Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sneaking Into 2012 ACFW Conference

Yeah, I'm one of three Alley Cats who did not get to attend the 2012 ACFW Conference. While we all wanted to attend, I was the lucky one to live close enough to attend the MyBookTherapy Pizza party Friday night and the Awards Gala Saturday night.
Angie taught us the Low Rider move. 
I have never...EVER...met an online friend in person. (I take that back...I did meet Angie for lunch once!) So I was a little nervous! Would my Alley Cats be like I thought they were online and through email? Would I fit in? How awkward would it be to just show up in the midst of their conference experience?


Well, I'm here to tell ya...the Alley Cats ARE amazing! They ARE so nice, so sweet, so loving, so welcoming, so...like family. I felt like I was with sisters. They included me in their circle and shared their conference experiences, letting me into their lives, getting to know them better.


 It's been interesting reading some of the post-conference posts online, as many of them have focused on the relationships formed, instead of on writing. Some focus on the spiritual aspect of the conference, listening for God, refocusing their goals, dreaming bigger dreams.


I wasn't there for the whole conference, but I do know that relationships are important. They need to be nurtured. We must work at connecting with others in a way that is meaningful and purposeful.


Our God is a God of relationships. His desire is to have a relationship with us and have us become the kind of people that radiate His love for others. We are His hands, His feet, His heart.


So reach out to one another. Encourage each other. Pray for each other. Build each other up in love. His love.


How was your conference experience? Have you been to a conference where you expected one thing and received something different?


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This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is wife to "Pastor John" and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.

23 comments:

Debra E. Marvin said...

When I saw an airfare special too good to pass up, I almost went to the conference myself...as a lurker. I would have hung out in the lobby, the hotel rooms, and out to dinner with my Inkwell Inspirations sisters.

I know it's possible to 'sneak' into the conference.
i ended up not doing it but I'm glad you did, Sherrinda!

Karen Schravemade said...

I LOVE these pics, girls!!!! It's plain to see that you all had an absolute ball. :-)

Sherrinda, I love what you have to say about relationship. I'm a big fan of the "My one word" movement that replaces New Year's Resolutions with a single word to live by for a whole year. (myoneword.org) Last year my word for the year was "connected". My priority and focus was forming connections with others and building relationships. It was so cool to see what God did with that. :-)

Beth K. Vogt said...

ACFW Conference Highlight: Meeting you, Sherrinda! I am so thankful you came to the Pizza Party!! (And that the Alley Cats let me sneak into a photo op with y'all. Talk about a lurker.)
Relationships are so, so valuable. I came home to edits for novel #2 -- but I've got a huge smile on my face, thanks to all the memories.

Jeanne T said...

Sherrinda, great thoughts on relationship. I am so glad I got to meet you, though briefly, when I "checked you in" at the MBT Pizza Party. I hope to get to know you better in the future! Great post today.

Angie said...

Oh Sherrinda, I keep smiling as I think back on the conference. It was so therapeutic for me to be around you ladies.
Karen, I love that you chose "connected" as your word. I can't wait until you and Cindy are with us in person! We will have so much fun!!!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oooh, great pics! Such beautiful ladies! And I know you all made an even deeper connection through this, and that's so special! Keep the pics coming! :)

Lisa Jordan said...

Sherrinda, I was sooo thrilled to meet you in person after the Gala. I knew some of the other Alley Cats, but putting faces to names is always delightful. I didn't realize you were at the Pizza Party! I would've had another opportunity to see you.

Keli Gwyn said...

What a thrill it was to meet you in person, Sherrinda. That was one of my conference highlights--as you could no doubt tell from my squeal of delight. I enjoyed meeting some of the other Alley Cats for the first time, too. Connecting with friends is one of the main reasons I attend the conference.

Lindsay Harrel said...

I was so happy to meet you, Sherrinda! Sad we didn't get more of a chance to chat, but so glad you had a great conference experience, however brief. :)

Sherrinda said...

Debra, you should have!!!! :) Actually, I didn't really sneak into the conference. I bought tickets to the MBT Pizza party and the Gala. I'm so glad I did! So much fun...and I got to meet so many wonderful people!

(I would have been scared to get caught sneaking...I'm such a rule follower...though a rebel at heart.)

Sarah Forgrave said...

It was wonderful to meet you, Sherrinda! I'm so glad God blessed you with moments with your Alley sisters and blogging friends.

Sherrinda said...

Karen, I love OneWord! It is so much better than making tons of resolutions. And how wonderful your word was last year...and look how blessed you are by that focused! We got YOU here! :) (((hugs)))

Sherrinda said...

Beth, you are soooo sweet! It was so good to meet you and get a picture with you! We Cats LOVE you! :)

Sherrinda said...

Jeanne T, I sure wish we could have visited while I was there! You are such a delight online, and I'm sure we would have had a blast!

Sherrinda said...

Angie, it was so fun to see you let your hair down...and do the Low Rider!!! Seriously...you are hilarious!

Next time I am going to make you do the song "I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH"! (and video tape it for the world to see!)

Bwwahahahahhaa!

Sherrinda said...

Cindy, everyone talked about you, wishing you and Karen were there. It will be a grand reunion when all of us make it together!

Sherrinda said...

Lisa, you are soooo sweet and I was thrilled to be present when you WON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sqquuuueeeee! You are awesome and I love the story of your writing journey. So inspirational!

Sherrinda said...

Keli, your squeal of delight was a thrill! I just remember squealing myself! :) What a special treat it was to meet you face to face and get a big hug. Next time, we are going to VISIT!

Sherrinda said...

Lindsay, I was so impressed by you. Your enthusiasm, your love for people, your talent...was just awesome! So glad to meet you in person!!!

Krista Phillips said...

I LOVED seeing you all.... and SO SO SO happy you got to sneak in Sherrinda!!!!!!!

Casey said...

When I saw you in that entry way at the Pizza Party I just instantly couldn't contain myself! I would have known you anywhere. LOVE you Sherrinda!!

Sherrinda said...

Krista, I had so much fun with you! You are as funny as your emails! lol

Sherrinda said...

Casey!!! You running towards me is such a highlight of my experience! I love you too, girl!