Return to Real Life!

Friday after the conference and our team’s celebration over lunch, I headed home…where I vacuumed, watered my flowers, did some laundry, and sat out on my deck. Yes, what mundane tasks after such a glorious experience! But it felt so good to return to normal everyday life, and reflect on the astounding ways God worked throughout the conference.

I’m sure I’ll be smiling for a very long time at the memories… Friday morning was so very powerful and exceeded my prayers and anything I even imagined. How grateful I am to Jay and Helena for their vulnerable ministry to all of us… to Donald Miller for stretching us and giving such an inspiring talk to all the right brained artists… to the Scribble team and Erwin for delighting us and reminding us of our extraordinary potential as creative people…

I really was sad to see it come to an end, because I love being among fellow artists and pastors, exploring together our callings and our challenges. Every personal encounter I had was so rich…

But now it’s time for what John Ortberg calls the ministry of the mundane… back to being a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, and all that real stuff. So I wish every Dad a very happy Father’s Day… and I look forward to continuing the conversation through the arts community all year long.

I’m abundantly grateful to our magnificent God for all that He has done…and I definitely am celebrating what’s right with the world!

With love in Jesus,
Nancy

What is on your mind as your life and schedule return to normal? What is resonating with your heart and soul? What are you taking with you from the conference into this new day and what do you feel like you still need?

12 comments:

timheerebout said...

It's interesting...life is the same in the sense that I'm here at my house with my dog and wife and all the "things" that make life familiar but I'm not sure I'll ever return to whatever was normal before I went to the conference. At least, I hope God uses the inspiration he gave me not just in the next week or two but throughout the next year and the whole of my life. That would be a "Real Life" for me.

Kristin Baker said...

I've always said that I've felt a little like a bare-footed tap dancer. Thanks for giving me my first set of tap shoes this week ... clik clik... I'm starting to like that sound...I just hope it brings a little bit of glory to the ultimate Artist. . .at least maybe just a bit of a broken hallelujah that makes Him smile and leads others to the door. Maybe I should write a new poem called "Tapping by the Door".... : )

Sheri said...

Friday afternoon a team member and I were on our way back to the airport and ran into all sorts of problems. I mentioned that "reality has reared it's head again", but thanks to the conference I am looking at my world through different lenses. My prayer every day since the conference has been for God to keep the fire burning within me. I have a new found passion for my ministry and the people I come in contact with on a daily basis.

Jim said...

What a strange world it is. 16 people from our little church in Montrose, California had the blessed experience of attending the conference. On Friday morning, our worship pastor, Byron Burns, and his wife Brenda were honored to attend a special breakfast with Nancy. We didn't know then how real the first session's topics would be, or, sadly, how soon.

Byron led our Saturday night worship as usual, but Sunday morning he awoke feeling strange. Luckily, he and Brenda went to the hospital where Byron was diagnosed with an aneurism. He has been admitted to the hospital and is awaiting treatment. Please pray for Byron and Brenda and for Montrose Church in this difficult time. We are working through the idea of "Living in the Contradiction."

melody said...

My reentry into real life has been as refreshing and life giving as the conference was. For me, "What's Right With the World" has been now become "What's Right With Crosswinds." I have returned with such a profound joy and appreciation for our team of gifted artists, for the history we have shared, the distance we have come, the "rightness" of ministry together today, and the hope and anticipation I feel for a transformational future.

"Real Life" is looking really good...

Ray Pelletier said...

Jim, thanks so much for letting us know about Byron. We will be praying for him, Brenda and his whole family and your Montrose Church family as well. May God surround you all and show Himself to be near and good every step of the way. Again, thank you so much for letting us know so we can pray. Please update us as you can. My email is rpelletier@willowcreek.org.

Nancy Beach said...

To Byron and Brenda,

I am so very sorry to hear about what is going on with Byron's health. Please know that you are and will be in my prayers. I would appreciate it if you would keep us updated when possible. May the God of all Comfort be more real to you both than ever as you weather this storm. Blessings in Jesus...
Nancy Beach

Michael E. Stafford said...

To Nancy Beach and everyone else... I am a close friend of Byron and Brenda Burns. You may have already received another update regarding B's condition but I just wanted to leave an update (perhaps Jim who wrote the original post will leave one as well). Byron had a CT Scan yesterday and the results were unbelieve... "A Mystery" was the term the neurologist used. The Mass that hemorrage Sunday morning is no longer present. Byron is now in a regular hospital room and is on the road to recovery. He does have some trouble walking due to the hemorrage and has uncontrollable hiccups (which to me is extremely amusing). Lord willing, B will go home on Friday. I also want to say, that Brenda wanted you (Nancy) to know this personally because Stan Endicott spoke to you about Byron. Brenda said the last session at the conference was dealing with Mystery... so this is so poignant! Blessings to all-- seems I missed a powerful conference. Soli Deo Gloria
MES!

Ron said...

Real life came way too fast for my four friends and me from Family Life Church in Brunswick Ga. as our flight home was cancelled at midnight. We were supposed to fly out of O'HAre at nine p.m. But we were all so charge by what we had experienced at the conference that we really didn't mind...too much anyway. Two of my friends and I walked around the terminal for an hour or so while the other two slept. We kind of felt like Tom Hanks in his movie The Terminal".
I attended the second half of last year's conference and was impacted by that experience. But it doesn't even compare to this year's. I have a new drive and zeal for the performng arts ministry here and as we are in the planning stages to build a new 1800 seat worship facility over the next three years I have such an incredible vision for what we can do. I thank God for the privelege of attending this year and I ask God's blessing on you and your team for making this year so awesome and such a sheer joy for all who were there. Se you next year.

Lori Finnegan said...

Michael, thanks so much for the update on Byron and Brenda. I read with tears in my eyes, marvelling at God goodness. I will continue to pray for them both and the whole Montrose family.

DUST!N said...

A huge thanks to your team Nancy! What an incredible experience of meeting our humanity and God's divinity through His gift of creativity.

I always leave the Arts Conference inspired and refreshed. But this year, I think I was also better prepared to return to "reality" than before.

This wasn't a sugar-coating event. We hit some serious issues head on.

The idea of living in the contradiction has stuck with me. I picked up Beuchner's Telling the Truth (ironically right before the main session in which it was mentioned). It has been a wonderful extension of the message from last week.

As is Byron's story. To read the update and hear he is recovering with some nagging hiccups reminds me of Jay and Helena's story. It put a lump in my throat, but to see their little girl hear for the first time... what a beautiful comedy God writes with our lives.

My challenge now is to re-engage my normal life without getting back into the same ruts. Opening my eyes to what is right in the world was one big step toward that.

Gratefully,
Dustin

eric barron said...

did i miss the list of churches and videos submitted to the film festival? what a great addition to an unbelievable three days!