Select Page

Photos and gift bag by Katharine Barrett our sweet hostess!

You don’t get to come back unchanged.

When you have been around people who influence, love and lift up you can’t help but let it sink in and become a part of you.

I watched a brave, beautiful soul gift us with a hospitality that was completely unlike mine. So gentle and easy and tasty. And I could SEE┬áthat her gift isn’t the same as mine and that it is okay because the revelation is allowing me to understand myself just a little more.

I listened as sweet sisters shared their thoughts and let mine mingle with theirs instead of holding back. All of us, writing from the same passage of scripture and each of us with a view that was between us and our Maker, and yet we could learn a little about one another from what we wrote.

We talked about fear and pride and deep water wading. We talked about food and female issues and our kids. We shared about what makes us a little crazy and our physical places that we spend our time in. Some of us make lunches and some of us don’t and that’s okay.

We erased the line between countries and accents and loved one another. We colored.

We ‘met’ in an online world, only touching hearts through the screen, then finally in real life after weeks of ‘talking’ at a common place – the Allume gathering. We added more in the next year…expanding our hearts and our circle, gathering in…enlarging our hearts.

Then two years later…we are actually sitting around the table together in one of our houses sipping wine and eating bread and loving this being together. Able to touch skin and see the eyes and hear the voices. Missing those who couldn’t come. It was too short.

And I almost didn’t go.

Fear and guilt and doubt attacked. I am thankful for the courage that came to push it back, because I am so much richer for having been with these women for these precious hours.

We circle the continent…our hands and hearts extended toward one another across the miles. We share a love of words and a certain carpenter.

This was my gift to myself this last weekend, allowing myself to be ‘gathered in’.

Gathered in close to their hearts, allowing them close to mine. That isn’t easy these days. There are plenty of walls and self-protection and defenses. I got to let those go just a little for just a little while I didn’t have to be the defender of my castle…I could just be, reclaim a little piece of my soul. These wise sisters reminded me that they can still hold my hands up, even from a distance.

They reminded me that I am a writer, that I have things to say.

And I even remembered some of the words.

At Niagra Falls.

We stood at the Falls, seeing both American and Canadian in one breathtaking view. We wandered through the world up the street and enjoyed sweet fellowship together at Tim Horton’s…so very Canadian. We drove through blissful countryside and dreamed of writer’s retreats along the lake shore.

One day we will gather in again and in the meantime we will keep stretching our hearts across the miles. Next time I will remember to wear my red boots!

Nancy, Sara, Shannon, Katharine and myself!!

This post dedicated to my sweet Bligging Deevahs of Masterminds…










You can click on any of their names to take you to their little place in the wide webby world!!