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Wramping Up for ACWC
Saturday, September 10, 2022 by Cindy Sproles

It’s that time again when we begin to ramp up the work on our February Asheville Christian Writers Conference. I’ve been much better this year to be a bit ahead of the game. Faculty are chosen for the next two years and that in and of itself is a task, but now, we get down to the push for adding conferees. This is when our prayers ramp up as well. 

God is good to us at Christian Devotions Ministries. We pray, our prayer warriors pray, ALL YEAR for God to send those he’d have attend the conference. Every year, He fills the spots, and our conference, that we give to Him fully, sells out.

Overall, we are blessed. I have learned over the last couple of years that I’m not a superwoman. I know...shocker. I am blessed that God knows my personal disabilities and He has placed people in my pathway who are go-getters. I don’t have to manage them. They take their roles and run with them. That is such a blessing, to know you can assign a project and then never have to worry if it will be completed. 

Years ago, Eddie and I ran across this wee spitfire of a woman, named Terri Kelly. She was one of our first writers on Christian Devotions. She stepped up to help us start and to run our DevoKids website for a number of years, and then she stepped into my assistant director of the conference. This past February, Terri knew the struggles I was having with my disabilities. (I’ve had two brain surgeries and it messes with my short-term memory. And, I’ve dealt with a comprehension disability since childhood.) Terri recognized the stressed look on my face and it only took minutes for her to say, “I’m sticking right by you.” And she did. Anyone I talked to, she was there taking notes, answering questions, filling in missing words when my head wouldn’t do the job. Terri was not only a dear friend, but she was a lifesaver during that stressful time of running the conference and she never once made me feel inadequate. Instead, she lifted me up.

I knew I needed to seek some assistance from a counselor to give me some new cognitive skills to help my brain get back on track. The doctor told me my brain was working so hard to keep my physical balance (the surgeries took away my equilibrium), that it had forgotten it needed to multitask. It was affecting my ability to write and I had a novel due to the publisher in a couple of months. I sought out the help I needed from a wonderful counselor who gave me some practical skills I could use to help both sides of my brain to communicate. It was the best thing I could have done.

Often we refuse to recognize that we need help. Our world today pushes us to do more, faster, and harder. It wants us to work at breakneck speeds. The older I get, breakneck becomes more of a physical possibility I’d prefer to not have happen. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. In the past, I’ve been the one to take on task solo but now, as I age and as I grow a bit wiser, I realize that learning to delegate is both a gift and a release.

I don’t have to listen to the world tell me, that I am responsible for every detail, but I can lean on others to help me make a one-man show and entire amazing production. 

I am blessed to have Terri not only as a friend but as that person who walks beside me in the middle of the chaos. And if she wasn’t enough, God turns around and says, “Cindy, there’s more. Here’s Denise. Sweet, organized, detail-oriented Denise Jenkins, to help you with the hardest part of your job as ACWC Director – housing and invoicing.” 

My point is, that everyone needs help from time to time. Needing help is not a sign of weakness, despite what the world shouts at you. It’s a sign of intelligence, wisdom, and compromise.

When you feel overwhelmed, look over your list of friends and find those who are willing to come alongside you. You’ll be surprised how freeing it is.

So, before I sign off, here is a special love note and thank you to those who step up to help this semi-nutty woman.

    THANK YOU – Terri Kelly, Denise Jenkins, Eddie Jones, Bennie Jones, Kevin Spencer, Wendy Leech, Sarah Loudon Thomas, Billy Wayne Arrington, Martin Wiles, and Andrea Merrell. I am grateful for the roles you play to make ACWC a success. This is truly a team effort and you are an amazing team. 

You can still register for the ACWC conference as off-campus. Your conference fee and all meals are included in Off-Campus registration. You can get your own room at one of the hotels listed on our website that are just feet from the Cove. www.ashevillechristianwritersconference.com February 24-26, 2023. Hurry and register. We sell out quickly.

 

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