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At the Barn // Writer’s Circle in Midland, NC

A month or so ago, an author who inspires me deeply, posted that she would be breaking-in her sister’s barn & for the first event by hosting a Writer’s Circle just south of Charlotte. I leapt for joy when I realized that this barn is one that I have watched transform via “The Nester’s” blog, The Nesting Place, over the last year. I first heard about this DIY site from a friend that suggested I would relate to the freedom that is embraced in the notion that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”. Sigh. My friend knows me well, because my heart has been stirred repetitively by the thrifty ways Myquillan Smith turns something so simple, into such rich beauty with seemingly no rules other than her gut.

Sisterly love soon pointed me to Chatting at the Sky, which is a space I now frequent many days, simply because it does just what it says it will do… it creates room for my soul to breathe. I crave it. Emily Freeman has a gift of calming the chaos with her words. She offers hope in the form of low saturated images that typically include clouds in the sky and branches on trees. Her brief, yet densely packed posts allow me to melt into the moment. Being still and listening just happens. Needless to say, I bought my ticket, along with 40 other women, who showed up giddy & expectant. Sitting in this freshly painted, airy nest, soaking in the redemptive nature of Story from Emily & her friend Christa Wells, a truly gifted singer-songwriter, was hands down the most life-giving Saturday I have had this calendar year. It was just what I needed.

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Soaking up the gracious goodness at the barn for my early birthday gift was honestly quite dreamy. Seeing the light in Myquillan’s eyes that her barn dream was now a reality, watching Emily in her element inspiring others to write with freedom, & listening to Christa sing lyrics of truth that resonated deep within me was a culmination of seeing our Creator’s creation living out His design in the form of art “in a million little ways”. Just as I was spurred on to “uncover the art I was made to live” through reading Emily’s latest book, it was a powerful testament to be in a barn-full of women who were feeling tugged to do the same thing—to write. It sparked something in me, again. Switching from my familiar, comfy blog of 5 years to this new little online home caused me to freeze a bit. I feel as if I lost my voice, my ability to write freely. Being at the barn helped me regain my confidence to jump back in. I even finalized my 31 days of October Writing Challenge topic I was wrestling with for weeks while drooling over the fallish decor daydreaming! More on that coming in a few days!

Attending this writer’s circle, felt like putting on my favorite shoes, my chambray toms with aztec piping. Everytime I slide my feet snugly in, the stars align and magically they seem to match the majority of my day-to-day outfits. Walking into the barn felt like home to me. Being with kindred spirits, humble hearts, and rustic wall art in the middle of the country with roosters cackling off in the distance simply put my whole person at ease. My breathing slowed. My muscles relaxed. It was indeed a slice of heaven. How great is our God that He gives us these gifts? He leads us beside quiet waters when we are thirsting for just what He provides. In a million little ways… all day long.

This message that we all have something to offer & that being generous with our story matters, ignites the flickering light within my soul that I am typically so quick to snuff out. It reminds me that writing can bring hope in the dark and allow others to taste of the land of milk + honey that we all desperately yearn for with every breath we take & longing of our heart. It points me to the One who made me and the fact that He loves His art, flawed and broken, as is. As Christa sings “You think you are recognized by your flaws, but the mirror that you hold is false, because you shine. He shines his light through a prism, we give back what we are given, to color this world. say it your own way”.

My hope is that through sharing some of my story more consistently in this space of M+H, you may be able to taste of the land of milk + honey here on earth one soothing drip at a time. When Christa sang this song last night I couldn’t help but remember we all have something to give. Be generous. Be free. Share your story.photo 3

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