/ / It is going to be okay. {A day at the barn}

It is going to be okay. {A day at the barn}

On a particularly hard day in August, I received an email from my friend Renee inviting me to a writer’s event.   On that day, I didn’t even have it in me to reply.
The next day, new mercies arrived and I mentioned it to my husband who agreed I should go.   I went online and purchased my ticket, and when I went back in to see if more tickets were still available it said – event SOLD OUT.  I had my ticket and I was excited!  Somehow knowing I got my ticket before it sold out made me even more excited!
At the Barn
I really enjoyed Emily Freeman’s workshop, “How to Write like an Artist” at She Speaks.  One of the most helpful things I heard that weekend was Emily’s soft voice say, “Don’t think of it as a platform.  Think of it as a bench.  Benches give people a place to gather together.  Build benches that people will want to sit on.”  This image has stuck with me so much that I tend to take pictures of benches when I see them just to remember that perspective.
{Side note – I was on a field trip recently with my daughter and we came across a bench and I stopped and said, “Wait!  I want to get a picture of the bench!” and so she ran and sat down, and I took the picture and then said “ok beautiful, now let me get the bench!”}

back to the barn…
At the Barn
I had purchased A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman back in December and was excited to read it, but felt led to give it to a friend instead so I was thrilled to find out the ticket included a signed copy!  It also included a signed CD from Christa Wells, and an evening in the Nester’s beautiful barn!  While I looked forward to spending the day with Renee, I was anxious about being at a “writer’s” anything because of the shouts of doubt in my mind.
I was nervous as I approached the barn, but I walked in and exhaled a deep sigh of relief.  I can’t explain it to you and the pictures won’t even give it justice, but there was breathtaking beauty in the room.  The Barn

I was able to go in and take a seat and just take in the surroundings.

The space seemed to say “welcome, you are home.”

I found my seat and just glanced to my left and saw this beautiful reminder to rest,


and then I looked up to this beauty:


To my right, there was a disco ball.   That was when I first knew:  It is going to be okay.

At the very beginning, Emily shared a blessing by John O’Donohue.   The words spoke to very deep places, and I was able to jot down three lines:

“You have traveled too fast over false ground.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Gradually you will return to yourself.”

Emily and Christa started a conversation, and they allowed us into that intimate space of hope.

They were transparent and brave, and it was deep soul encouragement for me.  They talked about their frustrations and challenges, and they shared ideas and stories.  We were smiling, laughing, and nodding our heads in agreement.
As I sat there, I thought… maybe (just maybe) I am a writer.  Maybe.
I gazed at the pieces of furniture and decor in that beautiful barn and I reflected on my own home.

I appreciated every crack in my walls, and the rip in my couch… evidence of life, and evidence of love.  It made me smile.  It’s not perfect.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  But it is beautiful.  It is going to be okay.
When Christa started to sing, her voice and her lyrics ripped my heart.  Every song was powerful, but one song in particular {Come Close Now} rocked my world.  She prefaced it by saying she had written the song about someone who had experienced the grief of a stillborn baby.   A dear friend of mine has experienced this unimaginable sorrow recently, and if I have ever been at a complete loss for words in my life it has been in these circumstances.  She has called me crying to meet her in a parking lot and I have sat with her in the car with the AC blowing on fresh tears for hours.  I leave thinking I am completely inadequate to help, but then Christa sings about the fire and there in the melody of her beautiful voice, I know… it’s going to be okay.
carry on
All I can tell you is that a heaviness of peace landed on me in that chair sitting in the middle of that beautiful barn.  A peace that said, it’s going to be okay.  If I write in a notebook, or on a blog, or even a book – God is with me.  He’s guiding me and He is with me.  If it’s only two people on a bench reading what I write, it’s going to be okay.  I am not alone.   He is with me.  If all I ever do is meet my friend in a parking lot and sit with no words, it’s going to be okay.  She is not alone.  He is there.
Writing is the very thing that can make me feel very alive and really alone at the same time.   But when I sit in a beautiful barn lit up in the dark blue sky, and I look into the bright eyes of other writer’s, I discover their hearts also beat to the words on a page.  They inhale and exhale words on napkins, in their phones, on their shower walls.  They get it.  I’m not so alone after all.  It is going to be okay.
I am so thankful I was able to spend a day at the barn.  In the quiet of the country at a beautiful barn filled with writers, I sat still and listened.  Spiritual Whitespace.  My soul rested, and I worshipped.  My mind was quiet, and my heart heard the small still voice whisper…”it is going to be okay.”
It was exactly what I needed.  A day of soulrest.  I didn’t leave with a list of things to do, or a checklist of the next steps.  I left with peace.  I left knowing, it’s going to be okay.  I left with a signed book, a signed CD, and a whole new concept of what is beautiful in my imperfect home, and what is beautiful in my far from perfect life.  I bought a bracelet to remind me of this day, to remind me to shine…. it’s going to be okay.

“Shine”  by Christa Wells (Click to listen)

It’s going to be okay.

Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Take a moment to pause and rest in Him.

Listen to “A Thousand Things” by Christa Wells, and be blessed!

Spiritual Whitespace Linkup

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  1. First of all… Yes, Michelle! You ARE a writer. 🙂 “Writing is the very thing that can make me feel very alive and really alone at the same time.” I really identify with this. I love Emily’s perspective to think of benches rather than platform. Platform makes me think more of the business of writing whereas benches makes me think of sharing what God wants us to write whether it be to one, a few, or many. It sounds like you had an inspiring day. Thanks for sharing it with us. Hugs!

  2. This really moved me–thank you so much for posting this. You are absolutely a writer-a writer who moves their readers to a deeper place. Thank you for being obedient! Keep going!! YOU CAN DO THIS

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