ICRS: the good

Have you missed me? Nahh, I understand. I’m sure you’ve read everyone’s posts now about their fun and amusing times at ICRS. Consider this my eclectic addition.

I almost didn’t make it to the Christy Awards. Patrick and I were on different flights at the same time (booked at different times). He arrived early, before noon. My dear plane had technical problems. I arrived at 5:30. I took an expensive cab to the hotel and threw on my dress.

I didn’t realize how stinkin‘ nervous I’d be. I did eat. I got to see wonderful friends. I enjoyed hugging so many cool people. I especially enjoyed meeting Heather Ivester and her husband face to face as well as Will Samson (Lisa’s husband) who I’d only known cyberly.

When they read the words that were not mine, I knew I didn’t win the Christy. But the winner intrigues me. I hope to correspond with her, as she lives in my hometown/state. Was I disappointed? Yeah. I felt pretty small when they announced, “All the winners come forward for pictures and interviews.” Ack.
Note to Ragamuffin Diva: I wish you were up there.

But here’s the cool thing. God did something in my heart on the way to the awards. I just finished Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne and realized this Christian life is more about mercy and justice than it is about personal accolades. It’s about humility, about the deepest issues of our own character. I had the opportunity at ICRS to exercise my character several times. By God’s grace, I got to see that my heart has changed. I’m so thankful for that.

Sunday morning I attended the Zondervan fiction author’s breakfast. After chatting with a marketing guy about my upcoming blog tour, I mentioned Claiborne’s book. The people at the table I sat with spent a lot of time talking about gutsy, real Christianity. I loved it!

I ventured, along with my husband Patrick, to the Harvest House authors brunch. I got to meet reps from Australia, the UK, and South Africa. I was blessed to hear Building the Christian Family You Never Had was well-loved in South Africa!

After that I had the privilege of hearing Brennan Manning speak. Wow. God showed up.

That evening I spent time at the Harvest House author’s dinner (yep, I ate a lot!) at these amazing botanical gardens. I loved talking to Susan Meissner, who is dear, dear, dear to me. I loved talking to Suzie Eller and Cec Murphey too. Harvest House had a wonderful choir come. I could’t help but stand up, away from my awesome dessert, and sing and praise God.

Monday was a blur, to be honest. I was privileged to have Sandi Glahn as my roommate. She made the time at ICRS a blessing. We ran into each other at strategic times and then discussed our days in the evening. I enjoyed a nice breakfast meeting with fellow CAN members, had some wonderful one on one meetings, and met with a few Writers View members too. I briefly attended the ACFW dinner, but left early to go out with several fun friends.

Tuesday I met with my editor for a very good talk about fiction and editing. I had a lovely lunch with the Hearts at Home ladies. Jill Savage said, “Don’t talk about publishing. I want to know how YOU are doing.” So we sat and talked and prayed about our lives–a bright spot, to be sure. I had a wonderful dinner with the Eagars, chatting about marketing stuff and life.

Wednesday is a day I’ll post about in my next post. A little hard. Well, a lotta.
Even so. Even so. Even so. There is always this truth: God is good. He sees. He is sovereign. He is amazing. He is lovely. He is more concerned with my heart (and yours) than He is about sales and glitz and faces on the sides of buses at ICRS. Praise Him for that! Amen.
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