For about a week now, I’ve been teary. It isn’t because something bad has happened or anything is wrong. More, it’s because in the midst of a world of heartbreak, sorrow, pain, and anxiety, there is still hope.

This past week, I’ve seen that hope with my own two eyes and it’s made them leak. A lot.

the hope

We don’t always get to see the hope that floats around us, but over the past few days I did. John officiated a wedding for a precious young couple we’ve known since they were in high school, was honored to remind them just before they made their covenant vows that they already have everything they need in Christ – to love, to serve, and to make a life together.

And then yesterday I sat in a cozy living room with a group of women celebrating our friend who is pregnant with her fourth baby – a baby girl who will have three older brothers. I didn’t make a scene, but the joy took over my face and hijacked my eyes. I’m getting good at wiping away tears without anyone noticing.

Another reason for the joy is this – after years of praying, waiting, and longing for a family dream to come true, it finally has. Remember that event we had last year in November, the one we hosted in a borrowed barn, the one were I got to work with my whole family to encourage people and tell stories and poke-awake the art living inside them?

Well we are having another similar event, this time for writers. And before I had a chance to write a post about it, that event sold out in just a few days. I’ll be doing that with Christa Wells this Saturday.

But this time, we won’t be using a borrowed barn. This time, we’ll be in The World’s Worst Barn on my sister’s property.

Allow me to give you a quick tour:

DSC_5883-550x385Here is the barn when they bought the property. And when I say “barn” you know I mean “exaggerated shed” right?


Here it is from the inside looking towards the front – dark, utilitarian, kind of mannish. Nothing special, but maybe a bit of potential? Can you see it?


Ahhh! Windows make all the difference. Now we’re getting somewhere.

It was at this point in the barn renovation a few weeks ago that we decided to host a second event here this fall, one for anyone who wants to slow down, connect, and tackle chronic discouragement that seems to creep it’s way into our homes, families, and souls during the holiday season.

We’re calling it Hope*ologie Live: At the Barn but you don’t have to be a member of Hope*ologie to come. We aren’t interested in hosting a conference or a seminar. We won’t sit in rows or fill in blanks from a screen.

Instead, we’ve saved a seat for you in the living room, to join our family and a group of friends you’ve just met who are sharing the same journey.

So here’s a short little video, courtesy of Dad and his ukelele, inviting YOU to join us on November 15 (email subscribers may need to click over to view):

When you come up the gravel driveway, here’s what you can expect to find included with your ticket price:

  • Hands-on hope for your home: craft-making with The Nester
  • Encouragement toward building a family legacy of hope: conversation with Dad
  • Space to breathe in a breathless world: small group soul-talk with Emily and John
  • Mom’s beans and cornbread dinner (and S’mores of course)
  • Signed copy of Myquillyn’s book, The Nesting Place
  • Signed copy of Emily’s book, A Million Little Ways
  • A digital copy of Gary’s ebook, Scary Hope

Tickets are available now. But before you get too worried that you’ll have to sit on a dusty barrel with only wires and darkness for company, here’s proof that we’re ready for you.


And one more . . .


Thankful tears come again, because sometimes my soul feels a lot like that first barn photo – tired, forgotten, and overwhelmed with all that has yet to happen, all the longings that have yet been realized.

But this little building with the new white walls reminds me how there is hope for even the most run-down and tired among us and that sometimes all we need is a little reminder to look beyond what is to what could be.

We are thrilled to finally have a place to gather and offer those reminders. It isn’t perfect but it feels like home. We hope you’ll feel that way, too.

You do not have to be a member of Hope*ologie to attend. Here are the details one last time:

Hope*ologie Live: At the Barn
Saturday November 15, 2014
Midland, NC
2 – 7 pm, bonfire 7 – 8 pm

Designed especially for you – to chase away chronic discouragement
and offer hope for your right-now home, family, and soul.

Hope*ologie Live

I swiped all barn photos from my seestor. She and her husband and their good friend Sean are the miracle workers behind this barn renovation.