Category Archives: Allume

31 Days of Finding God – DARE {Allume Friday}

Thank you for joining me in my series 31 Days of Finding God. Each day I am going to use a prompt from Kate and incorporate that into how I am finding God in my everyday!

What is even more fun is that I am blogging with many of my FMF sisters today live from Allume! To say I feel pretty blessed is an understatement, last year was my first experience and it was a blast…see below!!

Allume Fun 2013

Today’s prompt is Dare!

I am not even sure what day it is today. It has felt like a whilrwind experience here at Allume thus far. So filled with community and laughter, I have cheeks that ache from smiling.

It is wonderful.

Tonight after the wonderful dinner and keynote speaker we went to the “after party” and they had dancing.

Normally I don’t dance. I mean really, it isn’t pretty folks.

But I am telling you that tonight the music was old 80’s/90’s style and I figured what the heck?!

So Gindi, Christine, Delonna, Elise, Kim and I threw caution to the wind and dared to dance.

I think there were pictures taken, I am pretty sure if they appear online I WILL be embarrassed. It was hot and my feet hurt now but every single moment was worth it.

So often I sit on the sidelines because I am too afraid to take that leap and just be crazy. I decided that I did not care what anyone else thought about me…even if I didn’t have the rocking dance moves.

Tonight I was reminded that the dance is beautiful. (Maybe not the reality of the actual dance) but the act of throwing caution to the wind, daring to get wild and maybe a little sweaty and have fun.

I needed this time with my tribe. Time to connect and refresh, and time to jump around, jump around, jump up, jump up and get down! 😉

Have you dared to dance recently…I promise if you do you won’t regret it!

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FMF Party

In Him, Kristin

31 Days of Finding God – AWAY (Some Allume Pre-Conference Fun)

Thank you for joining me in my series 31 Days of Finding God. Each day I am going to use a prompt from Kate and incorporate that into how I am finding God in my everyday!

Allume 2013 Today’s prompt is Away!

In a week from tomorrow I am heading on a little vacation of sorts – I am going away to Allume!! And the best part about all of it is that I will get some time to fellowship with some of the most amazing women I know.

Allume 2013

Women that get me, that pray for me and my family…women that encourage and laugh with me. Women that I didn’t really know even 2 years ago that have now become fast friends.

Holley and I!

Yep, I getting away. Leaving on a jet plane from an airport I haven’t been at in years, and never alone….so I am a bit nervous about that but for the most part I can’t wait to get away and surround myself with these beautiful women!

So in the interest of a little fun I thought I would share some of my best tips for enjoying a conference like this and how you can get the most out of your time away!!

1) Share a room! Last year I shared a room with several women and at the time I didn’t really know any of them really well. Yes it was scary at first, but these women have become some of my best friends and except for 1 new addition this year (yay Mandy!!) we are all rooming together again!

2) Bring a power strip and an extension cord. As is typical at a writer/blogger conference, most everyone has a cell phone and a computer…possibly an iPad so lots of spaces to charge your devices is helpful. Bring a power cord so there isn’t a shortage, and I brought an extension cord so that i could use my curling iron in the room easier. (Have you ever noticed that IF there is an extra mirror in the room that there isn’t an outlet nearby!

3) Pack layers. I am cold by nature so I always pack several layers. I would rather be able to take a sweater/jacket off than sit freezing all weekend.

4) Be flexible! I went last year with a lot of “must do this” ideas…and quite frankly when I got there so many of those went out the window and were replaced with time for laughter and fellowship. The keynote speakers were great and the breakout sessions were as well, but nothing topped spending time with friends in community.

5) Spend time connecting with a cause that you love. Last year my plan for attending Allume was to grow my blog, and get tips for building my platform. And what I walked away with was a heart to give more, give back to others. What a gift that was for me. Realizing that it isn’t all about me, but more about what God can use me for in His greater purpose, for His glory….well that was life altering!

6) Give yourself the ability to take breaks. 450 women around for 3+ solid days can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are an introvert like me! If you need to steal away to your room for awhile, it’s ok!! I missed a session last year because of a bit of a stomach ache…but Mel and I got some quality time together just hanging out in the room – priceless!

7) Don’t be afraid to talk to someone you don’t know! We are all in the same boat, women who likely feel a little nervous and unsure…if you see someone alone – approach them, take time to get to know them. On the shuttle to the hotel last year a women recognized me and knew my name. I was surprised but felt such a peace because of her warm welcome. Debi that will always be a gift you gave to me last year – thank you!!

8) Worship freely. The worship time was a favorite of mine. As someone who grew up in a church that doesn’t have “hand raisers”…coming to a conference where women are worshiping freely can feel a little intimidating. But I can say from experience that giving myself the freedom to worship unashamed, allowed me to just experience God’s presence even more.

9) Attend a meet-up. Last year I attended a couple of different meet-ups. This is an opportunity to meet like-minded women who either participate in a group like Hello Mornings, or blog for a specific cause. This year the God-sized Dream website team is hosting a meet-up!! All the details can be found here, but if you are a dreamer and want to join us we would love the opportunity to pray for you and will you!!

10) Bring a LARGE suitcase. Let’s just be honest here, packing light just doesn’t happen. Even when I am trying to pair down my shoes or my jeans…5 days away (I am flying in on Wednesday and out on Sunday) is a lot and a small suitcase just won’t cut it. And with all the amazing swag that you go home with, and all the vendors that will be available to purchase from…you are going to want the space. Trust me on this one! My bag weighed EXACTLY 50 pounds going home last year. All God that I wasn’t over!

I have been waiting for Allume since last year, and counting the weeks down since I saw my GSD girls in Houston in April. Getting away, even for a short time can just rejuvenate the soul! Are you attending Allume? What is your favorite thing to do to get away, even if it is for a short time?!

If you are attending please let me know – I would love to connect while we are there! 🙂

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In Him, Kristin

Art and Worship

Art

“You are an artist by design” Emily Freeman

On Saturday night at Allume we had our last dinner/speaker/worship time.  Emily Freeman was speaking about the artist in each of us.  She has written a new book called ” A Million Little Ways“.

She encouraged us to see the art in us – the beauty of the art that God created around us. It is everywhere. Can we see it?

She said “Art is moving toward what makes you come alive.”

For some of us that is writing, maybe singing or painting.

What makes you come alive?

Find that thing and pursue it!!

After dinner we went into a time of worship. And can I tell you it was the most moving experience I have ever been a part of.

The music was amazing and I could feel God’s presence in the room. We were celebrating Him!!

But then they also had these women come in that were painters. Each artist had been praying over what they might paint and then the canvases were given away in a random drawing. Mel actually won one and it is an amazing story – seriously I can’t wait until she posts it because it still gives me chills!!

As part of the decorations they had these little blank canvases and some water color paints and colored pencils.  They encouraged us to create art as we felt led.

And so in between standing up and singing and watching the artists create their pieces, I sat down and painted one of my own.

Let me tell you it was NOT easy painting with the tiny brushes we were given and the watercolors…but the music was inspiring and the picture at the top of my post is what I ended up with!

I couldn’t believe it!

It was such a cool experience to feel inspired and creative in that way! I am not sure that I can recreate that environment – but I want to try this painting thing again. I really enjoyed it!!

Yesterday my Elijah asked if I could just stay home with him and his brothers after school and not go back to work.  I asked why and he said he wanted to spend time alone with me. 🙁

When I asked him what he would want to do if we could spend some time together and he said “Paint”!

So this afternoon I stopped out at Walmart and picked up some small canvases, some brushes and a few paints and tomorrow we are going to do art together.

And I will probably crank up the music just a little while we are at it. 😉

What is something that makes you come alive? I encourage you to spend a little time this weekend discovering what that might be!

The Gift of Friendship

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This is Mel.

We met on the God Sized Dream team in January.

Somehow we also ended up in this little “Mastermind” group that was a spinoff of the larger GSD group. There are less than 12 of us in that group so we got to know each other pretty well over the last 9 months.

Then she joined my Hello Mornings Bible study group for a session and she is now co-leading with my other friend Kami this session!

God finds way to bring people together.

This past weekend at Allume we were also roomies and discovered that we are sisters at heart.

I love this woman.

She makes me laugh, she borrows my boots ;), she mails me my computer cord when I have left it in the hotel room.

She is a gift.

Except for the online community – we probably would have never crossed paths. It is all God.

She and her husband were missionaries in Indonesia for 5 years before they had their daughter. She has a passion for others, especially those in other countries. At Allume, Uganda grabbed a hold of her heart.

I will be honest – it stinks not having her closer.

Spending time with Mel and the other girls at Allume gave me a taste of what real community can look like. As much as I wanted to be at home with my family – I didn’t want to loose that connection, that girl time.

I don’t have that here at home and it can be lonely.

But just like my friendship with Karlena, I know that miles do not separate and with social media and Voxer (the greatest invention since sliced bread), it doesn’t feel like she is too far away!

While God impressed on my heart a spirit of giving this weekend He also gave me the greatest gift that I could have asked for.

Mel, you are such a gift to me. I am so grateful that we get to do life together.  I wish it could be over coffee and hot chocolate more often, but since that isn’t possible right now I just praise God for the technology that makes the distance a little more bearable.

I adore you friend. YOU are a gift!

Give

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Allume 2013 is over.

Yesterday I felt a little lost, not having worship time with breakfast, lunch and dinner! What an amazing experience the past 5 days has been.  I went in to this hoping for community and what I found was so much more.

I was worried, just a little, that these God Sized Dream women I had grown to love over the past nine months might not be what I “expected”. What I found was that they were more gracious, more funny, more giving than I had hoped and I was filled with blessings time and time again.

Having the opportunity to do life with them for even a few days has filled my soul to overflowing!

People have asked what it was like, what did I learn? And I have needed to really process everything the past few days. There was so much and I will probably write several posts about what the speakers had to share specifically – I hope you stick around with me for those!!

But the one word that has been turning in my head from this weekend is GIVE.

I believe that God calls us to give. Give to others of our time, our love, our resources. I can hold on to these things so tightly and can be unwilling to share all the blessings God has poured out on me – but He doesn’t call us to be selfish – He calls us to be selfless and generous.

I believe that this is an area that He will be challenging me in the coming days.

We met with and heard from several organizations that work with the needy. It is my plan to feature one of these groups each month.  I believe strongly that it takes very little of my money, time etc., to make a HUGE impact on the lives of the hurting. I feel called to share these with you because it is possible that you, like me, have not heard of several of them.

And If you know of a group or organization that I might feature please email me and we can talk details!!

One of the best parts of the weekend was participating in an impact opportunity. We each chose a group to work with and did different projects. I worked with Sole Hope and I will be posting about them soon. They are amazing and are impacting the lives of so many little children and it is so easy to get involved!! I am hoping to take this to our churches youth group as well!

Giving can be hard.

It means that we have to let go of some of the comforts we have so that we can help change the world. But by giving we CAN make a change.

We have a voice here in the online community. God calls us to use our voices and be a light. The dark places here seem vast and overwhelming – but together, one step at a time, we can share hope to the lost.

Will you join me?

Seek out what God’s calling is in your life – what area He may be calling you to give. Maybe it is the gift of encouragement, maybe you have seen financial success and have excess to share, maybe you have someone in your life you need to forgive and you are ready to give that gift to yourself.

Seek Him.

Be generous.

Give of yourself and I promise that the what you receive in return will life changing!!

And to the women of the GSD team, you gave to me more than I can say. I laughed more than I have in years, I was loved and blessed by each of you and I am humbled by your grace. Thank you to each of you for being so generous with me.

And to the Allume team – WOW. Seriously WOW. As a “newbie” I walked away changed. I know less about how to self promote and more about how to live for God than I thought I would gain from coming. And I am so very glad. This weekend was a game changer for me and I am working to figure it all out I am thanking God for each of you that followed God’s vision for this weekend.

To God be the glory!!

And The Journey Begins….

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A view of the Chicago skyline from my first flight!!

The journey began last night really as I left my family and drove to Sioux Falls to stay with my parents so they could take me to the airport this morning. A journey that started many many months ago when I purchased a ticket to a conference I had heard about.

Allume – or All-U-Me if you ask Dominic 😉

It was a risk really. Trusting that God had something planned for me on this weekend. I felt a heart tug to go. Thinking that it would help me grow my blog and learn more about how to turn this blogging thing into something more.

But as the months counted down leading up to this weekend my heart changed. I started to get to know on a deeper level these women involved in the God Sized Dream Team. Many of them will be there this weekend. We will finally get to hug necks and laugh in person.

I have discovered that these women are “my people”. They pray with me and encourage me. They share deeply and honestly and love me for who I am, mistakes and all. They have given me community and friendship when I felt that lacking so much in my life.

While I am excited to hear the speakers and attend the sessions, even more, I am looking forward to building deeper relationship with these women I have grown to love as sisters.

Yes God has been preparing my heart to really let friends in again, even if it means I might have to give them up.  After losing a best friend almost 3 years ago I have been hesitant to really fill that void.  I didn’t want it to be a replacement, didn’t want to feel like I was letting Karlena go. And to be honest I don’t want to experience that hurt of loss again.

But I now there is no forgetting, or replacing. Karlena still holds a big part of my heart. She is one of the reasons I even had the courage to come in the first place.  I saw it in her first and I know it is now my time to step forward in faith and be brave. To seek God’s plan for my life, even if it is scary!

And I have seen that the value of community and friendship is so great, that it is worth the risk of loss. So my heart has become open to all of it – the good and the bad.

In the next 4 days I anticipate lots of laughter, loads of treats, chocolate and cupcakes and probably even some tears. As so many of us gather to celebrate the God that brought us to Greenville, SC and thank Him for the women He has put in our path.

Yes there is lots to learn, but I have a feeling that it is going to be a lot more heart learning than blog learning for me this year. And I can hardly contain my excitement!

And to all of my friends that can’t be there with us this time. Know you aren’t far from our minds and you will be with us in spirit…and maybe a little in Voxer too. 😉

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