To Go or Not To Go {She Speaks, Allume, and Other Great Conferences}

“I think you should go.” That was all Jeff said.

“But we need a new refrigerator,” I argued.

“The fridge has lasted this long. It can last another year,” he reasoned.

“You can’t know that for sure. What if it stops working altogether? Before next year’s Christmas bonus?”

“We’ll worry about the fridge breaking down when it breaks down. You should go.”

Jeff and I have had this same conversation for a few years in a row.

Last year, it was the fridge. The year before that, it was the transmission in our mini-van. Before that, I can’t remember. But I’m sure it was something.

Whenever I read blogs and hear blogging friends rave about a conference they’ve just attended, I always think, “Maybe next year.”

The truth is, I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually been away from my family overnight. It’s just not that easy to get away. Whenever an opportunity arises, I find myself rehearsing the same lines:

It costs too much money.
And who will care for the kids while Jeff is at work?

So with each passing year, I read about a conference online, and I contemplate which writing sample to submit for critiquing. But in the end, the same excuses win out.

And another year goes by.

Until last year.

I finally attended Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference with my dear friend (and favorite librarian) Liz. And I’m so glad I did. What a privilege it was to spend nearly a week together. We shared a cabin and meals — and we talked late into the night about the things we learned at the various workshops that day.

After returning home, I spent the next several weeks reflecting on everything I experienced. And I knew from then on, I would make every effort to attend more conferences.

So this year I’m attending She Speaks, which focuses on ministering to women through the local church and through speaking and writing. I signed up for the speaker track.

I’m also attending Allume, which focuses on blogging and ministering through social media.

Conferences are not only great learning opportunities, (and Learner is one of my strengths), but conferences are also wonderful opportunities for building memories with old friends and meeting new ones.

If you’re ever looking for a writer’s retreat, I highly recommend the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. It’s more than just a conference. It’s a writer’s retreat and spiritual retreat all in one.

The grounds are beautiful, with paths that crisscross the landscape, inviting attendees to explore the mountainside. My favorite part of the whole week was the afternoon I slipped away for a long quiet walk, taking in the beauty of God’s creation.

* * * * *

And if you have the opportunity to attend either She Speaks or Allume this year, let me know. I’d love to meet you there!

Do you have a favorite conference you love to attend?

6 thoughts on “To Go or Not To Go {She Speaks, Allume, and Other Great Conferences}

  1. Pingback: Perspective | Denise J. Hughes

  2. Maybe next year…that’s what I keep saying. But I’m trying to look at it a different way, instead of letting it get me down. When the time is right for me to attend, I trust that God will open those doors for me.

  3. Wooohooo!! I am going to Allume and I get to meet you! Looking forward to giving you a hug in person! Keep writing, friend. Your words feed many souls and lead them back to the greatest Wordsmith of all time, our Father.

  4. Omagoodness! I was just looking at the Allume site yesterday, talking myself out of going! Too late, you’re too old, you won’t fit in, blah, blah, blah. And I even have the money for it in the bank, it’s within a 4-hr drive of where I live, and my son lives in Harrisburg, almost within walking distance! Thought I’d laid that to rest (ha ha), but now you’ve got me rethinking!

    (Just read this to Husband. He says, “Stretch yourself… You tend to lean to the side of reticence…” I asked, is this a “God-incidence?” He said, “Could be… Pray about it.” I shall.)

    God bless you! I’ve missed seeing new posts this week. I so enjoy your writing!

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