For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. Yes, I will be found by you,” says the Eternal, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations where you’ve been scattered—all the places where I have driven you. I will bring you back to the land that is your rightful home.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 (VOICE)

I had an amazing opportunity to attend the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina this past week with my friend, Helen Smrcek. Our journey began at 4:30 a.m. as we started the 13+ hour trek through Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and finally into North Carolina. Yes, it was long, but the scenery took our breath away (and I couldn’t ask for better company!). The various shades of green, colorful lupins and poppies, rolling hills, and spectacular sunset when we reached the Blue Ridge Mountains made me revel in God’s creation. What a way to start a powerful week!

The conference consisted of reuniting with friends, making new ones, great classes, yummy lavender white mocha iced lattes (too many), compelling keynote speakers, and powerful worship. It was my first time at BRMCWC and I fell in love with the atmosphere, people, and setting.

I took classes from Lynette Eason (Red Pen Alliance – Fiction Writing Practicum), Edie Melson (Social Media, Bullet Journaling, and Soul Care for Writers), and CS Lakin (4 Essential Pillars of Novel Structure). All wonderful learning opportunities. My conference ended by being blessed with an award for my female Mountie manuscript, Stolen Vows. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Most of all, I was reminded by both DiAnn Mills and Edie Melson the reason we write. DiAnn urged us to “glorify God in our writing with words from Him.”

Love this from Edie – “This journey takes us from mountain tops to valleys. He’s the only one who’s opinion matters. Write in faith. The outcome of our writing is in God’s hands. He’s in charge of everything we write. His plans include people. Our part is small. The big stuff is God’s. All we do is the writing part.”
Go forth and experience what God has for you. Embrace the joy and sorrow. –Edie Melson


What were your favorite moments at Blue Ridge? Where do you find rest?

This song hit me during worship time at the conference. Yes, I want to see you, Lord!

Open Up the Heavens

Check out these other pictures from the conference!

Darlene and Helen at the Awards Ceremony

Darlene with Shannon Moore Redmon and Hope Welborn

Darlene and Dana R. Lynn

Darlene and Lynn Blackburn

Darlene and Lynette Eason

Darlene with the amazing DiAnn Mills and Edie Melson

My mentor and sweet friend, DiAnn Mills

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