Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:14-16
Hyatt–conference held in.
Last weekend my oldest and I traveled to South Caroline, so that, I could attend the Allume conference in Greenville. It was an amazing experience! But before I tell you about the conference, I want to tell you about how God orchestrated this weekend for my son and I.
A year ago, in October, I began to go through a very difficult period–battling depression. Depression is something I’ve experience off and on for most of my adult life, therefore, when I began to feel myself slipping in again, I was frustrated and loosing hope of ever being free of this affliction. My dearest friend (whom I’ve been friends with since we were both nineteen) suggested I read a little book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I took her advice, bought the book, and began to read. The book was amazing! Ann explains how having a spirit of thanksgiving (counting gifts) will lead to joy.
I did begin to count, but God was using this particular bout with depression to bring me to my knees. I had been on the hamster wheel of life going through the motions, yet not really living. I was heavily involved in serving in many capacities and the Lord had been telling me for about two years I needed to slow down. However, I hadn’t been obeying what He wanted me to do. I feared man and what others would think, if I stepped out of serving, more than I feared God.
During this difficult period of time I began sensing that God wanted me to start blogging. I didn’t know the first thing about blogging, I hadn’t even read a blog before this period of time–that’s one of the ways I knew it was from God. I was obedient to God’s request–got books on how to blog, asked my husband for help, and wrote my first post November 24, 2012. I also began counting gifts which became my lifeline, but I still wasn’t ready to surrender my volunteering roles. Two weeks prior to Christmas the depression became so overwhelming that I obeyed God and resigned in all areas of serving other than my family.
That was one of the most difficult periods of my life, but I’m so grateful to God for allowing it. I began to rest and to get strong again. This last year God has taken me on a journey that I could have never dreamed of. He has been showing me the plans He has for me and I am amazed. James tells us “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27. This blog is a way for me to inform the world about the least of this, to give them a voice. I will be posting in the near future about a ministry called The Exodus Road. It a ministry that helps rescue women from human trafficking.
I also hope this blog is an encouragement to all who stop by. It gives me great pleasure to brighten someones day or give them hope.
Exodus Road Ministry
God gave me the word Slow this year and in the slow I’ve seen God. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10.
When I began to blog, I discovered a conference everyone seemed to be going to, in the blogging world, called Allume. I had much to learn about blogging so I went to the Allume website just to see where, when, and how much it would cost to attend. I was amazed again when I discovered the conference was being held in Greenville, South Carolina, the very town my best friend (since age nineteen and the very one who recommended the book One Thousand Gifts) lived in. She and I have done life together for over twenty years and being in two different states doesn’t afford us much time to see one another. Wow–a best friend to visit, a place to stay, and a son who could help drive/visit his friend while I was at conference (my friend’s son). It could be no other than God.
The trip form my home to Greenville is a little over nine hours. God delighted both myself and my son with the most spectacular fall foliage as we drove through the Smokey Mountains–just stupendous.
The conference was fabulous! It was one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to. Marvelously decorated, good food, wonderful speakers, lots of fun things to bring home, and I met some very nice women and men.
Many responsible for putting on the conference.
Ann Voskamp–Her message we need to shine like stars!
Anthony Evans–Awesome man of God and singer!
We are to shine like stars! Our dreams are not something that needs to be put on a shelf until a time, when we have time, to pursue them. Our dreams are placed within our hearts by God, they are His dreams, dreams He wants us to live out. If you don’t know what that dream is, ask God, He will let you know. It’s that thing that makes you feel alive…that thing that your passionate about.
Don’t be stopped be feeling like their are already enough people doing whatever your dream is, don’t worry there won’t be a place for your dreams. God created the heavens and the earth, He’s big enough to make room for all our dreams.
We need to link arms for the Kingdom of God and spur one another on. Don’t be threatened by someone else’s talents. There’s only one of you–unique you–no one else can live out your dreams like you. So what are we waiting for? Lets shine like stars for the Kingdom of God.
My friend of nineteen years, myself, and my son.
My son, he was pretty wiped out from the weekend.
Count blessings, Kasey