The Word Weaver
Deb Weaver ~ Communicating God's love, grace, & truth
"Introduction to Allume"
by The Word Weaver, Deb on August 26th, 2013

What’s Allume?  In all honesty, I really don’t know. 

I understand that it’s an encouraging, equipping conference for Christian bloggers and that some of my favorite writers are speaking there.  It sounds really great, but that’s about all I know.  That, and I’m scheduled to attend. 

Oh, and did I mention that I don’t personally know a soul going?  That might not sound as intimidating as it feels, but try to put yourself in my shoes. 
My second grade teacher told my parents that I would be severely inhibited in life because I was so painfully shy. (My parents never believed it.)  My third grade teacher told the room mother (who also happened to be my Mom) that I was so quiet she often forgot I was there.  I’ve outgrown much of that shyness, but I still tend to quake internally in a crowd. 
 
The organizers are expecting about 400 participants; it’s considered a small conference.  Sounds huge to me!  And the more I think about walking into a room knowing absolutely no one, the bigger it seems! 

But one of my recent life intentions is “Be afraid, but do it anyway,” so I’ll be the one with the skittish look in my eyes and the warm smile on my face.  
It’s a blessing that the conference will be held close to my hometown.  First, the easy location wiped out every excuse I might have conjured to not attend.  Second, I am happy to share one of my favorite South Carolina treasures, Greenville, with others—especially in October. 

The downtown area highlights this sweet city’s charm through quirky shops, unique restaurants, fun street festivals, and lovely tree-lined streets.  Falls Park is beautiful and well worth the fifteen minute walk from the conference hotel.  The park surrounds a portion of the Reedy River and its waterfalls—such a delightful surprise in the middle of a city!  A neighboring coffee shop, Spill the Beans, is one of my favorite places to sip hot tea and write or visit with friends.  Perhaps we’ll get to know one another better there.
You see, part of my DNA involves helping others feel welcome, accepted, and connected.  Being an encourager and a friend is who I am and where I invest my energies.  I appreciate Alia Joy’s (fellow blogger) words, however, to “Believe that the opportunities God has for you are not going to be ‘missed’ because you aren’t ‘on’ every second.”  This is important advice because Fall is a very busy season for my family this year; I may not have an abundance of energy to expend in October.  I do plan to rest beforehand so that I’ll have the reserves to reach out and participate fully. 

If not, I’ll probably tell you.  I believe in the importance of transparency—in conversation and in writing—not for the purpose of airing dirty laundry, but for encouragement.  You know that moment when someone says something that resonates, and you think, “You too?  Oh, I thought I was the only one who felt/did that.”  Being honest and open births authentic relationships and nurtures growth.  In fact, I believe it’s a superpower (click here to read about that!)  It’s a power I hope to develop more fully as I’m surrounded by amazing writers at this conference.

Speaking of being real—I doubt it’s politically correct for a blogger to admit that she’s not a big Twitter fan, but I’m not.  I love email, Facebook, snail mail, and commenting on blogs, but Twitter leaves me feeling like the awkward, new girl trying to break into a Four Square game.  I do visit this odd playground a couple of times a week, but it’s not my favorite thing. 

Another online playground I visit is Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday.  Many of the Allume bloggers participate by writing on the weekly topic.  I watch and read from the edge of the circle, and even though these gals are welcoming and encouraging, I haven’t had the courage to jump in just yet. 

You see, I’m not a fast writer.  It takes me a  l o n g  time to process my thoughts and wrestle them into words that make sense—this post took three days—but the rules for Five Minute Friday require two things that terrify me:  a five minute deadline and a restriction from editing.  Another blogger, Gretchen Louise,  recently reminded us that it’s okay to break the rules—the important thing to write fearlessly and regularly.  That’s good to know.

It’s my understanding that a group of bloggers will meet up about midnight the first night of the conference and write together.  If I’m still too timid, perhaps one of the regulars of this group will grab my hand and yank me into the circle.  (*whispers the next part:)  I’m kinda hoping so.
My One Word for this year is Purpose.  Though I’m not entirely sure what to expect, I know I’m supposed to be at the Allume conference.  I sense that God is going to use this conference in a mighty way.  I pray that His eternal purposes be accomplished in and through each person who participates.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

(*Linking with other Allume conference attendees. )
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Copyright 2013 The Word Weaver, Deb Weaver


Posted in Courage Required    Tagged with Allume, Purpose, Transparency, Connections, Blogging


12 Comments

mary - August 26th, 2013 at 12:26 AM
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/comfort_zone.html

xoxo
The Word Weaver, Deb - August 26th, 2013 at 8:10 PM
The link works without the xx & oo's! Thanks for always encouraging me to step out, Mary! I appreciate you!
Kim Adams Morgan - August 27th, 2013 at 4:29 PM
Hi Deb, nice to meet you. I was a little afraid to jump in to 5 Minute Friday, but so glad I did. Sometimes it is great to write what your subconscious is telling you without the filters we put on things. It gets you deeper. I didn't hear about the midnight writing party - I'm fairly new to the blogging world, but I would LOVE to be part of that. See you at Allume. Kim
The Word Weaver, Deb - August 27th, 2013 at 8:11 PM
Hi Kim! I look forward to meeting you! Thanks for letting me know of your experience with Five Minute Friday--I hope I'll be able to write that way (without filters). Perhaps the midnight party is a rumor, but it would be fun if it really happens!
Mel - August 30th, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Looking forward to meeting you at Allume, friend! :)
The Word Weaver, Deb - August 30th, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Thanks, Mel, I'm also looking forward to seeing your great smile and meeting you in person!


Debi @ DebiStangeland.com - August 31st, 2013 at 9:41 AM
Well, I was shy growing up too. Unfortunately, none of my friends now believe it, but that being said, I feel your pain sister. You will find great blessings by stepping out, trust me. But most of all trust Him. He has some wonderful things for you to learn and experience by attending Allume this year. I am really looking forward to meeting you in person. See you in October!
The Word Weaver, Deb - August 31st, 2013 at 9:59 AM
Thanks for your encouragement, Debi. I'm so excited to meet you and to see all that God does at Allume! See you soon!
Mandy - August 31st, 2013 at 2:35 PM
Hi Deb! I'm glad you're going to Allume, and I look forward to meeting you there:) I may be the only other person there not tweeting everything!
The Word Weaver, Deb - August 31st, 2013 at 2:45 PM
Hi Mandy! I hope we'll meet at Allume! We can be Twitter-free Twins! Thank you for stopping by to read the post!
Amanda K - September 18th, 2013 at 9:47 AM
I've spent my morning reading blogs from the Allume blog roll and I was so excited to actually set aside time to do it - especially yours. Because you were my first 'Allume' twitter follower - and that small thing was a huge encourager for me. And I wanted to get a taste of who Deb was. I too know nary a soul attending. And I'm scared out of my mind. Excited. But so scared. Because I'm new there. I'm new to blogging. Very new. I belong to no communities. But I feel reassurance in my soul despite it all that God has a greater purpose behind orchestrating my steps to Greenville. I can't wait for our paths to cross!
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 18th, 2013 at 10:06 AM
Amanda,
I'm so happy to find out that I was your first Allume twitter follower and that it encouraged you so! Twitter is a large place and it's easy to feel left out--at least I have! I'm glad to have helped welcome another!

I look forward to meeting you at Allume--let's definitely look for one another! We can be scared out of our minds together! Yes, God's purposes are drawing all of us.
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