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was my powerful takeaway last week from attending the three-day Faith & Writing Festival at Calvin College. Imagine attending sixteen one-hour sessions, plus two chapels, with speakers whose intentions were to explore the intersection of faith and writing.

Consider it an immersion camp on a rolling green campus where newbies quickly learn to shed dress shoes for walking shoes. Half-hour breaks between sessions show guys and gals of all ages scampering across campus with maps in their hands, possibly trying to sip coffee and take a bite of apple or cookie, supplied to keep the two-thousand attendees fortified for the races.

Organ Pipes in Calvin's Chapel

Organ Pipes in Calvin’s Chapel

I attended with one of my sisters, staying a local Comfort Inn, and then spending the day on campus, from the first session at 8:30 a. m. through the last, nearly twelve hours later. For meals, we ate at the hotel for breakfast (scrambled eggs, toasted English muffins, orange juice) and then hit one of the campus dining rooms (all you can eat for $6.00 – salad bar plus) or a fast food place near the bookstore (also less than $6.00 – chicken nuggets, anyone?) for lunch and dinner.

Having one of my granddaughters a student there added enormously to the fun. She popped in and out during mealtimes and during another session time that I skipped because, “I’d like you to meet my friends, Grandma.” So on the one day it rained, she and I skidded over an elevated cross walk to the college’s upperclassmen apartments, and I met students, all smiles, cutting hair, eating breakfast after lunch time, writing papers, and generally living the somewhat disheveled and lovely life of college kids.

But back to You are loved by Christ. I plan to blog on things I learned in these sessions. I hope to infuse you with the inspiration that soaked me from these presenters, from Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies) to James McBride (The Color of Water, The Good Lord Bird), to Daniel Taylor (Creating a Spiritual Legacy – yes, the author I wrote about recently, The Skeptical Believer) and more. Each of these and the other authors have written lots of books, enough to keep me reading for a century.

Meanwhile, I’m also participating in a blogging exercise through my host, WordPress. Today, the writing prompt was to tell my readers who I am and why I’m here. You already know I’m a retired nursing professor and author of Caring Lessons, and I’m here to write memoir pieces, so essentially any topic that suits the day.

I’m not sure yet what this exercise entails, but, along with a writing prompt, it may require daily blogging. If so, I’m inviting you to unsubscribe now, or come along for a joyous ride!