My Experience with IF

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 8.27.16 AMIf you’ve never heard of Jennie Allen or IF, I have a treasure for you today.  Jennie Allen has a wonderful Women’s Ministry called IF.  I discovered her by chance when searching for a Bible Study to do with my daughter and some of her friends.  We went through her study, Chase which looks at the life of David and how he spent his life chasing God.  Most people chase after things that will bring them success and happiness, but through the study we are called to action to chase after the only thing that will not leave us feeling empty.  We loved the study and as we researched more from Jennie Allen, IF kept coming up.  When I found her website, and started reading about the beginnings of IF, I was intrigued.  If God is real, then…what? If God is real, how should I live my life?  What does God really want from me?

The girls and I (I say girls – they are grown young women, most with families of their own) decided to do another of Jennie’s studies, Restless.  I loved the Chase study, but the Restless study really moved me to action. Restless explores this important question: “Do I matter?” And Jennie asks, “We live with lots of things, lots of people…but do we live for something?”  After going through the study with my daughter and her friends, I also facilitated the study online.  I began wanting more of God and wanting to give more of myself to Him and as a result of that to others.

Candace (my daughter) and I went to hear Jennie speak in October.  I think one thing I really like about her is how unpretentious she is. She’ll do Facetime Live videos with no makeup and sitting in her car waiting for one of her kids to get out of some practice.  She loves Jesus where ever she is and has a knack for making others want to live for Him more, too.

Me_and_Can_with Jennie
Me and my daughter, Candace with Jennie Allen

Ok, I’m at 336 words and still need to explain what IF is.  In a nutshell, it’s Jennie Allen’s ministry.  IF: Gathering is a weekend women’s conference that she holds in Austin.  It began in 2014.  The unique thing about it is that she offers the livestream at little cost. Churches around the world hold IF:Gatherings, but even more unique is that she encourages women to livestream it from their houses and invite neighbors and friends.  I watched the livestream from my house alone in February.  The speakers were wonderful and included: Lisa Terkeurst, Ann Voskamp, Rebekah Lyons, Jo Saxton, and a real treasure, 92 year old, Jill Briscoe.  During the final session, I sat alone in my gameroom with tears streaming down my face.  I knew I wanted to share this with others, so I spoke to a friend of mine, Angie and through a series of events that could only be God she and I and several of her friends were able to go to her friend’s cabin on Lake Texoma in April for an IF: Weekend. From that weekend, one of the ladies felt called to start a closed FB group, “Godly Women in Relationship”.  Her cover photo is a quote from Jill Briscoe, one of my favorite speakers from IF:Gathering.  God has used the FB group as a special place for women to pray for one another and hold each other up.  I love that from IF:Weekend, the FB group was birthed and has branched out and touched so many people.

I hope this hasn’t sounded too much like a commercial, and I hope you’ll check it out yourself.  Here’s the link to her website:  IF:Gathering Website  My heart is for you to chase after God more and see what He has in store for you.  I leave you with this:

1 John 1: 2  This is the one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him.  And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life.  He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.  We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.

As my Chloe girl says,  “see you in a little bit,”




Let’s Try This Again

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but I have a yearning to write – to share my story.  We all have a story.  Who we are is made up of what we believe and what we’ve experienced.  Unearthing both invites others to know your story.  So, this summer that’s one of the things I hope to accomplish – to share more of my story through this blog.

The next question is where to start.  When I started this blog two years ago, I told you a little about my family.  In those two years my daughter has married and had a little boy, Cayden, who is 15 months old, and my son also had a little boy, Stiles, who is only three weeks younger than Cayden.  That makes me Memaw to three little ones.  My Chloe girl will be five in July and will start kindergarten in the summer.  She is smart and has a big imagination and personality.

My job is a big question mark in my life right now.  I was a teacher for seventeen years and then I went back to school and got my Masters in Educational Administration in order to be an Assistant Principal.  That was my dream. I was passionate.  The year after I got my masters, I went to work as a Campus Testing Coordinator and Instructional Specialist.  I’ve had that job for the past six years and have loved it.  I try every year to get an AP job and have had many interviews and many call back interviews.  For some reason, I can’t quite seem to “land” the job, but I was content where I was, so I didn’t worry about it.  In April I was told that due to low enrollment numbers my job was going away.  I’m being forced transferred back to the classroom to teach 7th and 8th grade English.  The good news is I have a job.  The scary news is that I haven’t taught for six years, but I am trusting that God has a plan and that I will be wherever he wants me to be.

God’s plan for my life is really what is driving me to blog.  I’ve been reading Jennie Allen’s Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul.  It’s a hard thing to say that you will give God anything, but I am trying to pray that.  I say try because it is so hard to give up control.  I see glimpses of God’s handiwork in my life and I know this is what He wants from me – to give Him my all and sit back and see what He has in store.  That is really what I plan to write more about.  Tomorrow, I plan to share about my experience with IF.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what that is if you don’t already know :-).

I’ll leave you with this today from 1 Peter 1:13

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control.  Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

As my Chloe says, ” See you in a little bit”