Being at a conference always makes my brain go flat. On the second day of the Florida Christian Writers Conference, my team saw that I was getting tired and encouraged me to take a break, enjoy the beautiful day, and reflate my brain. If I was going to last the whole weekend, I would have to pace myself. Stubbornly I refused to listen to my body’s need to rest. All I wanted to do was attend every workshop to learn everything I could!
“Do you want to go and see the lake?” my mom asked me.
I looked down at the ground thinking out loud, “I don’t want my wheels to get stuck in the dirt again!”
A smile grew on my mom’s face as she assured me, “we will figure it out.”
I caved and decided to enjoy the sun for some time. It wouldn’t hurt to try since I have experienced getting stuck in the dirt. Now, we know what to do.
I wheeled onto the bumpy earth and was pushed through the dirt towards the lake. I bounced in my chair, enjoying the breeze and the sun warming my skin.
“Can you see the lake,” my mom asked.
Since I have low vision, I needed to get closer to the lake than an average person to see the whole picture. “Yes, I can but I would like to get closer to the lake. I want to see it better.”
I was wheeled closer to the lake and when I did, blind mosquitos ambushed me. A thick black layer of bugs nearly blinded me. Suddenly, my chair was jerked around in a frenzy and I swerved side to side as my mother navigated me out of the swarm. One of my interpreters, Vanessa, and my mom tried so hard to get me out of the mosquito’s range.
I couldn’t help but belly laugh at their panicked state. As soon as we got out of the swarm, they saw me laughing and joined in.
“You were flooded with bugs! Are you okay?” Vanessa worried.
I had to calm myself down from all the laughter before responding, “Yes, I am fine.”
Laughing with Vanessa and my mom made me to realize how thankful I am for each individual on my team. I require interpreters, a note taker, and nurses for a trip such as the FCWC to be a success. They made this weekend possible andfun. God used them to keep me on the straight path and keep my energy levels up.
The way the bugs flocked around me is how I felt with all that I learned from the conference. Carol Kent taught me how to transfer my skills of writing to my emerging speaking career. Bob Hostetler taught me not to exhaust my stories with telling other what I want to write, and just write it down.
It was during my break when I was able to chat with old some friends and make some new ones. If I had not rested, I would never have gotten the chance to build those relationships. Every person I interacted with helped me improve my conversational skills and learn from others on a deeper level.
Oh wait! When I wanted to stay in a workshop because I wanted to learn, I saw that by taking a break, learning comes in all kinds of ways!
Each moment of the conference I learned a little more than before. Each workshop, each conversation, and each new person I met, I grew more and more.
I learned about myself and I learned about others. I learned what it takes to have a good team and how to work together. I learned… oh, if I told you everything I learned, this blog would never end. Your eyelids would grow so heavy that you would fall face first into your keyboard.
I promise, I won’t do that to you.
The most important thing I learned is that we can choose to utilize every part of our lives for God’s glory. Whether we are learning, or resting, it’s all to serve Him. Out in the sun after the mosquito ambush, I felt a sense of peace and joy. A smile swept across my face as I meditated on how He has everything in His plan and that His timing is perfect.
What did YOU learn at the Florida Christian Writers Conference? If you didn’t go to the conference, what have you been learning? I would like to know!6