I mentioned yesterday that this conference turned into an MFME gathering.
My dear mother has been trying to get these sisters together for so long. Oh, we’ve gone through every different scenario and possible location as to where to gather. Everyone has such full schedules, kids at different ages, and life issues looming up in front of them.
So, in the end, we all realized that the most simple way to gather this time around would be to just gather around the Restore Conference we were all planning on attending anyway.
I mean, sometimes you just have to simplify, right?
And it was such a beautifully loaded-with-love simplification. I feel so buoyed up every time I’m with these women!
MFME at the Restore Conference
The only one who wasn’t able to make it was my Swiss sister-in-law Anita. Oh boy we missed her and her heart that adds so much to any discussion. To see how awesome she is, listen to this podcast we recorded with her last summer…and also check out her Instagram feed. She is a life coach and so very wise.
All that to say WE MISSED YOU ANITA!
We added an extra “thinker” Heidi, who is Saydi’s friend from Boston who we all love. Those two had been planning to go to the conference anyway before it turned into an MFME gathering, and we loved that she was willing to envelope into our group.
The first night I hung out and debriefed a little with Dave and Lucy. The next two nights, one after those two left, I joined these women and talk, talk, talked about all we were learning. And life in general.
This was followed, of course, by cookie-baking (the Eyre tradition).
And more talking back at my parent’s house where we all stayed.
Extra art and music
Also loved that in addition to the addition of Heidi, we got to semi-adopt Neylan McBaine for part of the time at the conference. Neylan is an incredible writer/advocate my sister Saren met in Boston and who we all love.
She graciously let us come by and see some pretty incredible J. Kirk Richards artwork she displays so beautifully.
Her daughter graciously accepted our requests to play the cello for us. Oh she was so incredibly inspiring and I loved that extra motivation she gave me to keep sawing away on my own cello.
The eclipse happened to be right smack-dab in the middle of the conference.
I love that right after one of the speakers who talked about the awe and wonder of the earth, they gave all 3,000 attendees a pair of eclipse glasses to go out and witness that miraculous event.
The sky looked so cool so dim and eerie with the moon shading part of the sun.
The shadows were so fascinating too!
As we enjoyed that natural phenomenon from Salt Lake City, Lucy had the opportunity to camp out with FOUR of my brothers and a slew of cousins in Southern Utah. Right in the path for the “ring of fire.”
I’m not sure what Lucy could actually see, but she texted me pretty gleefully that she had seen the eclipse.
The speakers at the conference shared some pretty incredible thoughts about belonging. But I might have to say that this example of creating belonging for my daughter who craves it so very much was an even more passionate teacher of what a sense of belonging can to for us.
There is nothing more beautiful for a mother than to see her children enveloped in the good of others. That inclusion makes me just tear up with wonder and gratitude. Just when Lucy needed it most.
My brother sent this photo that I thought was so beautiful. I wish I had a picture of all those uncles together with Lucy which was equally as beautiful to me.
The Wrap-up and an action question
Following the wrap-up of the conference we had our own little wrap-up eating Thai food at a long table together, and also sitting out by the fire when we had finished there. Too much to say before we separated in different ways.
One of the speakers talked about how there are big things to do to make a difference in this world, but the very most important thing is what we do right in our own circles. He talked about how he and his wife started doing a gathering on Sunday nights with college kids. He lives in a college town. He talked about how he and his wife have created a place for these kids where all questions are welcome. Where they can feel belonging. And where they can learn and grow together.
So I asked myself what I’m doing in my own community. Or better yet, what I want to do in my own community to create that kind of belonging. My answer isn’t the same as that speaker. We all have different spiritual gifts. We all feel called to create belonging in different ways. The important thing is that we search for our own role in that call to include and to love.
I asked my sisters and mom that same question. We all came up with different things we were going to do in our own communities to lift and love those around us more. To create that sense of belonging and “mattering” in a more poignant way.
My sister-in-law wrote down all our answers and we’re going to follow up with each other as we push to reach out more. Shine our lights in our own unique ways.
Would love to know what ideas YOU have as a blog reader if you feel inclined to share. We all have our own ways we can contribute to the communities we are in. And it’s so powerful to think of the ripple effects that can come when we go to work seeking to love and lift those around us.
We went home and ate peach pie, more cookies, and basked in the togetherness with my mom AND dad who had just returned from winning the gold (doubles) and silver (singles) in a big tennis tournament. (See the medals?)
Gosh I love those people.
We met the last of the group plus my brother Jonah for Music and the Spoken Word at Temple Square the next morning:
I got to take an epic ride up the canyon with my brother Eli, talking deep and breathing in the fading richness of autumn:
And we got to join in my parents “Inklings” group that night.
Friends they have gathered to discuss the world with for years now. A great example of what they do in their own community to create belonging.
I got to go on a quick, walk with my dad before taking off, back to HOME: the end of fall break.
What a break it was!