The CiRCE Conference 2012 has come and gone. I would love to be able to tell you everything that happened, but in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, "Tis too much. Let me sum up."
So, here are the highlights:
1. Once again the biggest highlight of the conference for me was the people. I reconnected with old friends and made new friends. I spent 4 glorious days in a community of like-minded laborers in the kingdom of God, and I was reminded that I am not alone in this work. The world is not changed by great men doing great things. Those lights shine bright but burn out quickly. No, true change comes from countless faithful people being faithful in the little things. I was encouraged by the faithfulness around me, and I was renewed.
2. I could watch John Hodges listen to music all day long.
3. David Hicks is not as intimidating as his book, Norms and Nobility. He has a lovely humility and a self-deprecating sense of humor.
4. Wendell Berry is delightful and charming, and I will forever have his voice and expression in my head when I read him.
5. I had a great time delivering my talk "Imago Dei and the Redemptive Power of Fantasy," and people really seemed to be blessed by it.
6. I love watching Martin Cothran play the straight man to--everyone.
7. The Wild Bunch lived up to its name once again. We're homeschool moms. We don't get out much.
8. I need a new headshot. I was repeatedly told by surprised conference goers that, because of my headshot, they expected me to be scary and intimidating. They were pleased to discover that I am neither of those things. Now, I have to practice less frightening poses.
9. Sometimes God's goodness looks like a roof falling on my car.
Thursday night during dinner, some severe weather hit our hotel, ripping off the roof of the hotel and flooding the top 4 floors, as well as a section of rooms all the way down to the lobby. Click here to see aerial photos of the damage. It's really quite impressive. Guests were evacuated to a nearby hotel.
Thankfully, no one was injured--although 60 cars were damaged and 15 were totaled. My car was a total loss.
But, my insurance company took good care of me, providing a rental car and giving me the full value of my vehicle. Now, I get to buy a new car, and I can already see God's kind provision in this unexpected event.
And to top it all off... It has been a bit of a running joke that I have never won a book at a CiRCE Conference. On Friday night, I cornered David Kern and told him that since I had lost my car, I felt like I needed to win a book. It only seemed fair.
The next morning--at long last--my name was called. I won a book! All was right with the world.
All in all a great week. I lost my car, but I met Wendell Berry. I came out ahead!