Love Confirmed or (my take on Allume 2012)

That’s what this weekend was to me–
Love confirmed.

In so many ways.
Love binding up and bringing close.

I went to Allume (a writing-blogging-conference) with my eyes scanning for these answers…

#1) Is it worth it?  Does God want it?
Is it real? — all the friendships and connections and my writing?
And sigh — is it worth it?
To spend time on these words in this space?

#2) Is my hand open?  Are my words reality-overflowing?
Do I enter this online space with freedom and purpose?
With His Truth?
How do I mesh in-the-flesh with these blinking icons that often seem to shout the artificial?
Because on one hand we say we write waiting on His timing, His wording, His leading, but on the otherhand there is the offered:
“Build Your Platform” and “Promote Your Branding”
And here is the tension for me.

And there’s a bit-of-junior-higher in all of us, I think.
Where we wander a room and look for our spot,
At which table we should sit…
Where we hope someone is saving a place–
For us.

And I saw a bit of that too–
The frantic-running-climbing where stats equate value and self is the focus and
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I saw it…
A bit.

And I wondered about these friends I would room with and felt I knew with.
And wanted to be with– for the first time minus the avatar-glazing.
Would they be who I thought?
Who would they be when we tip-toed-out from behind the monitor?
And they were–
A love confirmed.

Kelly with her care-taking and boldness and kindness…
Rachel with her uplifting and sharing and teaching…
Ruth with her laughing and processing and heart-meshing…
Sacred deep-sharing and prayers in the darkness and silly self-stories that left us,
Leaning against hotel hallways doubled-over in snorting laughter.
A love so confirmed.

And so I went to every session I didn’t plan to go to–
Because for some reason He wanted me there.
And I tried to listen closely for
Wisdom and practicals and how-to’s and mostly,
For His loved confirmed.

And Elizabeth who called out–
“Fear as a liar and love as courageous.”
I needed to hear her because I’ve entered her space,
Hiding in corners because of our differences.
But I want words that carry,
That move hearts and share journeys.
And for years she’s moved my heart,
Her pain and her healing,
A seeking-truth-teller of–
God’s love unchanging.

And Mary who said,
“Choose small, but tend large”
And strained out my courage and banished safe living.
Who read my words in her session,
And gifted me boldness to keep on with this sharing,
Whose light on dark canvass
Is now whispering–
His love.

And Sally, who pressed for that First Love forgotten,
Where His voice proclaims beauty,
And my true words are actions.
Because my heart quakes to know,
Our children will whisper-
“I listened to everything you ever did.”
Where I am a piece in the puzzle of–
His love.

And Ann concurred–
Stoop low.
Bend down close to write on lives in secret.

Where the most feared should be–
An echo of earth’s clapping,
While Heaven is silent…

The secret of good writing, is good living in secret. ~Ann

Your writing is only as credible as your life. ~Ann

The words of your story belong to the Word of God. ~Ann

Having Christian convictions never negates Christ’s compassions. ~Ann


And then I think of those love words sent from home–
To be so far away and see messages from
Home-friends who know me in and out.
Who cheered me on in this journey
And who rejoiced in my JOY.

And from online friends, who couldn’t be there…
Who swept away the entangling web of envy,
But instead chose a friendship that–
Rejoices even in the undeserved blessing of another.

And my husband always says…
That is the litmus test.
Friends who weep with those who weep,
But maybe sometimes more telling–
Friends who rejoice with those who rejoice.
A love confirmed.

And this husband who packed lunches,
Who juggled work loads and laundry loads,
Who shouldered– the load.
Who gave resources and asked questions and listened to me pour out my joyful-thanks-stories,
Who brought excited, hugging, screaming children to airports in the rain,
Because he wanted to show–
A love confirmed.


And on the final night…
We sang– God’s light of the world,
Who came down into our darkness,
Who opened my eyes that I might see.
Beauty that made my heart adore Him,
With hope of a life lived through Him.

And my eyes were lifted up.
Every heart in the room reminded that His love is what compels us.
Answers given.
Purpose ignited.
Heart overflowing with–
His love confirmed.

…so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. ~Ephesians 1:12



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  1. Kara this is absolutely beautiful! Meeting you was one of my favorite parts of Allume! Thank you for being so sweet and welcoming to me:)

  2. Beautifully written, Kara. So happy you had such a refreshing time! God is so good!

    • Hey you :)
      Thank you for holding down the fort and for your beautiful posts…
      You know how I feel about you…you should’ve sent me some business cards to hand out because I told several about you and how you’ve been a Titus 2 for me. Thank you…

  3. thebettermom says:

    Beautiful Kara!

    • Ruth…
      I’m so thankful for you…and your card meant a lot to me…
      Thank you for taking a chance on a newbie writer back at the beginning and inviting me into the family of The Better Mom. It has been such a blessing in my life and in my writing. Love, K

  4. Beautiful, Kara! So, so glad you could go. And so glad it was an encouraging, uplifting time.

  5. I am glad to read of how God spoke to your heart and challenged you, and confirmed your purpose. So glad you could go!

  6. Oh, Kara, once again you’ve moved my heart to tears. You’ve managed to sneak into the room where God and I have been having a private chat and confirmed everything I thought He was whispering to me. Thank you.

  7. What a beautiful recap, Kara. I’m so delighted for you!!
    It’s all about love…and this lifts hearts up in praise.

    • I ended up talking about you several times Nikki…
      (good stuff :) )
      Thanks for being happy with and for me…a good friend.
      My favorite part was singing “Here I am to worship…” at the ended. You’re so right…hearts lifted up in praise!

  8. Becky Daye says:

    Ah, what a lovely post! And how like God to get you to go to every session that you didn’t want to go to! Wish I could have met you there (I was there too, but oh, my word- so many people!!!), but thankful that I can meet you HERE!

  9. JUST LOVE this! what a beautiful post from such a beautiful woman. Although it wasn’t my year to go and I had total peace about that, my biggest regret was not meeting you, really, YOU! We are kindred friend! So glad God met you there!


    • Angela, that means so much to me…thank you so much!
      And I love what you said about having total peace about it…but I really would love to give you a real hug sometime.
      I think we need a Better Mom conference…maybe not conference…just hang-out-connecting-time…

  10. gracelaced says:

    I couldn’t have said it better. Bosom friend, kindred spirit indeed. Love u.

    • So… am I Anne and you are Diana?
      Or are you Anne and I’m Diana?
      Can I please be Anne?
      Cuz I really think I have an advantage with the whole red-hair-bit and all…

      We should write a post together where you just finish my sentences for me.

  11. Sounds like you had an amazing time, Kara! So happy for you :)

  12. What an encouragement to me reading this!!!!! So glad you were able to go, and I especially love what you said about Jason. It really is a blessing to have a sacrificial husband. I am blessed beyond anything I ever have deserved (which isn’t much) every day by Peter, and I appreciated that part of your story. Praying for you as your decompress and think about everything even with the busyness of life! God bless you!!

    • Thank you Kari…
      He did a great job (even did 7 loads of laundry)…and I could tell they had tons of fun…and I was SO ready to be home with all of them…and they ate at Baja Fresh and Carl’s Jr and The Black Bear Diner and ordered pizza and Subway…and now mama’s home and it’s back to “real life” :)

  13. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! You captured in words the expressions of my heart as well! You are so gifted and beautiful from the inside, out! What a joy, blessing, inspiration and honor to share time with you this weekend! I am still processing all the amazing things I learned from spending time witnessing the REAL you – a gentle and quiet spirit filled with the love of Christ, so willing to extend yourself to others in genuine love for them and faithful obedience to your First Love! Thank you for allowing me to share this weekend with you and learn together from all we experienced! Love you, sweet sister! :)

    • Kelly… I really don’t know where begin to write out words I want to….

      There’s just too much to say about the time with you and Ruth and Rachel…it was just a huge God-gift to me to find that you were MORE than I’d even dared to hope for… in our conversations about parenting, and heart for Christ and love for coming alongside other women & mamas.

      I’m just so thankful.

  14. I’m glad you were so encouraged, Kara! Keep writing boldly!

  15. Kelli Wommack says:

    Kara, I was not there… but thank you for inviting me to experience it after all. Your words made me feel a part of something greater than a conference could ever contain… a movement of sorts… of a GREATER LOVE confirmed.

  16. A Mama's Story says:

    This is so beautiful!!! :) I haven’t written my post yet, but was absolutely not expecting the impact it would have! It was great to visit with you this weekend. Blessings to you and thanks again for sharing such a beautiful testimony. :)

  17. Jessica Holmes says:

    Such wonderful thoughts Kara. Thankful for all the lessons learned. Thankful for the way you have expressed them here. Thankful for time talking through the lunch line with you. Blessings :)

    • Jessica…our conversation was one of my favorites from this past weekend… I haven’t even looked at all the business cards yet, but when I do…I will come visit and say “hi” over at your place :)
      Thank you for sharing your hard-story…but also the exciting new joy gift that God has blessed you and your husband with…just. so. fun!!!

  18. Very well written Kara… I was personally blessed to meet and spend time getting to know you better. So thankful we live within city limits or Portland… looking forward to knowing the “real life” of the chuppies! Love you sister

    • I felt the same way Angie…
      Especially on the way home :)
      It was so great to process with you and brainstorm with you and share stories that have absolutely NOTHING to do with writing-blogging :)
      I think our families would really enjoy each other…let’s do it!
      And I’m thrilled for you about the book…so so exciting! Love you too!

  19. this is beautiful…maybe next year…so thankful love was confirmed…because all else will be be burnt…blessings to you~

  20. So blessed to know you and share the bond of love in Christ. Many future blessings anticipated! :)

  21. Just beautiful, Kara! It was a joy to meet you.

  22. Living Waters by LeAnn says:

    Just a really lovely post. I love your writing and appreciate your love of family and our Savior. You are very talented and should continue to write; because you do touch our hearts.


  23. Thanks for sharing…love the pictures. :-)

  24. Dianewbailey says:

    Beautiful, wish we had more time to know each other in Real LIfe, but On line will do!

  25. What a beautiful experience! Thank you, for allowing us to share it, through your eyes. Many blessings!

  26. So glad God gave you that gift! These peeks into the conference bless me. Thank you for sharing with those of us who couldn’t go. May the words you heard and the friends you made continue to bear much lasting fruit in your life.

    • Thank you…and that’s my exact prayer…let it “stick” Lord…let it sink in. Keep my eyes and heart focused in the right place.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and connect… Love, K

  27. I’m so glad you got to go. And thank you for the introduction to a few bloggers I’ve never read. And thank you for writing so beautifully. :)

  28. I love this post, and I love your heart. I pray that reading your words in the talk encouraged you that you’re on the right path, that your writing is beautiful, and that God sees.

    • Thank you Mary…and that’s exactly what it did. It was a huge encouragement to me. Just a glimpse of God’s kindness…an unexpected gift.

      I’m sticking an awesome (as in 3-year-old-stick-figure-awesome) picture in the mail for Julia today that Lydi drew for her… :)
      Praying, especially for answers from the new doctor.

  29. Denise Oldham says:

    Enjoyed this.

  30. So glad to have met you Kara – your heart, your spirit so blessed me. I wished we had more time! :) Beautiful post, thank you for sharing….

    • Thank you Daniele… I would love a Better Mom gathering someday.
      For me, that was such a huge gift…to have some conversations with depth… with a handful of women who love the Lord whole-heartedly.
      And our brief interaction made me want to read you blog, where I definitely know I need to stop in often…that call to pause and rest in Him…and stop the racing-racing-hurry-rush…it is SO something I want Him to change in me.

  31. Kara, This made me cry. So beautifully written. What a blessing wrapped up in poetry and truth spattered amidst punctuations. Love your heart. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you Logan…
      And yes, I have major issues with punctuation-spattering :)
      I appreciate your words and I also appreciate all you did to make the conference happen. I’ve planned large events before and I know it is a LOT of work… :) Thank you!

  32. Wonderful — this community, this breath of life, this hope that He calls us forth.

  33. Elizabeth says:

    So so beautiful. Though my heart’s desire was to attend, I could not. You share beautifully and generously. And in such a beautiful voice. I am so pleased to have found you today at Jennifer’s and hope to follow more of your story and words. Bless you, new friend. Thanks for your generous sharing and your honest words, yes honest and real.

    • Thank you Elizabeth…for stopping by and for your kind words…
      That was me last year…I so wanted to go, but it wasn’t His plan.
      Just stopped by your spot and I see you are a stage ahead of us (I’ll be back). I need that kind of wisdom and input. Love that you call your husband “The Patient One” (that’s how it is in our family too :) )
      Love, K

  34. I have asked all these same questions, time and again. I so wanted to go the conference but couldn’t make it happen. Thanks for sharing what you learned there. There is so much in this one post for me to take away. You have no idea how much I needed this today:) Thanks!

    • I’m so thankful something in my ramblings was helpful Christina…
      I knew I remembered you…went back to your site and “re-found” your great book list and remembered wandering in there from your gospel coalition post. Would have loved to meet you…maybe someday. :)

  35. What a joy to see your smiling face tucked in here! I love seeing you shine in the midst of all this beauty. It sounds like a wonderful experience.such good words from some lovely hearts. Thank you for taking me there.

  36. elizabethesther says:

    Beloved, thank you for this. Your heart shone through your eyes and you held me up as I gave my talk. I will always cherish you. Thank you, thank you. ((hugs))

    • Someday i’ll write and share why connecting meant so much…
      But just know, reading your “light” posts and sensing the healing and freedom has been beautiful and lifting.
      I have no expectation of always agreeing with you :)
      But that’s not the point is it?
      God’s love can bridge divides and there is kinship in running towards His marvelous light…together.
      If you’re every up in Oregon….. :)


  1. Chuppdate #7 says:

    [...] took an incredible trip to the writing conference, Allume, and loved spending time with some of the other Better Mom [...]

  2. [...] Mom.  For my birthday last January, Jason gave me a trip to a national writing conference called Allume that I went to in October.  It was my first time being away from our crew and while I missed them [...]

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