There’s something about being surrounded by women that feels a lot like coming home.

{Sixteen of our (in)courage writers photographed by Amie from Wild Olive Tees}

And for someone who lives on the see-saw of homesickness, that is a profoundly comforting thing.

Because while I feel like I walked miles between conference halls at the Blissdom Conference last week, while my ankles are still swollen and my legs still ache, while my eight month belly protested and tightened and weighed heavy – my heart – my heart was dancing.

Because for me it wasn’t about blogging or a conference or networking but rather about being sunk soul deep into a place that felt like home. Women can do that. They can open their arms and laughter to you and welcome you into safety and familiarity even when you’re meeting them for the first time.

{Me, Jessica, Angie, Jen, Nester and Melissa almost all sporting Gussy Laptop bags}

When women do friendship right, they are a safe place. Where dreams and crying and hope and fear are all welcome to be sifted through tender fingers. Where they don’t compete, they encourage. Where your success is their success – amplifying what we accomplish together rather than diminishing any one of us.

That is the Jesus kind of beautiful. And it shines out of the women I spent last week with.

Being around them is like cupping fingers around a cup of steaming hot chocolate all bobbing with sweet marshmallows, warming the nooks and crannies of one’s insides. And there have been moments when I have wondered at all that they do, all that they are capable of, and wondered where I fit in. But I have learned since then that our Father’s Kingdom is vast with more than enough work for each of us. That worrying over one woman’s plot of land, her garden, her fruit trees is to miss out on an area as vast as Texas that we may have been called to go and tend ourselves.

There is enough work in the Kingdom for each of us.

And we need one another if we are to be productive in the special plot given just to us.

We need to be loved and encouraged and laughed with. We need to hear the stories of our sisters walking alongside us and those who have gone ahead. We need to see what Jesus has done through them to be reminded what is possible for Him to accomplish through us.

We need someone to step back and say, “My but you’re beautiful and brave, and what you’re doing – your business, your blog, your laundry, your dishes, your car pooling, your Bible study, your grocery shopping, your book, your dental training – that’s Kingdom work sister.”

And oh my, but it’s worth photographing – with camera, head and heart!

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