The month began in Charlotte, NC with my dear friend Lysa TerKeurst. I got to be a part of "She Speaks," a great conference for speakers and writers sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I met so many incredible women and one was actually a beauty queen! One of the perks of speaking there was wearing Mrs. North Carolina's sash! (At least for the time it took to smile for a picture!)
I also had a fun surprise when I met one of my Twitter buddies this month when we went to Knoxville! Her name is Amanda but I know her best as @ammarkham. We were in Knoxville for our Fresh Grounded Faith conference. What a fantastic time! Anita Renfroe made us roar with laughter. She also encouraged us to rest with a thoughtful line in one of the songs she wrote when she sang," Dangle your feet off the edge of nowhere." I love that. What a great picture of resting. Lysa TerKeurst told her story to the women in Knoxville and blew them away with her honesty and humor. I love how she comforted and challenged the women--and me! Michael O'Brien sang God's love over the ladies, and as usual, he was quite a big hit! Any man who writes and sings songs about coffee is a true brew brother! (He's also a Twitter buddy!)
This month, I'm reading The Blithedale Romance by written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1879. One of my all time favorite authors, Henry James, called it "the lightest, the brightest, the liveliest" of Hawthorne's "unhumorous fictions." The basic setting is a communal farm called Blithedale, where four very unique people become a family group with all things in common. Things start to erode because of the selfish behavior of some of the characters, and unfortunately end in tragedy. What is capturing me, as usual, is Hawthorne's ability to create such convincing, endearing and curious characters. The Blithedale Romance is a work of fiction based on Hawthorne's recollections of the six months he spent living at Brook Farm in 1841. In the novel's preface, he describes his time there as "essentially a daydream, and yet a fact" which he uses as "an available foothold between fiction and reality." Knowing this, it's fun and intriguing to imagine Hawthorne as the actual narrator of this fascinating story.
Some of my best reading, though, comes in the form of 140 characters or less. You guessed it--Twitter! Seriously, if you don't use it yet, you should give it a taste test. It's a fun way to stay connected and learn about people, life and God. In fact, I copied just a few of my favorite tweets from the past month below for you to read. These are just a few of the fab tweeters I follow:
SHOUTING at my keyboard, in a good way: "I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love." Psalm 59:16
Fear shields itself in excuses. @PatsyClairmont
I just woke up from an accidental nap on the sidelines of my son's football practice. I'm sure he wasn't embarrassed by that AT ALL. @cottrelltravis
I would love to count how many times in a day one of my family says, "Can I Twitter that?" If you need to ask, the answer is probably "no."
God does ten thousand things in every deed. Perhaps we know a dozen. Maybe two. But not enough to judge before he's through.
Happy is the girl who can express herself in 140 characters or less! Her husband can follow without distraction!
So, here's my last thought for you today, and I'll write it as a prayer tweet: Dear God, bless my sisters today as they follow You. Give them clear thoughts and wise hearts. May their faith be fresh and grounded.
Give these things a taste test:
1. Join Twitter! Come on, it's easy, free and fun.
2. Fresh Grounded Faith Conference--or a spiritual enrichment event for you and your girlfriends. We all need it.
3. Check out Anita Renfroe, Michael O'Brien and Lysa TerKeurst.
4. The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne