also, that I got to meet all of you wonderful people! I truly felt like I was coming home. So overwhelmingly awesome.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oh! Great pics and I'm so glad the experience was wonderful for you. It's really cool that, even not being there, I still got to fellowship with conference goers and feel God's presence, like He was connecting me to the whole thing. I love the Alley Cats!

Amy Matayo said...

I had the best time getting to know so many of you this week! It helps me to remember that even though writing is awfully lonely at times, y'all are out there doing the same thing as me during the week. The yearly get-together always comes at the right time! God bless and I can't wait until next year!!

Krista Phillips said...

Amen Amen and AMEN!

I'd wrestled for a long time if this was "my year" to return to ACFW post Annabelle... was it too soon? Was I crazy?

But it was EXACTLY what I needed. I NEEDED to have fun with my sweet (albeit a bit crazy) alleycats! And I NEEDED to "rededicate" my writing to Jesus and just to do a bit of a "restart"

Yup, that is what it was for me.

It's like you computer that gets sluggish and blah and just not working well... you need to delete those cookies (HA) and restart before you freeze and get the blue screen of death.

ACFW was my much needed restart!

Pepper said...

Hey everyone!

Been at work all day - and foggier in the brain than usual- but so glad to see all you happy folks here at the Alley!

I remember most of it ;-)

Pepper said...

Missed you THIS MUCH - and more!

Oh what a blessing to have had the opportunity to meet you last year, but when we all get together....
Whew.... what an AMAZING TIME!

Pepper said...

Thanks, Beth.
Words can't express what a blessing you are!

Pepper said...

NO memory this weekend was greater than the time I shared with The Alley Cats. This weekend only confirmed the special bond God's given us as a group of friends.
It was God-made candy for this world

Pepper said...

You were SUCH a delight to meet! Oh how sweet!

Thank you for spending time with us and sharing your sweet personality. It was such a blessing

Pepper said...

Meeting you and Lindsey touched such a deep place in my heart.

You ladies are remarkable. May God bless your writing.

Pepper said...

Sherrinda and Ashley,

Julia M. Reffner said...

Wow, this post brought a tear to my eye. You are so right that this was the highlight, the relationships, the praying together, the goofiness. I am rejoicing and praying for the time God will allow us to have 10 Alley Cats in one room! Missed you bunches, Cindy and Karen! Loved meeting you, Jeanne, Lindsay, Gabe...Love my fellow AC's. Truly you gals are chocolate for the heart.

Anonymous said...


Casey said... sad that's over! But so incredibly grateful for the fact that I got to spend so much time with my Alley Cats. ♥

Keli Gwyn said...

I loved getting to meet many Alley Cats in person for the first time and seeing others again. You are one awesome group!