Photos From Our Afternoon At the Barn 2013

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It’s been nearly two weeks since our gathering At the Barn and today is the day I finally get to share with you a peek into our time together. We were a small group on purpose, to keep intimidation low and eye-contact high. We wanted to gather for an afternoon of storytelling, music, conversation, and art. So that is what we did.

All of the photos in this post were taken by Mary Anne Morgan, a kind, thoughtful artist who offered to come document the day for us in what is one of the most generous gifts I have ever received.

Photos might be my love language, and to have her there allowed me to be fully present in the day without feeling like I was missing something. Be kind to photographers, friends. They tell the stories we can’t afford to forget. And Mary Anne? Thank you is too small, but I say it anyway.

View More: friends and family behind the day: Stacey, Kendra (The Sugar Box baker), Caroline, Jen, Randy, Melissa, John, me, Dad, Mom, Chad, Myquillyn, Reeve, and Jason. Ok. Ready to scroll? Go!

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View More: View More: View More: View More: generous artist who donated her time and talent: Annie Barnett of Be Small Studios did the hand lettering for this quote and I printed them out for the barn friends.

View More: View More: sister did every stitch of the decorations. I love the way she had lovely voice in the room without ever picking up a microphone – her design and creativity spoke whimsy and generosity over everyone who came.

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View More: View More: View More: View More: at the barn View More: View More: View More: View More:

View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: it weren’t for Mary Anne, the following four photos taken on my phone would have been about the extent of the barn documentation:

my photos at the barnOh, and of course, this one:

The Sugar Box

If you want another peek into the day from some of the people who came, here are a few posts they’ve written so far:

Lori Harris: Ramblings From a Day At the Barn

Emily Gilmore: At the Barn 2013

Rachel Franklin: In Which We Made Art

Jenny Call: Art and Vulnerability

Theresa Hardymon: Grace Came Down in a Barn

And two women who started their own blogs after the Barn event (!!):

Shawna Anderson: At the Barn

Yuko: Now Let’s Talk About Fear

If you would like to see more photos from the barn (yes, there’s more. I know!) you can visit my Facebook page where I will post them all. And if you have no idea what this barn thing is but would like to know more, it’s basically a gathering my family and I hosted to have a way to talk about the concepts in my book, A Million Little Ways.

Here are  my first thoughts about our gathering last week: Reflections From the Barn. And here are all the post I’ve written about the Barn so far. We hope to do it again in 2014, this time at my sister’s house! Stay tuned for details on that.


  1. says

    What a special day, beautifully documented! What I love about this, too, is that you and your family heard God’s voice, followed his call, took a risk, opened your hearts up to whatever he wanted to do–and just look at the result. I can only imagine how he spoke to each person in attendance in a unique and powerful way! Truly touched and will be very tempted to make a trip when you do it again.

  2. says

    *shaking hands = strength building*, isn’t that what Allison ( said? :)

    Every bit of that day will stay with me forever, it has changed *everything*, and I’m so grateful to have been there with you, your family, my husband, and so many new friends. Thank you for sharing *YOUR* art Emily, so that we may be incouraged to do the same.

    Oh, and it just might take me a minute (or a gazillion) to get over the fact that my brand new baby of a blog is officially out there in the world LOL, gratitude friend – so much gratitude.

  3. says

    Looking at these pictures brought back the wonderful moments we shared At the Barn and brought me to tears.

    Thank you, Emily, for creating such an amazing place for us to open up and just be ourselves. I’m learning when fear and courage hold hands together, the real art of who we are slowly comes up on the surface.

    And thank you for mentioning my brand new blog!

    Much Love,

    • says

      “I’m learning when fear and courage hold hands together, the real art of who we are slowly comes up on the surface.”

      So, so good Yuko! and oh, the tears… scared and happy tears – so grateful to have experienced that day together, it will forever be a part of us :)

  4. says

    Emily, I TOTALLY agree with what you said of Myquillyn. I expressed this same sentiment to my husband and family in a conversation about The Barn. And I loved it.

  5. says

    This looks like a warm and inspiring event Emily. It’s obviously made a huge impression on Yuko and Shawna, looking forward to checking out their new blogs. What a wonderful outcome of your dream, to have two people put their faith into action and start blogs.

  6. says

    Thanks for posting these pictures of a beautiful grace-filled day! I can look at them and be transported back to a day that marks the beginning of a gentle breeze that whispers, change is coming….don’t resist.

  7. says

    It all looks just as I imagined it would Emily – perfectly perfect. I think I would have attached myself to your Mom – to feel a bit more at home, you know. Maybe I’ll be able to do that next time. I have a sister-in-law who lives in Raleigh, and I’m working on her!

  8. says

    It was such an honor to do this, Emily. My life is so much richer for having read your books and your sister’s blog. Your family is a blessing to everyone they come in contact with. I hope to see you again someday soon!

  9. says

    As I scrolled through these gorgeous pictures, one of my sons peeked over my shoulder and exclaimed, “Is that a party in a barn?!? That’s so cool!”

    And that picture of you hugging your man? Adore. Y’all are in love bigtime. :)

    Thanks for giving those of us who couldn’t make it a peak inside your beautiful day. Loveliness galore.

  10. says

    I basically cried looking at all these. I couldn’t come because I’d committed to work a wedding & was just-short-of-devastated. I can’t wait until God moves you to do another – I am driving myself all the way from south Florida. Absolutely.

  11. says

    Oh Emily! You make me wish I lived closer…. Thanks for being such an inspiration and following through even if “this might not work”. Love it!
    -Ashley (formerly at HomeInsideandOut)

  12. says

    Love looking at these. Each image is beautiful for different reasons. Love the beauty thought up by Myquillyn then hung and strung everywhere. The attention to detail that your family, as a whole, seems to have is a blessing as everything comes off looking congruent and peaceful–even from afar. My favorite images, though? You and John up on the stage together. There’s something about the light in your eyes and your smiles. Special to see you loving and serving together. :) Hope to make it to a future barn/elsewhere event…

  13. says

    One of the many things I love about this is that while your (magnificent) book was a part of this event, this was a celebration beyond you. You encouraged and inspired and shared others’ art. As a writer in this era of ever-increasing, author-led promotion, you’re teaching me how to proceed with nuance and grace.

  14. says

    I loved seeing these pictures and loved reading the words of the lovelies who got to attend. Thanks for including links! What a simply delightful weekend…more to come, right? I was wondering about the AWESOME chalkboard prints with your quote…available any place other than that weekend? Would love to purchase somehow…

  15. says

    Wow, how glorious! Love love love the decorations! I wish I had a creative community to be a part of like this. Perhaps I shall find some in my area!

  16. says

    I still have not been able to form many words around being there that day. It was such a privilege and honor & I loved every minute. Can we do it once a week?? 😉 it was like church for me – the way church should be.

  17. says

    it was indeed such a lovely and grace-full day. i’ve looked back through the pictures several times…such a gift to be able to see them & be reminded. your family made me (and i’m guessing everyone) feel like a welcomed friend. and then for y’all (and everyone) to share so vulnerably together…such blessing. thank you again. so much.

  18. Pam says

    I am so happy I was one of those that “got in”. I have said this before, it just doesn’t happen to me that way. Usually the tickets are sold or I check my email too late or something. BUT, this time it was for me! I loved every minute of it and didn’t want to leave. I loved every inch of the decorations. They were simple but so elegant and I felt like they were specially made for me. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I pray I can be at Myquillyn’s event.

  19. nancy wallace says

    Hi Emily,
    I love your blog. I am part of a creative group of women and I would love to be able to give each of them a copy of the chalkboard quote that your friend did for your barn gathering. Is there any way to buy that print?

  20. says

    It looks like it was such a BEAUTIFUL event on SO many levels…from the decorations to the art shared to the fellowship! What a wonderful way to celebrate. If I ever get around to writing the book in my heart (and your book just might be encouraging me to get going on it sooner rather than later!) I hope to celebrate in such a intimate and beautiful way!! Gorgeous photos. (:

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