A few weeks before The Relevant Conference, I found out that they were looking for contestants for a talent show. They said, “BRING IT.” So, I immediately assigned my family the job of figuring out what, exactly, I could do for the talent show.
We were all stumped.
Ryan looked at me and said, “Why don’t you just go and enjoy yourself?” (See, this guy knows that I volunteer for everything. In truth, my real name is Ms. Jane Participates, I just go by Laura for anonymity. He also knows that I usually beat myself up afterward – no matter what. “Why’d I SAY that?!” “Why’d I DO that?!” And this guy wanted me to receive the gift that God had given me in a sponsored ticket, and just breathe.)
So, I went to The Relevant Conference with open arms and an open heart.
Little did I know, they would be filled to overflowing.
I’m talking a cornucopia, my friends. From women who were, otherwise, complete strangers.
First, let me brag about my talented roommates.
When I walked into our hotel room, there was a pile of gifts on my pillow. So I Married a Mennonite (yes! she was my roommate!) brought delicious goodies from her home town; Like a Steady Rain gave a beautiful bracelet from her Twenty6 etsy shop, and Happy Brown House gave me my first MONOGRAMMED coffee-cozy. I was bewildered by their thoughtfulness.
Sponsors like Tommy Nelson and Family Matters handed out wonderful, wonderful products that we hope to review and let you know about soon.
AND, get this, Our Daily Chocolate reached into her bag and pulled out a pair of cream dangle earrings that I have been dreaming about since the day I was born. Truly. These earrings are so, so lovely.
Warning: I’m going to show you a picture of them.
You’ll want a pair.
Sally Clarkson gave me all of her books. Shelly Ballestero gave me some natural beauty products. Our swag bag was stuffed with presents. DaySpring drew my name and gave me a beautiful print for our wall.
I took it all personally.
Each gift was perfectly suited to me.
I’m telling you all of this just to marvel, and to give some attention to these generous new friends.
The most amazing thing is, that although all these wonderful, wonderful gifts ministered to my heart, the people, and conversations, and prayers, and hugs, and smiles were infinitely more wonderful… and perfectly suited to me.
I’m glad I went with open arms.
I had a lot to carry home.