This is a first for me. Yesterday, the 2008 ACFW conference started in Minneapolis, and I was not in attendance. I've gone to the last three conferences in a row - Nashville and two in Dallas. However, sad as I am to miss it, my reason for not attending is a good one - my nine week old daughter. =)
I wasn't about to leave her at home and fly cross country with her this young! Nor could I justify bringing her - the conference has a no-kids-in-class-policy, and besides, how could I focus on the lectures with those adorable big blue eyes staring up at me??? So this year I had to sit out. My work schedule wouldn't allow for it anyway, since my first day back at work was ironically the first day of the conference. (which happened because I started my maternity leave two and 1/2 weeks sooner than planned due to bed rest)
Nope, it just wasn't meant to be this year. I'll be just fine going home from work and spending snuggle time with my Little Miss. We took her to the park Wednesday and had a blast! (see pics below!)
But that doesn't mean I won't miss the classes on craft, the lectures on marketing, the swanky hotel rooms and foood, the super-classy and fun awards banquet, the chitchatting in the halls, the elbow-rubbing with my favorite authors, and the late-night chats at the bar with french fries and diet coke! I'll especially miss the worship sessions. There is something so powerful about a crowd of people singing together who share not only a common love for writing, but a common heart for Christ.
I already had a sweet phone call from a group of fellow writers and friends who called to say hi and check on me. They were all gathered at the dinner table together and passed the cell phone around. So fun! I felt special =) Until they bragged on the chocolate dessert heading their way....haha!
I guess missing this year will just make the 2009 conference in Colorado that much better. However, my pen will not run dry! I am hard at work on a new proposal, and am determined to have it ready for submission in the next few weeks. I will keep forging ahead, enjoying these new changes in my life and to my schedule, and have my own worship times with my family.
To all my friends at the conference now, learn lots! Laugh often! Pray hard! Speak boldly! Sing loud!
And miss me just a little! =)