I am so excited to start sharing some of the things that I took away from Relevant. It really was a heart-changing weekend for me and I am so very thankful that I was able to go. Before I can start sharing what I learned, however, I have to share how God sent me because it was totally and completely a God thing from beginning to end.
I shared a little bit about how I came to have a ticket, but that was only the beginning.
I’d been trying to work out how to go to Relevant since I first heard about it back in March or so, but nothing I tried worked. I had not the slightest success finding a sponsor or raising money through the sale of my e-book. Now I know why I was unsuccessful. If any of my efforts had worked, I’d never have given God the glory for my trip…and He clearly deserves all the glory.
So, late Tuesday night the week before Relevant, I get the call from Jolanthe and Jenn telling me to pack my bags because I’m going to Relevant. Later that night, since there was no way I was sleeping after that phone call, I sent off four emails – one to Shannon, who had emailed me two months to the day earlier about rooming with her, and three to some contacts in the homeschool curriculum community with whom I have good relationships to throw myself at their mercy ask about sponsorship. I was thinking that maybe one might be willing to just pay my travel expenses and another my lodging.
That was at around midnight. The next morning, I was praying about it all. I asked God that, if it was His will for me to go to Relevant, He would work out all the details and, if it wasn’t His will, He would show me that clearly and quickly, so that I could bow out gracefully and let someone else have the ticket.
Less than an hour later, I checked my email. Yes, Shannon would love to room with me. She had never even looked for another roommate! She said that every time she had thought about contacting someone else, she’d felt God telling her to wait. She was obedient to the nudging even to the point of coming to terms that she might not have a roommate. Then, Brian called to tell me he’d gotten an anniversary bonus at work. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to cover some of my expenses.
It was at the point that I became confident that it was God’s will for me to go and that He was going to work out every singe detail. I honestly did not even worry about it anymore after that.
The following night, we went to my sister’s house for dinner. My mom gave me some money for my trip and when we got home I checked my email only to discover that a sweet blog reader had sent me a donation.
I went into the weekend absolutely confident that on Monday I would hear from one of my homeschool curriculum contacts about sponsorship. I did. I got an email from Dr. Wanda Phillips, author of our absolute favorite grammar curriculum, Easy Grammar, asking me to call her to discuss sponsorship.
Dr. Phillips, I’ve discovered, is one incredibly sweet, godly woman. After I’d told her about the mission and purpose of Relevant and after she’d assured herself that I would be safe to drive as far as Jolanthe’s house alone, she started asking me about my expense needs.
By the end of the phone conversation, not only had she graciously agreed to cover my travel and lodging expenses and reassured me about the travel aspects of the trip based on her own travel experiences, but more importantly, she prayed with me. From beginning to end, Dr. Phillips treated me as she would have treated her own daughter, and I was totally blessed by the experience of God using His people to love on me.
Not only did God take care of every need, but He blessed me beyond what I could ask or imagine. I had another anonymous donor who blessed me with a financial gift that I was told I could either use for this conference or a future endeavor. The morning I was to leave I received an email from a homeschool acquaintance telling me that she had recently traveled the very route I was driving and assuring me that it wasn’t bad at all and I’d be fine. Just a little reassurance from God.
My God literally worked out every single detail. I had someone comment to me on Twitter that I probably deserved a little credit. My reply? Nope, this one was all God. And it was, from start to finish.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
– Ephesians 3: 20-21
To God be the glory for blessing me in this way and arranging all the details for me to hear the heart-changing messages that He knew I needed to hear at Relevant. The things He spoke to me while I was there have changed me and affected my family in such positive ways. I am so thankful to all those who allowed God to work through them to get me to Relevant. You have each blessed me more than you can know.
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.