I had the privilege of attending the Allume conference for Christian bloggers this past weekend, and it was just as wonderful as I remember it (back when it used to be the Relevant Conference). A little larger (OK, twice as large, at least as far as attendance is concerned), and in a totally different hotel, but still very much the same.
I’ll try to sum it up in 5 words.
Online friendships are a wonderful thing, but real life friendships are, well, real. Authentic. Whenever possible, I highly recommend you turn your online friendships into the real-deal, authentic, face-to-face in-real-life friendships. Because it’s a beautiful -and irreplaceable – thing.
None of us can survive without a community. Once again, the authentic face-to-face variety is always to be preferred, but an online community can fill in the gaps. I was challenged with the privilege and responsibility of cultivating the community right here at Authentic Simplicity, a treasure I have heretofore taken for granted.
What can I say? I ate a lot of sugar. Way more than I have been used to recently. And I drank a lot of coffee. More than I’m used to, for sure. Henceforth and therefore, I stayed up way too late, talking, chatting and laughing with the above-mentioned friends. But it was all totally worth it.
Whether it was intentional or not, one of the prevailing themes in the keynotes and sessions was that of “dreams”, but not perhaps in the way you might expect. Dreams are wonderful gifts, and if we have one, we should pursue it with passion and intensity. But for those of us who desire the will of our Heavenly Father to guide us, sometimes we have to lay those dreams down at His feet, and instead pursue HIS dream for us with the same passion and intensity. And the wonderful thing is? His dreams for us are much bigger and better than our own dreams.
I was reminded once again that nothing can replace my precious family. All the blog followers in the world will never make me anymore important to the world than I already am to my family. If I were to become a mega-blogger with book deals and TV shows and speaking engagements across the country (hey, it could happen!)… but my family hated me… I would have lost everything.
So. Want a little taste of Allume? Go pick up the phone and call your friends to have some fun over sugar and coffee, then wrap your arms around your family and pursue the dreams God has given you together.