Monday, October 25, 2010

I Missed It {But I'm Still Relevant)

The joy of family coming to visit is unsurpassed in the Hooper home.

My brother, his sweet wife (one of my best friends) and their four children are with us, living "under the stairs" in our super comfy basement for one glorious week. The days are already flying by too quickly, game-filled, laughter-rich, and the six boys and two girls between us keep us on our toes, begging to fill the hours with as much closeness and fun as they can stand. It has been so precious.

However, I didn't get to attend Relevant.

And the texts flew between Andrea and I as she spent time with other Christian bloggers at the event, and her words were filled with delight at the fellowship, yet weariness at being an introvert in such surroundings. And I commiserated, nodding understanding as I sent strength-words to bounce off of satellites and warm her heart, but felt a growing sorrow that I was missing a time of encouragement with her, and so many other dear hearts.

Ann was the keynote speaker on Saturday evening. Ann. Who I, along with thousands of others, have grown to love and admire over the years. Who has encouraged me in my darkest hours, and has blessed me with the poetry of her life, written from such an honest place. I so wanted to hear her speak, but to see her as well?

So I found a place online to watch the live stream and prepared family for losing Mama for an hour so I could drink in her words and rejoice at seeing my dear friend, hear her voice, enjoy her mannerisms. I steeped some tea, preparing a second mug for my sister-in-law, who was joining me in the bedroom to nurse her girl and watch as well. Fireman brother was stirring his homemade spaghetti sauce, the table set for dinner, children scattered throughout the house playing...

...and the internet went out.

Husband and brother frantically tried to help, switching laptops, moving cords, calling providers. But we found that our neighborhood was part of an area that would be experiencing an outage for a couple of hours.

I kept my heart light, closed my eyes against the temporary tears of disappointment, and opened them to smile at my sister-in-law as we packed up laptops and mugs and baby and reentered life.

And I heard Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider, whisper, Beloved, you haven't missed a thing.

The sauce was bubbling and homemade french bread made earlier in the day was spread with garlic butter and toasted, milk poured in glasses, boosters and bibs filled with baby boys, and then I lit the candle.

And there was nowhere else I would rather have been.

Later that evening, Eliana placed her hands on my face as I smiled at her after prayers. She squeezed gently, then gasped and said,

God wants us to smile- that's why He gave us cheeks!

And these cheeks are still smilin'. And I couldn't agree more with Andrea's final text that night...

You're living life, and blogging the overflow!

My cup runneth over.

But next year in Pennsylvania? I'm so there.

15 fellow travelers shared:

Kristin said...

Relavant is within driving distance from me and I SO would have loved to be there. But alas, this year I have other priorities (mainly a sweet snuggly-warm 7-week-old!) so maybe next year...

Linda said...

I so wanted to hear Ann too Elise, but we attend saturday night church. About the time she was speaking, we were beginning the worship service - and it is always such a precious time.
I hope to be able to go next year too. It all sounded like just what I needed.
I did have a chance to spend a few hours with Ann last month. It was such a precious gift. I think it would be wonderful if we could all meet some time in the future.
Something to look forward to!

laura said...

wish i could have been there as well. if there is a way to watch the recording or listen, will you let us know. i too, wanted to see and hear our Canadian friend. But yes, loving your family and showing self control in the midst of frustration- that is relevant.

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

Oh, I love what Andrea said, "you're living life, and blogging the overflow..."

That's bathroom mirror worthy!

I'm going to go with Kristin next year (as long as a sweet-snuggly-newborn doesn't arrive beforehand)...hich would be fine with me!

Andrea said...

Elise,
You make *me* smile!!!!!
I promise, you were right where you were supposed to be....
If they have it next year, I am *so* going with you!
And if not?
You are *so* coming to NY!!!

contented sparrow said...

ah, elise! i could have written this same post, exchanging some details.

i had been giddy ALL week knowing i was going to be able to hear and see our precious Ann. my heart aches to be near her. so, i rushed home on saturday, the kids all went to play outside, i snuggled down on the couch praying my heart out for that dear girl, that the Holy Spirit would prepare people's hearts for what they would hear, that He would overwhelm her with His peace and presence. anyways, the time for her to speak came and......
the live streaming didn't work!!! for anyone! i watched all the twittering and the administrators said that they tried everything but that streaming wouldn't be available. so, you REALLY didn't miss anything! isn't that amazing?!

i admit i may have been teary but really trusted that God didn't want Ann's words going out into the whole world that night! His plans are good, yes?!

and, yes, maybe next year?
be blessed today, elise.
love, megan

Deidra said...

I was there, too, waiting for the streaming that never happened. It just wasn't meant for us that night. I truly believe that. I believed it when it happened, and now - reading these words of wonder you have typed out here from your heart - I believe it even more.

jillian said...

Hello dear Elise,

I just found your blog from an old link on Ann's (for Children's Book Monday) and I just cried with you reading this post. I'm writing from central China and it didn't even occur to me to look for live streaming of the R conference but oh I would have gladly snuggled up in my bed and sent the family to our fellowship Sunday morning without me (I've had the flu this week) so I could have taken that in. Shux.

Oh how I would LOVE to get in on a cozy living room chat with this precious friend of ours. And I love you too! Thank you for writing worthy words (when so many sweet pages online are filled with nothing of significance)... words to marvel again at the greatness of GRACE at work in our lives in so many ways. "Near" was wonderful and I love your music picks too. Thanks for sharing all this...

grace and peace to you- for Christ's glory!
jill

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Oh Elise.
When I saw Andrea! My people! :) And when we spoke of you, my heart hurt. You, Aimee, Tonia ... Women we've come the whole long way with... introverts who tap keys in quiet corners. I ached for you all, a fish out of water, a farm hick out of her dirt :) I said to Andrea, "Ahhh, and you've met Elise *twice*!" To be Andrea and have met you!

I hadn't realized that the livestream wasn't working -- I had heard there were problems, but thought it had been remedied. So many praying for my knocking, trembling knees, for me small and uncertain... I guess the Lord gifted everyone with an hour to spend in far better ways! :) Relevant indeed! :)

Like loving up your babies and family in for a week and living and giving so well. How you do, Elise.

Simply, I love you, Elise. And pray for His perfect time when our paths will cross.

Our hearts already have.


All's grace,
Ann

Sheila @ Dodging Raindrops said...

I love Andrea's quote about living life. I think I will put it up as a reminder to me.

tonia said...

Megan and Elise,

I was with you too....so excited to hear and see our dear friend share her heart. and yes, the disappointment when it just wouldn't come on the screen. :(

but what sweet thoughts...that you all were there in heart and spirit in your own homes longing with me.

(((you)))

elise....i just realized that i have never sent you that letter. acck! within the next two weeks, i promise. :)

tonia

Danielle said...

I didn't even know about Relevant until I came here. So I suppose it is irrelevant ;-). At least for me!

Elise, I wanted to tell you that I was inspired by your post on reading restrictions. So I "restricted" myself to Katherine for one week, and I loved the book - thanks for recommending it!

Absent I've been from the blogosphere for awhile, but I'm slowly starting to write again...I didn't know how much it meant to me until I came back and found the same wonderful people and realized how much I'd missed them! I changed the look/name of my blog. It's a long way from Enjoying the Sonshine! Let me know what you think...

Danielle

Ginger said...

I loved this encouraging post, but that's not why I popped in. I just had to tell you THANK YOU, for your book reccomendation of, "That Book Woman". We returned last night from the library and so this morning, the excitement of new books was electrifying all of us. I curled up on the couch with kids tucked in here and there, and while reading the last few pages the tears started blurring the pages. When the only thanks she needs is to hear him read. Wow.

GREAT book, Thank you!

Dave said...

Wonderfully well said. As always, sweet Elise.
I'm hoping to make it for next year's conference, I might join you there!
Blessings,
Joy

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Ack! It says Dave, but it was in fact, me, Joy. :)

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