October 29, 2010

Relevant Aftermath...

Relevant necklace

Relevant 2010 has left me speechless. I've had a bout of digital laryngitis. [Sorry about the silence in here.]

Relevant10 conference
*Photo by Beth at Brew Crew Adventures (click to enter her photo stream at Flickr)

The Relevant Conference was the most amazing gathering of like-minded Christian women and God-breathed messages to process that I could have ever imagined. I intended to go to a blog conference, but my heart, mind and soul were forever altered by the people and the words - the Spirit manifest in that place. [I have chills typing this. There are no words.]

some post authors with Sally Clarkson

I have been getting a few emails asking if we are...

1. alive
2. ok
3. going to ever get around to the reviews that were promised

Rest assured, the answer is yes to all of the above. [We are better than OK, actually - which is what happens when God works on your heart.]


I'll give you a brief update on our little Bee family and share with you a few photos (because I can't NOT share photos). Hopefully your mind will be put at ease if you've been scratching your head about the week-long absence in here. I did have draft guest posts scheduled, but I couldn't even find enough time to get THOSE published in the past few days... and any blog time I have mustered has gone to the Homeschool Post (which is in its busiest season of the year right now - only ONE more day of nominations and then voting in November for the Homeschool Blog Awards).

Relevant10 driving crew

The road trip was memorable (in some ways wonderful, in other ways extremely stressful... and if you've ever taken a 3500+ mile trip in a moving vehicle for 11 days with 4 big people and one 19 month old baby, you'll understand). DC was over-the-top (too much to see and do to ever feel like we accomplished much, but certainly worth the trip - again, not a place I'd ever go back to with a child under 3).

iphone Bee

My daughter - still in undiagnosed back pain - didn't get all her physical therapy 'homework' exercises in during our journey... and has had a few bad days back at home. Her physical therapy training continues. I'm convinced she's just going through a growth thing (I could almost 'SEE' her grow on this trip - I bet she's a half an inch taller since last month). Even though tests show nothing conclusive is wrong, she's convinced she's dying and has the melodrama to prove it. Her big brother is near mental breakdown over having to pick up extra chores - which has strained their relationship and made getting homeschooling done even more difficult than it was before. My prayers are hovering over this area... her pain and their relationship... both of their attitudes and my stress level as I look at the lesson planner in anguish...


I had a few OBGYN concerns that the doctor laid to rest today at my 25 week visit. I look more like a watermelon than a human. Thankfully this baby is lower than the last one, so I can at least breathe and eat without severe heartburn. Even when you can hardly get up the stairs, there are things to praise the Lord for. Looking for my 'silver lining' in every cloud. Not sure how I'll make it to February... but God is already there.

rear-view me

The unpacking is almost complete. The suitcases finally made it to the garage today and the laundry is in various stages depending on what room you pass through. As busy as we have been with early voting, physical therapy and OBGYN appointments, paying bills that were overdue from the past payday that fell during our trip, etc... we have not had time to get the house spic and span or get back to school yet. I'm giving myself a 'get out of guilt free' card and remembering Ann Voskamp's very 'relevant' message: "The state of my space does NOT reflect the state of my soul."

me and Beth with Marshie

As much as I would like to curl up into an introspective little ball and just simmer on all the input I have received over the past week or two, the show must go on. Dinner needs cooking, groceries need gathering, and a lot of people are waiting for voting pages to pop up on the Homeschool Post next week. I hope you'll know that I'm 'here' even if I'm not posting as regular as I usually do.

I'll be putting out the 'urgent fires'. Doing the 'next BEST thing'. Tending to the needs of my family.

First things must come first.

Ann Voskamp's new book '1,000 Gifts'

Ann Voskamp talked about her post she wrote about the mama duck as a closing statement at Relevant. Mama ducks don't line their feathers with scraps of feathers that are already lying on the ground. Those feathers are hard and cold. She takes the softest, warmest feathers from her chest and plucks them out one-by-one to make a nest for her little ones... she gives of herself. If you haven't read this post, click over to the Post and read it. It is one of my very favorites that Ann has ever written. I knew it instantly when she began to read it from the podium at the Harrisburg Sheraton. My minds eye envisioned the artwork she had included with her post ... my heart felt the sting of plucked feathers past and the guilt of having many times gathered a handful of leftovers for my family because I was 'too busy' doing 'good things' for others.

Ann Voskamp

She asked us to silently pray and ask God to reveal to us what we must change so that we can live in the 'Upside Down Kingdom' of Christ-followers... women sold out for Him.

God's message was as clear as a blue Texas sky in June:

First pluck of yourself before you pluck your keyboard, Heather.

So this is what I intend to do. I have no idea how or what that might look like in the long run... but for now, I'm counting my blessings and trusting that God will change the very face of my marriage, my homeschooling, my life and my blog/s.

Wonderful Grace

His vision is always better than mine. I'm so looking forward to seeing it unfold.


Sam said...

Very well said :)

Kimberly said...

Thank you for the beautiful, inspiring update. Be gentle with your older daughter, and yourself, adolescent years are difficult for young women.

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. (Especially with those of us who couldn't be there!)

Unknown said...

Lovely thoughts that resonate so deeply within my own heart friend. I'm so thankful for the (absolutely wonderful- though too short) time we had to spend together.
Glad your OB appt. went well, loved having my babies in Feb.!
Love this post, your pics, love you. I have yet to be able to put anything from Relevant into words... tried today, but couldn't find them (though a needy, sickly 3yo hanging on my most of the day is not very conducive to good writing either... *plucking sighs*)
Blessings sweet friend~

Sisterlisa said...

Well written, Heather. I'm glad you brought up the feathers..She said SO much I couldn't get it all typed out in my notes. I know you have talked about insurmountable emails before and Kat from InspiredToAction gave me a little lesson on getting it all together in a more simplified format..and after I did it..I am now at ZERO every night when I go to bed. I blogged about it here. I hope it helps ya. :)

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I have been silent about Relevant because how can you put into words the changes in your heart, the swelling of your spirit, the growth of... I can't even describe it. Just phenomenal, that's what Relevant was!

I am always so happy when we get to spend time together, Heather. And HOORAY for meeting Beth! I'm totally jealous that y'all got to stay together and hang out together so much! I wish I could've spent more time with y'all but I was trying to be intentional with the time spent with my new roomies, the ones that God had a purpose for bunking me with. :)

I hope M's back gets better. She looks SO tall in that picture! And baby K? *sigh* Completely adorable with eyes that joy that reaches the sparkle in his eyes.

Stacy said...

It sure sounds like you were blessed at Relevant! What a wonderful opportunity for you and your family.

I hope your daughter's back gets better soon. My daughter is also convinced she is dying, so I understand the stress that goes along with that :)

Thanks for linking to Ann's post. I have not read that one yet. Going there now.

Cheryl Pitt said...

Oh, you're coming back to DC. I'm planning a Christian Homeschooling Blogger conference in DC in late spring/early summer. I so hope you can come :) Maybe you ca get an airline to sponsor a flight!

Hodgepodgemom said...

Thank you for the recap. I especially appreciate Ann's quote about the nest for her little ones...the mother duck giving of herself.

This is a beautiful post.

Todd, Tia, & Tyler said...

I love this: "The state of my space does NOT reflect the state of my soul." Is there a blog button with this on it? I'm so glad you had a wonderful time!

Lacy @ Catholic Icing said...

Love this post. Love your photos. You were an absolute hoot in real life! And we live very close to DC, but I have 3 kids ages 4 and under and we don't EVER go downtown. Lol!



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