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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Today is the day!

Dear friends. 

Today is the day. 

The big day I have been running towards for months. 

All last night, I dreamt of parades, confetti, and excitement. That's how excited I am. 

Today is the For the Love book launch party, at Jen Hatmaker's house. 

Y'all. This is real life. In less than 12 hrs, I will be hanging out with all my new found friends in the Hatmaker's backyard. And it's so beautiful. 

I have been reflecting so much this week on the last few months. And honestly there is a lot to reflect on. 

I am currently sitting in bed in a huge house. One of my dearest best friends is in bed across from me. We have been talking for six months, but only actually saw and hugged each other for the first time, two nights ago. Across the hall are two of the most incredible women I have ever met. I didn't even know what it was like to be encouraged and poured into with such grace, until I met them two days ago. I can hear coffee brewing, bacon sizzling, and a lot of laughter. There is joy coming from the kitchen. I can hear conversations spouting up down the hall about what to wear tonight, and how to spend the day together. Last night when I went to bed, I left the door open, and I could hear (and identify) these beautiful voices chatting late into the night. Yesterday morning, the door to my room was open, and 12 women poured in. We sat on the two twin beds, on the floor, and in the doorway, as we sipped coffee, told stories, prayed, and loved each other. 

There are 20 of us staying at this house, and there are another 200 in the area, in town just for tonight's festivities.

We have gone thrift store shopping, gone to dinner, gone for late night walks, and just invaded a city. Every girl I meet, I'm greeted with smiles, hugs, and so much love. 

I really cannot get over this. And I'm not sure I ever want to. 

I didn't even know who Jen Hatmaker was at the beginning of this year. A few friends had shared her statuses on Facebook, and I thought she was funny, so I followed her. When she asked for a launch team, I signed up because I love to fill things out. I had no idea what I was signing up for, and no idea who Jen was, or that she was an author. 

Once I started to figure out who Jen was, and what she had written, I felt like a big dork. I was the farthest thing from a fan girl. I felt like I didn't belong. 

And then I read the book. So many times. And I really invested in this beautiful online community, and I realized it was never for one second about Jen, and any fan girl moments. 

Jen, this book, and Jesus have created the most beautiful community here. 

We are so authentic with each other.

I was slightly concerned that when we met in person, it wouldn't be as encouraging, or genuine, or lovely as it is online. There is some anonyminty online, and spending a long weekend together means all bets are off. The crazy hair and bad breath in the morning are out in the open, the silliness and laughter over dinner is now public, the embarrassment over things is known. And it's all okay. The rarest forms of ourselves have been exposed, and they have been accepted and loved here. 

I just am in awe. 

Women from different states, different stages, different generations, different denominations, and different opinions came together, and we launched this book, and redefined how to love each other well. 

I am beyond honored to have been apart of this.

So, tonight I'm going to hang out in Jen Hatmaker's backyard. I think it's kinda a big deal. But more than the big deal, I just want to squeeze everyone that has been apart of this season of beauty and love. Jen has already announced that she's not signing books, because tonight is a gathering of friends. 

Is there anything more beautiful? 

So many more things to write about. 

But for now, coffee is calling my name. 


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