✔ Ipod loaded with music from Brandon, Zach (from college days), Aaron Keyes, and David Crowder. What better way to begin and end a day?
 
✔ Lots ‘o one dollar bills for the Cloud 9 Coffee Cafe. Latan, are you ready?
 
✔ My “Edie” notebook, stocked with business cards, writing samples, and a flashback-style plastic pouch filled with pens, paper clips, and sticky notes.  

✔ Much, much more.

If you know me, you know I’m all about the checklist. The process makes me giddy:

  • Empty thoughts onto page. In detail.
  • Grab debit card. Go shopping.
  • Ask hubster to bring luggage down from the attic. Okay, beg.
  • Check off each item — quickly. Score!

Searching for the most comfortable shoes or snazziest notebook is gratifying, but if I’m not careful, I can allow the temporal prep to override the eternal one.
 
Becoming spiritually prepared for next week’s Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference also involves a process—one of searching the soul, with God leading the way. For me, it looks something like this: 

God, would you search my heart? Turns out, I have a tendency to see only what I want to see about myself. 

God, would you see if there is any offensive way in me? 

  • Pride – even a speck of it can leave enough space for the enemy’s big toe.
  • Envy – “Envy is dissatisfaction with who God has made me to be. It is also suspicion that God is withholding what I deserve and giving it to someone else.” -Mindy Caliguire. God, am I envying someone else? If so, please forgive me and show me how to put on dancing shoes (preferably, without heels) on behalf of another person’s success.
  • Greed – “Greed
    grows out of the suspicion that God will not take care of our needs as
    well as we can do it ourselves.” -Mindy Caliguire. I say I trust You to lead and guide the way on this journey, but when I try to make things happen in my own strength, there’s a whiff of greed in the air, i.e., the stench of flesh. Father, may You find me dying to self, allowing the Holy Spirit to move fully and freely in my life, bringing forth the sweet scent of Your glory.

God, open my eyes to the new and unique ways You are calling me to live out the Gospel as I choose to see this amazing conference as a blessing from You. Not one person will be in attendance by “coincidence”. 

Next week is about You, not me. 
Next week is about transformation, not information. 
Next week is about becoming the men and women You’ve called us to be, not trying to become someone through the process of “doing”.  

“Lay your deadly doing down
Down at Jesus’ feet
And stand in Him, in Him alone,
Wondrously complete.” 

-James Proctor, It is Finished