Home From Allume

I am home today. Home yesterday in fact but last night I slept in my bed and that makes it official.

I am home to the woods and woodsmoke. The stark reality of trees with no leaves. (Pennsylvania trees have not yet lost their glory, that was a nice treat for a couple days.) Coffee on the couch instead of coffee in the conference room.

Home to a mound of dirty laundry but clean floors - my family knows what matters most to me. A pot of humble potato soup for supper, a sink of dishes I'm happy to wash. The liturgy of homemaking.

I'm home to the joy and embrace of my family and the ache in my chest for the women I met who live in Sandy's path. You, who live in Sandy's path.

I loved Allume so very much. I loved the women I met. I loved the energy of 400 women bloggers united in core believes and life purpose. I loved my roommate. I loved seeing my dear friend Emily. I loved getting so many books!

I loved it all. The 24 hours of travel getting home, not so much, but I survived and didn't encounter any significant set backs despite delayed flights, missed flights and baggage issues.

It will take me some time process all I learned at Allume and I'm not sure how much of that I will share here. Which I have to say is a big question in my writing these days - "how much of that do I share here?" And not because that is deep and personal. It's more of the other end of the spectrum - business like and strategic and that just feels weird to me. As change continues to roil through my life, and yours, "how to write this?" plagues me a wee bit.

I'd like to not over think this. FIMBY is a personal blog. I'm a memoirist moving in creative entrepreneurial directions. More ground shaking under my feet.

So I may share bits of Allume with you in the coming weeks and I may not. The reason I may not is because many of you are not Christian and I don't want to alienate you by talking about my faith a lot here. That's not my style. Just like I don't pepper my speech with bible verses and spiritual take-aways, I don't write a whole lot about "what God is doing in my life" and such. Talk like that might leave most of you scratching your heads, which is not my intent.

But I will say things are a foot in my blogging world. The things I learned and connections I made at Allume couldn't have come at a better time for our work and writing goals. My J is trying to sort, organize and categorize these lessons. Wrest control and make things happen. But my repressed P is encouraging me to release it all to the universe - to sort less and trust more. Responding to where things go vs. always wanting to direct "this is where things will go."

Perhaps that's my first takeaway from Allume and it may have been something I learned more from my casual conversations with friends than from any sessions. Yes, there is work to be done and things to make happen (homeschool lessons, another e-book I'm about to release) but there's a Voice I can trust to guide and lead us. Am I listening? Are you?

Updated to add: If you missed Allume but want to hear the amazing keynote and breakout sessions (pst... you do) you can access that for FREE here at Teach Them Diligently.

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  • Maria

    Maria on Oct. 30, 2012, 3:51 p.m.

    Yes, I can say I understand how much to share online. My blog is very Christian because the lovely ladies that read it has urged me to share myself in this manner.

    We are all called for a specific purpose. How wonderful that yours is so distinctive with the audience of women that you have here in this space.

    I have learned a great deal in just the bit that I have read. And I know that HE who guides you is within it all.

    Thank you so much, once again, for sharing...and welcome home! :)



  • Emily

    Emily on Oct. 30, 2012, 3:52 p.m.

    Welcome home, friend!

    So glad your journeyings and arrival home left you safe and sound. So glad you were given this opportunity for renewal, light, and connection.



  • Melissa

    Melissa on Oct. 30, 2012, 6:13 p.m.

    Currently I'm a non-practicing Jew. Once upon a time I was very frum, at the 'modern orthodox' point on the classification continuum. Thinking back to that time, when I had the religious world and the non-religious world such as work, what I remember (and which may be of value to you to ponder), is that my behaviours were very driven by mitzvah and halacha however I didn't talk about it that way to my co-workers and uninterested friends. It was simply me. Even now, I will make a quiet blessing for such things as tasting a 'new' fruit etc. and not share that.

    The person, and thus you and this blog, is not compromised by not blatantly stating 'xyz' is driven by faith, because you are living your faith and thus writing it. Am I making sense?

    If you feel a need to write entries specific to your faith and experience then a simple heads up at the top of an entry would let people know and they can choose to read it or not. For myself, I get that it permeates everything else you write and that doesn't turn me off, but I probably would skip over specific posts that went into details just because it's not of interest to me. For a blogger writing a personal blog that should be okay, because the blog is about you and not the reader. The challenge might come up when the personal blog is a segue to your income activities and you have a broader audience you are conscious of.

    I didn't mean for this to get so long...just thought another perspective might help.

    Glad you had an energizing retreat and made it home ahead of the storm.


  • Tonya

    Tonya on Oct. 30, 2012, 7:03 p.m.

    You know Renee, I have been thinking a lot lately about how much to share on my blog about my Christian beliefs. I know i have many readers that are not Christian - but I am coming around to believe that if the blog is a reflection of my life and my life is centered around my Christian beliefs, then I need to make my blog also be a reflection of my faith. I, too, worry about offending others - but I certainly am not offended when I enjoy reading about another mama's blog where she homesteads, but is pagan, for example... lots to think about. Thank you so much for sharing about your experiences!


    • renee

      renee on Oct. 30, 2012, 8 p.m.

      Tonya, I'm not afraid of offending people with my beliefs. Rather, I want to be the same person here as I am if you were to hang out with my in my kitchen. If I know a friend shares the same faith as me I am comfortable opening up my heart to those most tender places and deeply held beliefs. Because I know they will relate on that level. But if a friend comes to visit and is not a believer in Jesus Christ (in fact, most our friends do not share our faith) I don't open up the same way, nor do I hide my faith. I just relate on a different level. I really don't want FIMBY to be a Christian blog, just like I don't call myself a Christian mother, a Christian writer, Christian wife, etc. I'm a Christian. And even that title makes me nervous because as soon as someone hears that they automatically have certain prejudices about me - not bad or good necessarily, just prejudices. I want people to accept me for me, not my beliefs.  I appreciate your thoughts on this Tonya. I think it's really all a matter of walking out our faith in the way that feels most authentic to us and listening the Spirit.


  • LeeLLeeLeeee

    LeeLLeeLeeee on Oct. 30, 2012, 9:19 p.m.

    Renee, glad you are home to all that is good and grounding. I know we will all enjoy the influence of your experience in the coming months of blog posts. I personally am really glad to hear your position on keeping your blog "open" to all. I am not a Christian, though I was raised that way. But I resonate with so much of your writing and lifestyle, as it is more spiritual than religious. And spirituality connects us all in many ways while a particular path to that spiritually sometimes creates unintended walls. When we leave off the labels, we see the individual more clearly.


  • Shelley R.

    Shelley R. on Oct. 31, 2012, 2:56 p.m.

    Renee... your contagious authenticity is what brings me back to visit and peruse and ponder ideas. yes, I said contagious. In a culture that seeks to be real via photoshop pics and slick and eloquent words on the net as well as numerous blogs written by women and mothers.... there is an aching need for vibrant sincerity. In your striving for balance and self-expression in your writing and life, there is an evident thread of realness. It seems to be ever seeking truth, goodness, and beauty in the everyday. So, "Further up and further in!" I say.


  • Rana

    Rana on Nov. 2, 2012, 12:35 a.m.

    My take is write it all out in a journal which I know you have one. If you want to share it with us I'm all ears, but if you feel you need to keep it within your family, I'm good with that too.

    Glad your back safe and sound!


  • steadymom

    steadymom on Nov. 7, 2012, 1:45 a.m.

    Yay, roomie! I'm late to this post b/c of my power outage. Catching up on all I missed last week--I'm still processing all the good stuff that came out of Allume. Loved in a big way -- & a major highlight was meeting you, friend!!



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