I hope you are all having a wonderful day. A few weeks ago I attended ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) in Orlando and thought it'd be fun to share a bit about that with you all. It was my first time at ICRS and I was a bit in awe to learn that Phil Vischer and Matthew West were there, though I didn't realize that until I was on the plane flying home and actually had time to read through the convention program. Bummer.
The trip kicked off meeting my fabulous roommate and dear friend Kelli Standish. Kelli and I have worked together for a few years now, but it was the first opportunity we've had to meet in person. We met at the airport and made a midnight breakfast run to Denny's. I think we got all of four hours sleep that night and it started a trend :)
Sunday began with Books & Such brunch. It was a joy getting to meet my lovely agent in person.
Sunday night I attended the Baker dinner where I had a wonderful time reconnecting with friends and fellow Bethany House authors.
Monday I headed over the convention center and was thoroughly impressed. There were so many Christian publishers represented there along with Christian music companies, film production companies, stores, and vendors. So many people yearning to share Christ with the world. I felt like a drop in a much greater ocean. An ocean hopefully reflecting our Father's love and majesty.
I spoke at a Fiction event (hosted by the fabulous SuzyQ) alongside authors I greatly admire, and had the privilege of signing books afterwards.
Monday night I attended the Christy awards where I got to cheer on numerous Bethany House authors. I am so blessed to be part of such an amazing publishing family.
Tuesday I taped a video interview with Ray Sadler (super fun guy!) for LifeWay Christian Stores, I did a signing in the Bethany House booth next to Davis Bunn (I so admire him), and wrapped up the afternoon sitting on a panel about Christian Fiction's Impact on Faith and Culture. Quite an interesting discussion. It was such an honor to be on the same panel as Colleen Coble, Rachel Hauck, and Kim Vogel Sawyer.
ICRS was a wonderful experience. Great food. Time with fellow writers and even more importantly, fellow believers in Christ. But it was good to return home to my tiny office, to quiet time with the Lord, to focusing on the story He's laid on my heart. To shift the focus off of me and onto Him because it's all for His glory. I'm just so thankful He provides opportunities for story lovers to group together from time to time (like at ICRS and ACFW), and incredibly grateful that He's always guiding us through this journey He's called us to.
Praying you feel God's leading on your life and your journey.