So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers[a] with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
It was easy to play the comparison game at the Relevant Conference. Put me in a room with 200 or so women dressed in their finest, with cute haircuts, beautiful makeup, fabulous nails--not to mention popular and successful blogs....
I felt I didn't measure up.
My "dinky" little blog in a sea of women who use their blogs for business and networking and ministry. (Mind you, they all were not like this, but it felt like it to me...)
Many who had written books, and started beautiful ministries.
I brought my "business card" with my simple logo and basic information...
I wore my flannel shirt and my moccasins and looked at all the cute put-together moms and thought: "I am not that mom."
I spotted Ann Voskamp the first night at dinner across the room. She is unmissable.
Angie Smith described her as "beautiful, gracious, elegant in an approachable "Audrey Hepburn" kind of way, but with the kind of laugh where you can see her back teeth (one of my favorite qualities in any person). She looks you in the eye, hugs you like an old friend, and whispers wisdom in the most unexpected moments."
That night in the "Beach House" gathering room, I looked for her. She seemed to be a kindred soul in a room full of women who I thought all knew each other.
You have to know that there were women waiting in line to say hi to her. She was the main attraction.Miraculously, I was able to say hello.
She recognized me. Me? Little ole me? I immediately hugged her and the first words I had for her were, "I love you."
We talked briefly about Elise and Tonia (please, please read her latest post!) and Aimee and our mutual love for these women who have captured our hearts and souls. We wished they were here.
Ann confessed she didn't know why she was here. Like me, she felt lost in a world that seemed unfamiliar. However, I knew why she was there. And after she brought me to tears by telling me to "keep doing what I am doing" and that we "write from the heart", I hugged her again, loving this wondrous woman who was so intense, so gracious, so kind, so encouraging, so soul-connecting--so very like Jesus.
(Me? She couldn't believe she was meeting me?)
One of the things I came away with from the conference is that I want to be reading and thinking about things that bring me to Jesus.
Angie Smith said it well:
"If what we are reading is not making us run to Jesus, then we probably shouldn't be reading it."
That homemaking blog? If it makes me want to go out and decorate my home better instead of run to Jesus? hmmm.
That home schooling blog whose life I covet? Does it make me want to do more with my children or teach more to my children.... or run to Jesus?
That cooking blog? I need to go and buy more local foods! Does it make me run to Jesus or the farmer's market?
That seemingly "perfect" family? Does it make me want to go nag my husband about what he needs to do?
Or does it make me go to Jesus?
The first night at the conference I felt lost. Where do I belong in this place?
But by the last day there, I realized where I needed to be. With Jesus. Running to Him.
*edited to add:I think Kristen says some really good things that I am trying to say here. In the comments there were questions as to if this issue is really as black and white as I have presented it here....It's not. And that is not my purpose. I encourage you to read and think and go to Jesus about all of this. And let's keep talking about it! What are ways we can do this through our writing or blogging?