You know you're home when...

IMG_1782...Tiger makes you his personal assistant and lovingly kisses your chin, fingers, nose, and camps in your lap every time you look at something electronic. ...The same chores await you that you left behind - except the vacuuming, which your hubby kindly did even when he was too tired from working on your new office.

Perhaps this should be titled, "You know you are loved when..."

For coming home surely makes a person feel grateful to be back with the person (and furry person) who missed them most.

IMG_3453Nashville was fun. The best part was getting to hang out with two former critique partners, Maureen Lang and Kathy Fuller. This was the first time we all had the chance to actually meet in person. I had met both Maureen and Kathy on other occasions but we had never all been together in the same place. We also met up with another former critique partner, Tammy Alexander, which made the original four of the group I was in when I sold my first book series. These ladies are great writers and taught me much.

There were lots of workshops and good food and worship and laughter. Karen Kingsbury and Liz Curtis Higgs were two of our speakers. I met Karen years ago at my first writer's conference, back when I felt completely out of my element and certain I did not belong on this path. Karen is as gracious and friendly as she was back then, and what a ministry God has given to her! She has such a heart for Jesus!

IMG_3465Liz Curtis Higgs is someone I not only admire but am honored to call friend. Her heart for the Lord shines through every caring word she speaks. Such an encouraging woman! God knew I needed to hear what Liz had to say.

IMG_3474We took a couple of group photos, but I didn't get copies of them yet. I made some new friends and strengthened long-held relationships. Looking back it is hard to believe so many years have passed since we all met each other. Writers conferences and retreats are places where iron sharpens iron, not only in craft but in our concern and love for each other. It's like the body of Christ coming together from all over the country, even the world, but on a much smaller scale.

The Opreyland Hotel was huge and beautiful, though I would change the guest rooms a bit if it were up to me. I managed to walk into the wood frame of the bed that was shin high several times a day, which either means I'm clumsy or they should redesign their frames. (Probably both!)

IMG_3481Other mishaps - My glasses felt strangely loose and I realized the nose piece was breaking. Not good because if you lose a nose piece, there is nothing to hold it in place. So it was either find a glasses shop or a way to make it hold until I got home. The "Necessities" shop carried super glue. Amazing what superglue can fix.

IMG_3452Christmas lights were everywhere in super abundance. The hotel is like a small city and we literally walked miles going from one end to another multiple times a day. Coffee kiosks were in multiple locations along with at least three coffee shops, which I frequented too often.

All in all, it was a great retreat, but I am sorely traveled out. And I think Tiger needs a friend for times like these when we aren't home enough for his liking. But that's a discussion for another day.