I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ACFW Conference Newbie Alert--and the Cure-All for First-Timer Doubts

Newbie Alert! Newbie Alert! I’m going to be a first-time attendee at the upcoming American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference this September in St. Louis. I'm excited! You know the kind: the I-can’t-sleep-the-night-before-excited! Yep, even adults can get that excited, And I've got four weeks to go before I'm actually there.

Like anyone, I want to be ultra-ready and informed before I attend so I'm at my best. I've been reading all of the information provided for first time attendees provided by author Cara Putman The more I read, the more I began to doubt whether I was ready to attend the conference.

Just as doubts tapped danced across my brains, I read an email about the conference Prayer Room. During the conference they will have a room where you can go and pray. Okay, so it’s the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised by a prayer room--but I was.

It reminded me of just who is in charge of my time at the conference: My Daddy God!  Yes, I know this, but it is so easy to get all wound up and forget.

“I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11 The Message)

So while today my blog is short and sweet, please take a moment to rest in the knowledge that God has your future “all planned out."  Whether you're going to the ACFW conference or not, take a minute to remember just who is in charge of your future.

How about you? What Scriptures are you using to prepare for ACFW--or life in general? When I'm battling to find God's peace about an issue, I find the Scripture that applies to my need and post it on the mirror in my bathroom. I'm planning on doing the same while I'm at the conference. I hope my roommate doesn't think I'm too weird!


Alena Tauriainen


  1. Great post, Alena! It is so easy to get caught up in the editor/agent thingy that you can lose sight of Who the focus should really be on. The conference is about so much more than editors and agents.

    Love Jeremiah 29:11 in the Message!
    Can't wait to see you again.

  2. I agree with Pat--great post, Alena! I'm thrilled that you get to go to ACFW this year. :) I am choosing.not. to. envy. :) It's not my year. I really like how you brought all your thoughts back to Jesus. You are so good at that. I can't wait to hear how He met you there and what He did in and through you. Enjoy!

  3. I have it on strong authority that your roommate thinks you are 100% fantastic and she's really looking forward to rooming with you!!

    When people talk about conferences, they immediately think about pitch sheets, sample chapters, agent/editor appointments, but all of those should fall in line after prayer.

    Every year I pray and ask God to use me as a blessing to someone else. I know those feelings of anxiety when you attend for the first time.

    Alena, you will do well. You've surrendered to God in prayer and you'll be surrounded by conference veterans who love you!!

  4. Thanks so much! So glad my roomie, won't think I'm weird. :)

    Jeanne, me too! I'm planning on enjoying this journey, learning and having a blast..making some great friends and spending some time and deepening my existing friendships. Writing, agents and book contracts will work itself out in God's timing. That's my confession and I'm sticking to it!

  5. Wow Alena. Thanks for a great article. I'll wipe the sweat and keep moving forward, (gulp)toward the confence.

  6. Reeba!
    You are too funny!

  7. I am going for the first-time too - I am also very excited one minute and ready to throw-up the next - thanks for reminding me that God is really in control of it all!

  8. Awesome Alena! All so true. ACFW is a wonderful time in the Lord :)

  9. Alena, missed this yesterday but am cheering you on. Thanks, & I'm so glad you will be there.

  10. AT, I'm praying for you and cheering you on. Jeanne, I'm sitting out this year too. You and me, next year is our year, baby!

  11. Sorry I'm late commenting, Alena. What an awesome post - and so encouraging too. Thanks!!