Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Home from the 10th ACFW Conference!

(left, Susan Downs, me, Susan May Warren. Ten years and counting!)

It's never easy, Being in a pool of peers. Swimming with the current. Against the current. Exhausted. Laughing. Weary yet energized. Pulled in a thousand different directions. Yet somehow having a single purpose.

Novels. Fiction. Hanging with other writers. I love to teach. Never realized how much until I started doing it.

This year, I learned I'm good at improve at the My Book Therapy Pizza Parties on the 18th floor with 100 Voices and a lighted terrace. No wonder singing antiphonally is easy. I can "act" antiphonally too. Ha! We ended the night in song, "Don't Stop Believing." Sharing the stage with Jim Rubart, Karen Ball and Susie May.

Being asked by the band, Jeremiah, Jimi, Jason and Jeremy to ride the elevator with them at 1:00 AM while they detonated iPhone farts on tipsy riders. My acceptance to their invitation inducted me permanently in to the "boy's club." I should write my older brother and his friends thank you notes. They trained me well.

Leading worship with 720 people who love Jesus. Chills running over my arms as we sang to the King of Kings. Disappointed when one of the band members overheard a woman rushing out of the hotel Sunday morning saying, "I can't wait to get back to 'normal' worship." Really? That was her conference take away? Abnormal worship.

Which leads to the question. What's normal worship? Who gets to define worship? Not me. Not you. But the Holy Spirit. Isn't it amazing how MUCH worship is about us. I have to watch that with my own brand of worship. Too tempted to pigeon hole it to fit "me" not Jesus.

Laughing with Liz Curtis Higgs during the Awards Gala. We were too rowdy. I apologize. We never meant to laugh at all -- but a tiny spark can ignite a roaring flame. Then came the spinning elephant and it was all over.

Loving Shannon Marchese's tears-of-laughter. And sharing the table with T.L. Higley, Karen Ball, Steve Laube, Susie May, Shannon and Andy Meisenheimer.

Susan May Warren winning The Carol for Sons of Thunder. I tuck away all of her wins as my wins too. We work that closely...

Meeting so many new writers. Connecting with friends I only see at conference. Meeting new friends. You know who you are!

Gathering with the Belles -- Lisa Wingate, Marybeth Whalen, Beth Webb Hart. Love you! Lisa winning The Carol for Never Say Never!

Hugs from My Book Therapy Voices -- Beth Vogt, Lisa Jordan, Reba Hoffman, Michelle Lim, Delores Topliff, Alena Tauriainen, Edie Melson, Melissa Tagg, and so many more!

Realizing we all have insecurities. We all feel lost. We all want to belong but often feel we don't.

The humor and smiles of Tyler and Jeane Wynn. (Yes... I know... )

Decided I need to be more proactive, a bit more goal oriented. I so want God's will in my life I've been come... passive? I volunteered to sit on the back row with Him, let Him lead my life, let Him sing my praises. I intend to stay there. Yet, I must put plans into place so HE can direct my steps.

Having those moments where I couldn't wait to get home and start writing. Yet, loving a season to refresh.

I love writing novels! It's the other stuff I don't always enjoy...

Ten years ago I attended the first ACFW conference in Kansas City. I've been to every one since. Oddly, there are times when I still feel sooo new, so outside, observing. Am I still the newbie at that first conference so long ago? LOL. It seems like it sometimes.

I met Susan Downs, Susan Warren, Tracey Bateman and Christine Lynxwiler that year and they became dear, dear friends. Women of my heart. I've not seen Tracey or Chris in a few years. I miss them.


I'm proud of what ACFW is doing, from where we've come to where we're going. Honored to be a part of God moving among His people and opening up our hearts to WRITE for Him.


Lisa Jordan said...

Beautiful post, Rachel. ACFW is a must attend for me every year. You are a huge reason for that draw. Not only do I feel so close to God during worship, but meeting with my mentors and friends cements God's calling in my life. One of my best ACFW moments is having a random chat with you that totally changed how I write. I'm honored to know you, friend. I love your encouragement, your friendship, and your heart for Jesus.

Rachel Hauck said...

Lisa, you are such an encourager to me and to so many! When you're around it's like, "Ah, everything is okay!"

Thanks for being open, being my friend, and for being on this journey with me and all of MBT.

Love you,

Robin Prater said...

I love how you are so transparent. This was my first conference and as a newbie I was terrified right out of my shoes! LOL I felt so small gathered around such amazing gifted writers.

I didn't get to stay for the whole conference. My daughter went into labor and had my first grandson. As a mother, I wouldn't have been any where else but by her side.

As I work on my novel, it is my prayer that I make my Father proud and always and forever make everything about Him.

Thank you for sharing, Rachel. I purchased your book at the conference. Softly and Tenderly. All I can say is, Wow! I just purchased the first of the series. Can't wait to dive in to that first story.

Blessings to you,
Robin Prater