I was interested in the IF: Gathering mostly because of this post by Sarah Bessey. And it was going to be in Austin, not too far away from me. However, tickets sold out in like 10 minutes and well, I didn't care that much. But then they decided to live stream it around the country and a friend of mine opened her home from any ladies who wanted to join and watch it with her. So... I did.
And you know? If I'm honest, it did feel like a conference. And most people acted and wrote about it the way I see most conferences and retreats going. It's super exciting and emotional and it's a "retreat high". It really was cool. Regular life comes again afterwards. I am not one to easily be drawn to emoting by a program, and this was no exception. Of course, it didn't help that I was also toting around Elly the whole time (see below) so wasn't entirely focused.
However. What I do love about IF is that it has drawn together a lot of women... and different kinds of women. It's a diverse crowd that is passionately unified around one thing. Love for Jesus. I like that. The other thing I really like is that these women are seeking to figure out what women in the church are to do. And yet, it's not about women's issues. They're not debating gender roles but they are recognizing that they are gifted and the Spirit fully intends for us to be used in the church and the world, and we better listen up and be transformed. I can get fully behind calling women to be fully empowered as they follow Jesus.
Favorite speaker? Jen Hatmaker. American evangelical women... do you hear her? Do you really hear her? You need to.
Also... still chewing on Ann Voskamp's talk as well.
Josh Garrels Concert
Last year we got to go to a Mumford concert and it was epic. Last month we got a notification that Josh Garrels was making his first ever trip to do concerts in Texas... and it ended up we could go! Amazing. We got to see both of our favorite bands live within one year. This was entirely different than Mumford. It was a private show in a coffee shop. Mumford is high, high energy. Garrels is low key.
Actually the opening act was.... a stereotypical opening act. When Garrels started playing it was like, oh yes. That's what I came for.
I love Josh Garrels. His wife is a TCK and I found him through a blogger I used to read, and a song that's sort of about being an TCK in America. Garrels is determinedly independent. He doesn't tour much so that he can stay with his family. His music is lyrical and beautiful, and his writing packs a punch like no other artist. He lives simply, incarnationally... and I just... respect everything I see of him. I love that he generally doesn't play for specifically Christian audiences.
Anyways, it was a privilege to hear him sing.