This past weekend I had the honor of joining the amazing Natalie Freeman (of Natalie Creates,) co-hosting an event called
Flourish: a women’s gathering to inspire in northwest Arkansas
This event was one that I had both been looking forward to and anxious about since it’s in inception, hoping that I would be able to do the women and Natalie’s faith in me justice.
First, I had the delight of staying with Natalie and her sweet husband Luke, at their home – Freckled Hen Farm.
If you follow Natalie then you know how cute her home looks on Instagram and let me tell you, in person it does not disappoint. I came home full of motivation to continue working on my own little farmhouse, inspired by Natalie’s warm, thrifty, and gracious style. Her home is a great mix of vintage, industrial, romantic, and farmhouse style. She is a great eye for design and comfort and she and Luke are wonderful host, making me feel so at ease over the course of our weekend.
Saturday morning, almost seventy women gathered together to celebrate the ways that we can all flourish.
We talked about our calls, our vocations, and our gifts, and how the three can all work together in every part of our lives.
We covered little matchboxes to remind ourselves to not waste our energy trying to do life-like anyone else – like Jen, or Glennon, or Natalie, or Joanna. But to instead to only light the fires that fit us uniquely, the fires that will burn brighter and longer because they are authentic to who we are, not who we wish we were.
And then we made adorable wreathes (I just LOVED seeing what each gal created,) to hang in our homes, inspiring us to flourish right where we are – in our homes, in our jobs, in our families.
I think I can speak for Natalie and say that the event completely exceeded both our expectations – we both were just so amazed by the warmth that the women shared with us, and we had such a blast working together.
After the amazing morning Natalie took me to a local restaurant where I had the BEST sandwich of my life, no lie. We were both so happy and exhausted, that once our bellies were full it was nap time. And boy did I nap.
Sunday morning I had the wonderful privilege of teaching at Vintage Fellowship, sharing about how we can live out our faith at home in relevent ways, making room for our kids questions, and connecting our stories to the stories of those who have come before us.
After the service and a yummy potluck (I love potlucks – especially when there are meatballs involved!) we did some crafting so that the Vintage families would have some tactile items to take home and begin celebrating their faith together.
I just love this faith community and the work they are doing to be an authentic, experimental, creative, giving community. So grateful for time spent in their fold this weekend.
Friday morning before I went to Fayetteville I was having a good dose of anxiety about both events – not for any rational reason, but because I always wonder what in the world I could possibly have to say that anyone would want to hear. And then I worry that I will make a fool of myself. So I used some choice words to tell God just how I felt about being in this situation. Again. And then I layed down on my bed and kicked my feet just like a five-year old, and growled in frustration at myself. And then, just like a worn out toddler, I stopped. And I waited. And then, I got up, put on my big girl panties, took a deep breath and some herbal xanax, and got on with things. And somehow, Saturday when I opened my mouth to speak, some really great things came out. Things I needed to hear for myself. And the same was true on Sunday.
People laughed, people cried, people nodded their heads like they GOT IT. And I was blown away.
And I was inspired. To keep going. To keep traveling this road of speaking and writing, even when I doubt that anyone will care.
Because the truth is, I have things to say. Maybe they aren’t sexy things, or trendy things, or hot-topic things.
But they are the things that are changing my life. And maybe my story can speak some good things into your story. And vice versa.
So here is to 2016. A year of flourishing in my calling, my vocation, and my gifts. To embracing them instead of apologizing for them. And to remembering to take the herbal xanax when needed.
(and huge thank you Natalie and Vintage for reminding me of why I agree to these things in the first place – they bring me such life!)