Stuffed in the middle of a regular work day last Spring, my friend Jamie brought over takeout for lunch because she wanted to discuss an idea. I was just in the beginning stages of creating Abiding Ministries and she’d attended a brainstorming session I held with a few friends and family. She really felt like I needed to hold an event. She’d worked with sponsors with her children’s PTA for years and thought there’d be some folks interested in partnering with the new ministry. The idea frightened me, to be honest. Event? Sponsors? That sounds incredible, but was that for me?
I tucked away her idea and quite literally got back to work that day. Months went by. I was busy writing and filming Rich, creating the web site and getting everything launched. The new year came along and I started some coaching with Beth from YourEnneagramUniversity. In all my learning as a Type 3, the Achiever/Performer, I learned that I wasn’t very good at celebrating because I was always on to the next thing on the to-do list. I say learned, but I already knew that about myself. I just didn’t realize there were so many more people like me. A good growth step for me, they said, was to celebrate and marinate in your accomplishments to make your life richer before moving on.
A few more months went by and I began creeping up on the 100th episode of the podcast. It became the perfect opportunity to take my growth step. As I prayed about it, I felt a quick green light from the Lord. Celebrate His work? Yes, please! And with a text, my friend Jamie was ready to jump in to help with sponsors. And that is the beginning of how last Saturday, I gathered for an amazing afternoon with 40 friends, family, and podcast listeners to celebrate and record the 100th episode of Feathers.
Initial plans started with us gathering in my parents’ back yard and a friend helping with food, but as sponsors began to say yes, our plans began to blossom. We ended up in the event center of Amelie’s French Bakery called The Left Bank. The building on the original Main Street of the town was once a bank and it still has the bank vaults in there, and of course decorated, because that’s what Amelie’s is good at.
I really wanted to celebrate. I wanted there to be a great sense of joy and I wanted God to get the glory for the work He has done. Feathers was all His idea. He has helped bring guests to me. He has been faithful to each guest in their lives and in sharing their story on the podcast. He has miraculously enabled me to find time for each episode and all that entails with research, reading, scheduling, interviewing, and editing. He’s been so faithful!
So how did we celebrate?
First, with beauty. Amelie’s itself is quirky and unique so we didn’t need to add much.
We added a feathers backdrop behind the speaking area.
I found the idea on Pinterest then had a handful of people helping execute. My friends JoAnn Blackwood and her daughter used their Cricut machine to cut the feathers, my husband Scott and I tied them on fishing line, my mom helped iron the curtain (she has a professional sewing room), and then she and Scott assembled it on site.
Heather Lamp created these amazing arrangements to each table.
She spray-painted mason jars and added insanely gorgeous flowers. And she did all of them in under an hour before the event started. I’m in awe!
My friend Amanda Cassidy used some extra feathers from the backdrop to create a walk way of feathers down the stairs to the room. It was just the perfect touch.
Each guest was welcomed with amazing swag bags and a spread of delicious food.
Each guest received an event T-shirt, Post lip balm, prints by The Inspire Shop and Day Five Art, candy from The Linda Hall Team at Century 21 First Choice, and a note card from Becky L McCoy’s shop.
In addition, each guest received some of my very favorite books from authors I’ve interviewed in the last 100 episodes. A huge thanks to Bethany House, Tyndale Momentum, Moody Publishers, LifeWay, and BroadStreet Publishing.
Let me tell you, seeing each person walk through the door was like Christmas morning over and over. It was my very favorite part. The ladies that came were the best.
After mingling, we played some games – a fun round of “What’s In your Phone” and a trivia game and gave away some prizes.
My friend Heather Lamp then sat with me for a few minutes for a Q&A session.
I answered questions like what’s your favorite thing at Amelie’s (salted caramel brownie), what’s something I think everyone should do (go on a cruise), and was there ever a time I wasn’t going to move forward with Feathers (yes)? My mom helped answer the story of my most interesting scar.
Marie Cherry and Gisela Clark then shared testimonials about the podcast, which were so heartfelt and encouraging.
I then took a few minutes to share a message from Hebrews 11 and 12–a reminder that living by faith matters.
I was most nervous about this for weeks. It didn’t come together until the day before the event.
I had to gather all my willpower not to sob as I recounted the stories from the past 100 episodes and encourage the ladies in the room. I’m telling you something special happened in the room for those few minutes.
It’s not because I was especially eloquent. I stared at my paper that shook and tripped over some words, but I believe the words were straight from God and that’s all that matters.
We then took a break and were ready for the main event – Amanda Bacon and I recorded the 100th episode!
It certainly was different having someone in front of me and then another 40 sets of eyes watching on as I’m used to recording over audio on Skype in my closet by myself! Amanda shared so beautifully and her faith and sweet spirit is so evident and encouraging. Make sure to check out the episode when it releases Tuesday 7/18/17.
I was just about ready to fly on home to heaven as we finished up and said our goodbyes.
My cheeks quite literally were hurting from smiling so much, and if there is such a thing as a heart being full, mine was overflowing. It truly was an absolute blast and I hope to do another event in the future.
And one more touch that I must mention: someone found a perfect little feather on the ground just outside the venue even though it had just been cleaned. I suppose God wanted to make sure we knew He was celebrating too.
You can see a full gallery of pictures on our Facebook page here.
A big thank you to our sponsors for helping to make this happen:
- Truong Plumbing
- Perfectly Posh with Marie Cherry
- Infinite Wellness
- Tyndale Momentum
- Bethany House publishers
- Broadstreet publishing
- Moody Publishers
- The Linda Hall team with Century 21 first choice
- Dove Law Group
- J.M. Cope
- Your Enneagram University
- Day Five Art
- The Inspire Shop
- Fresh Vibes
- Lularoe with Heather and Matt
- Eagerhands Jewelry
- SouthPaw Logos