I need you to know that I’m going on a work trip this week. Not because I think you’ll care about the actual work I’ll be doing when I’m out there, but because you’ll probably see some photos shared on Instagram (assuming their new algorithm doesn’t hide them. GRR.). And I don’t want you to be surprised, or wonder why I didn’t mention the trip, or think it’s anything it’s not.
We’ve all been there. Suddenly everyone we follow seems to be at the same place at the same time doing the same fancy thing and we wonder “where’s my invitation?” It feels weird when it comes up out of the blue, like it was this huge secret gathering that was planned behind our collective social media obsessed backs and we feel even MORE left out than if we’d just known about it from the beginning.
This is the beginning. I’m telling you about my trip. Because while we could say things like “trips like this wouldn’t have been a big deal before social media,” guess what? We’re not living pre-Instagram. And I want you to know a few things going into this week so that we can be on the same page, ok?
- For me, it’s genuinely a work trip. Each year we invite the writers of (in)courage to gather for a retreat so we can love on them in person and hug the necks of the women who pour their hearts out on the page month after month. And while I’m there and around a few friends I don’t see very often, I’ll be trying to balance the fine line of friendship and managing editor of their words.
- I’m nervous about it. I’m out of my league around these women in a big way, and it scares me to even consider being asked “so what have you been up to?” and having NOTHING to say.
- I will feel insecure the whole time. Because I’m not the cool kid. I’m the wall flower. And I’ll be looking at YOUR photos of your afternoon’s at the pool with your kids and wishing I was where you are.
- The location for our retreat (which is only 2 days of our time together) changes every year. This year it’s in California because it worked well with our Ontario meetup event. And I’m really looking forward to spending time with my stepbrother and his family while I’m there, and hopefully seeing a few other friends who live in the area – because I’m way better at one-on-one time than I am at a whole big “share all the feelings in a big group.”
- I will probably be in bed by 9pm. Because time change and I’m a homebody who just wants to watch Olympics trial coverage.
- When I share photos, it’s because I want you to be encouraged by something that encouraged me. I won’t just show off a pretty view or activity because I want to make someone wish they were me. Y’all do NOT want to be me. But I want to include you.
- There won’t be a hashtag for this trip that makes you feel like you missed some kind of insider secret club.
- I won’t be wearing anything from Anthropology, Noonday, or Nordstrom while I’m there. Because I don’t really own any of those things and I’m a yoga pants and tank top kind of gal. Sorry California. Mama’s coming comfy.
- I’m hoping to be inspired by God while I’m on this trip. Because I need a fresh vision and some motivation to keep creating content and interesting ideas for (in)courage to bring more women into the community where they can find themselves among friends. I have a feeling it will show up in some small, quiet moments near the ocean than it will in a big noisy stadium with Beth Moore.
- I wish you could be on this trip, too. I really do. Not because the trip itself is anything special, or because you have to be by the ocean to get a fresh vision from God, but because you have my back. You are my people. You get me and my heart and I wish I could gather you all up for a girl’s weekend away to do some fun, relaxing things and drink lots of coffee.
You guys. This trip this week? It’s not about me. It’s not because of anything I’ve done or will do. And wherever you are this week, I pray that God would open your eyes to the little ways He wants to meet you in those quiet moments and breath a fresh vision and inspiration over your heart. And I hope you’ll share them – here in the comments or tag me on social media, because I want to hear about it.
And if you have a spare moment to keep this introverted, insecure, more than a little scared of this trip mama in your prayers this week, I would be so grateful. I’m going to miss my people.
Carolyn White says
Be brave. This Iowa farm wife is praying.
You are awesome! I love your encouragement. Thanks for always keeping it real! Have a wonderful week! Can’t wait to see what God does.
Michelle Acker says
Crystal Stine…. I love you and your incourage team in such a big googly heart eyes kind of way. What a brilliantly insightful, sweet, and inclusive post. I will be ‘following’ y’all having fun with a heart full of admiration and love. Praying you each are enveloped in his presence and love. Have a blast!!!
P.S. Number 2 is soooo false…. you have been up to A LOT…. in ways that are simply not yet ready to be known and revealed. big things are happening… trust His timing and direction. (And maybe just spill the truth and let all these amazing women minister to your heart when that ‘what have you been up to’ question comes up.) I’ll be cheering for you from here. xoxo
Heidi Guyer says
Love & miss you sweet friend!! Prayers for a safe trip!
Hi Crystal. I will be praying for you and for a good trip this week. I am also traveling for a blogging/fitness conference and will be in California. So I will have your back and be close by! I will miss seeing you at Declare Conference this year, but love keeping in touch with you on social media.