Conferences usually have a way of making me feel small. The people are exuberant and glamorous, passing out business cards with carefully planned wardrobes for every day.
And there I am. Wild curly hair, green eyes, a touch of red lipstick, holding a baby. Wearing cowboy boots and a smile.
Re:Write was different. I left, renewed - remembered by God. I felt His hand on my shoulder, saying that He would carry all of the confusion and grief of this year.
Once upon a time, my dreams had a line. Dot to dot. I had a masters degree, a career, a house in the 'burbs, a literary agent, and a brochure with a picture of me in a business suit.
But then there were babies, three little girls who turned my world right side up.
And also: there was that year on the road that forever changed us; created turmoil, restlessness, a bigger picture.
I started StephanieSheaffer.com as a place to rediscover my voice. There are no brands here. No rules. No schedules. This is just me, writing poetry and prose about this one-and-only life. A gift.
When Mark Batterson spoke on day one of the conference, he asked, "Has God called you to write?" The answer boomed-kaBOOMED in my soul. YES. "Then, write." He admonished. "As an act of obedience to God. Even if it's only one book for one person."
So at night, I sit here in the office in my nightgown and glasses, my hands tapping the keyboard, typing out prayers. Staying up past my bedtime to read and write, read and write.
With each word, I breathe: Take my life and let it be - ever, only, all for thee.
Re:Write was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The caliber of the speakers was on par with the Global Leadership Summit, but the intimacy of the event was unmatched. The tone of the whole weekend was humble generosity. George Barna sat behind me; Paul Young gave my baby an affectionate touch on the nose; Erin Ulrich ate breakfast at my table. That's the way it was.
Next year's Re:Write will be in Austin, TX. Save your pennies. It's worth it.
What is the best conference you have ever attended?