Monday, January 24, 2011

Just wondering about Blissdom

I was going to write about Blissdom today. I got my Blissdom welcome package on Friday, and suddenly it was real: I--little ol' small potatoes, nobody-in-particular me--going to Blissdom.

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ January 26-28, 2010

It's true. Come this Wednesday, I'll be boarding a Southwest flight bound for Nashville, and I'll be among the 500 or so bloggers gathered at the Opryland Hotel for three days of learning and fellowship and fun.

To be honest, I'm a little scared. I was going to write about that today.

I'm not scared of going to conferences. Shoot, I used to work as a conference planner. I like conferences. I'm not scared of not knowing anyone. I've met several bloggers in real life, and there are a number of others with whom I have a long-standing online relationship. It's not that.

I'm kind of scared of being there with all those women.

I live with men, you know. I'm the only girl in this house. I'm used to living and working with people who don't care much about hairstyles, or make-up, or footwear. And now I'm going to be spending the week with a bunch of women who know all about fashion. Who are experts at accessorizing. Who own multiple pairs of boots, for crying out loud. I'm intimidated at the thought of being among all these beautiful people.

I was going to write about all of that. But then yesterday, something happened that shifted my focus: my dear friend Bill died.

His death was not unexpected. He'd been in poor health for some time. His darling wife died several years ago, and he was quite ready to join her in heaven. But still. His death has jolted me.

I'm really happy for him, for I know that the death of his physical body was just the next step in an eternal life for him. Thinking about him, though, has changed the way I'm thinking about this week.

Don't get me wrong: I'm really glad and thankful to be going to Blissdom. I'm very excited about it. In terms of blogging, it's an important event.

But that's just it: even for this week, I don't want my life to be all about anything that's important in terms of blogging. I want it to be about something that's important in terms of eternity.

Can a blog be important in the eternal scheme of things? I think so. Some bloggers have struck chords deep within my soul. Some bloggers challenge me to live into a God-vision of me. Some bloggers encourage me to be more than I could ever be all by myself. I'm very thankful for blogging.

But, even at a conference all about blogging, I don't want my eyes to be focused on just on blogging. I want them to be focused on the One who's giving me the opportunity to attend this conference, the One who called me to begin blogging in the first place. The One with whom Bill is now talking face-to-face.

That'll be me someday. I'll have the chance to talk with Him face-to-face. And I'm wondering what He'll want to hear about Blissdom '11.

Be generous with me and I'll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
I'm a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—
insatiable for your nourishing commands.

Psalm 119:17-19, The Message


Vanessa@Southern In My Heart said...

This was so beautiful and honest Richella! I so agree that blogging as believers HAS to be about more than just decorating and fashion and crafts. We are called to share Who God is and what He has done for us. I never thought when I started blogging that I would have the opportunity to speak into someone's life in this way and it has by far been the most rewarding part of the experience. You have set such a great example of that and I so appreciate it! :-)
P.S. Have a Fabulous time at Blissdom! Wish I was going...maybe next year?

Shelia said...

Hi Richella! Oh, this was a wonderful post! I am sorry about your friend Bill. But as christians we do know what this means. I like you want to know my life and the things I do make a difference.
I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time at Blissdom and I'll be looking forward to hearing about it.
I, like Vanessa, appreciate your honesty and heart today!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Jemsmom said...

Richella, what a beatuiful post. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. You have it right about blogging and showing His purpose through this tool. You do it so well. Many of your posts have really inspired and touched me and made me turn to God and think more of him. You will have such a great time at Blissdom! I had no idea it was in Nashville! That is where I was born and raised! Enjoy every moment!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

You have an excellent way of putting things into perspective, my friend. I'm so sorry for the loss of a dear friend.

You have nothing to worry about b/c you and your beautiful self are going to have a great time!!!

Denise said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Bill, and yet I am happy too because of how you posted about this, and I know he's in a better place. Beautiful and honest, you are a blessing to us all Richella.
big hugs

Bonita said...

Richella, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I pray that your time at Blissdom will prove to be a healing balm to you and that you will also bring a grounded, eternal perspective to the mix. They will love you! Have a great time!

Laurie said...

I so appreciate your transparency and honest in this post. Being real is so important, and seemingly so rare in our culture today. Just remember God has you right where you are for a reason, for a season, to enrich the lives of those with whom you cross paths. And I think someone like you who is pondering all these things is certainly a special person who knows what it important in life and eternity and exudes that in all you do. Enjoy the conference, God's opportunities will abound!!! God bless!!

His Doorkeeper said...

Such a wonderful and thought-provoking post Richella. I have often wondered about blogging and how it can be used for good as well as evil.

I have seen much more good, I have to say (but of course I am not on the "evil" sites either) and I have seen the name of our Lord honored and glorified in ways that could not have happened years ago. So I choose to try to speak about Jesus as much as possible so maybe just one other person will hear about Him and believe. That is what we are called to do!

Thank you for the sweet words about our 40th anniversary. i am sorry about your friend's passing but you must have comfort in knowing he is with the Lord!

Have a wonderful time at Blissdom!

Dawn said...


Southern Lady said...

What a beautiful post! I am so sorry about the death of your friend. I know that you will miss his presence here on earth, but isn't it wonderful that one day all of us sisters and brothers in Christ will be together? I believe that you are so right about a blog being able to make an eternal difference. I know that yours has inspired me! Enjoy your trip to Nashville and your time with the other bloggers! Carla

Adrienne said...

Your words touch a chord deep in my heart! I'm so sorry you lost your friend - no, you didn't lose your friend! You know exactly where He is. Praying that you will be a blessing in the lives of the gals you meet at Blissdom. Thank you for your honest, from-the-heart words.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I'm so sorry about your friend Bill.

I know what you mean about blogging. I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to blog as it provides my husband and I the opportunity to have started a church. Something that would not have been possible without blogging! Amazing how God works! I'm so thankful.

I'm looking forward to meeting you this week, Richella!

See you soon!

Cyndi@Walking in His Grace said...

That's was beautiful and why I'm so thankful we're going to be roomies.....I want more than anything to share Christ through my blog.
Can't wait to meet!
Blessings and safe travel,

FrouFrouBritches said...

So sorry about your friend Bill, but I know you are rejoicing that today he is without illness and is in the presence of God.

Blogging can be a wonderful way to give others the gift of God. Everyone who reads your blog can see God through you. That is what's most important.

You will have a fabulous time at Blissdom! Have enough fun for ALL of us who don't get to go!

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

I'm sorry and happy about Bill.
When I began this blogging journey, I knew I was called. As I'm sure you knew you were.
Let us be ever aware of our calling and that it is most definitely a divine intervention and not an interruption to bring eternity, hope, salvation and the light of the World to others' hearts.
What a wonderful, dear, precious tribute to Bill and his Saviour.
P.S. Like Vanessa said--maybe we all should go to Blissdom next year!
And wear your Jesus clothes this week, and no other fashion will matter.

Melanie said...

Richella, you ALWAYS have the right idea and perspective in anything you do. When I come to your blog, you make me think, you encourage me, and I always learn something.

I appreciate that about you. I hope you had a great time at Blissdom. Maybe I could go next year and meet some of my blog friends.

Laryssa Herbert said...

SO glad we got to meet at Blissdom! I'm thankful to the Lord for having our paths cross. Looking forward to getting to know you better!

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