Catalyst // Thursday

on October 8, 2010 in Dreams Coming True with 13 comments by

Don’t be mad when I tell you that at time of writing, it is still Thursday night.

I have just gotten back to the hotel and I’m sitting on my bed, in the quiet, tears streaming down my face. It has been that type of day.

I have lots of pictures, but they are on my phone and sorry to tell you, I’m a writer. And I want to write about today.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but I’m officially here as Anne Jackson’s assistant. You know, the coffee-getting, purse-carrying, protect-her-from-creepos kind of assistant. It’s been a joy. It has not been work at all but instead, it has allowed me to serve my friend. To watch over her and care for her and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Anne was officially hosting Seth Godin, which means she walks him from Point A to Point B and Point B to stage to lunch, you get it. So the three of us, and Seth’s assistant Ishita, palled around all day. Seth is a strong voice in my life, a mentor for sure. So to hug his neck, talk of my plans (that have failed and succeeded) and catch up was a real gift.

Scott Harrison spoke again today, from the main stage. Be still my beating NPO heart. It was awesome and moving and he commanded that room of 13,000. My biggest takeaway from his talk was that our world is in need and I have too much stuff.

Next was Daniel Pink. I had not heard of him. He is a business dude, and I thought he was cool and probably significantly smarter than me. My biggest takeaway from his talk is that I need to start doing my own monthly performance reviews at Mocha Club and in my writing career. And ask myself, “Was I better today than yesterday?”

Seth Godin was next. He was great. As usual. Really reminding us in the work force that we don’t have to look like everyone else, that failures are a part of success, and that being generous is always a good choice. Be willing to experiment and fail. Pretty much, he’s awesome.

Then I got to hear my girl Beth Moore. I just adore her and contribute so much of my writing career path to her inspiration. [Someday I’ll tell you that story.] She said this and I hope it sticks with me forever: “Don’t surrender to an area of work or ministry, just surrender to God. Hold tightly to Him and nothing else.” That’s a good word, Beth. A good word.

Then. Then. Francis Chan. I don’t even know what to say. He totally messed up my life. He spoke on how the Bible tells us to treat the poor. This one is hard to recap because my heart is still gently bubbling and boiling and I think Jesus and I have some things to work out before I can really talk about what he said. My takeaway? I just want to be like Jesus. That’s it. I want to know Him and brag about knowing Him. I want to live in a way that people see Jesus. I want to be free to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead and I want my life to be marked by courage and kindness.

So. That’s that.

I have deeply loved this experience. I’ve learned a ton and made some great connections. I’ve gotten to see so many friends, hug so many necks, laugh with my normal Nashville peeps [like Katy, Jeremy, Lindsey, Spence], and reconnect with some friends from other parts of my life. I even got to see one person who used to be a very close friend but things are broken. It was good and hard and needed and I hope someday we’ll be okay.

Sadly, I don’t get to go to Catalyst tomorrow. But on the upside- Seth is having a day long seminar in Atlanta, complete with free books, sushi, networking, and vegan desserts. So I’ll be there, hob-knobbing with other linchpins, and

Sorry these posts have been wordy. Forgive my long-windedness. [Try talking to me in real life sometime. It’s just as bad. Maybe worse.]

Happy Friday. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Debs
    posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 4:57 AM  |  reply

    I love your heart Annie….you inspire…enough said except I miss you!

  2. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 5:49 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for your re-cap. You must have missed Andy Stanley. He was the best I have ever heard him. Unfortunately, I missed Francis Chan. I heard from several people that he gave a killer message.

    Tell my friend, Anne, hi from Mike and Gail. Weโ€™re her neighbors. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Bill Boatman
    posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 6:14 AM  |  reply

    What a great experience. I would have loved to attend Catalyst. Hopefully one year I can.But what is even better is that you and Katy got to go. Special! Hug my baby!
    Mr. Bill

  4. Merideth Schoolcraft
    posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 8:08 AM  |  reply

    First of all, Annie I like your wordy posts. I’m the same way. I can go on and on about things and sometimes ramble with the best of them. I love the things you shared that you took away from each of the talks. They sound amazing! Especially Francis Chan. Thanks for sharing so the rest of us can benefit from these leaders.
    PS: I understand having a broken friendship. I have one too, only we don’t have contact anymore at all. But, I still hope for reconciliation/healing in the future. Hang in there with that,and I’ll be praying for you and your friend.

  5. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 8:27 AM  |  reply

    Let’s share Beth stories over a cup of coffee next time you are in town! Miss you my friend!

  6. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 9:32 AM  |  reply

    And…those words that stuck out to you and spoke to your heart, were needed in my life today…in this season of transition, career changes, soul searching, and really just wanting a life that reflects Jesus.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 11:26 AM  |  reply

    I love your ‘long windedness’! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your heart and the things you loved and learned!

  8. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 3:31 PM  |  reply

    I love it when you are “longwinded”. I love the way you write about the happenings in your life; I love gleaning from your heart and your personality ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 5:58 PM  |  reply

    I’ve been enjoying everyone’s tweets about Catalyst but it’s even better to read more in-depth about your experience. Francis Chan has wrecked my life many a time- reading Crazy Love launched me on the path to moving to Nashville, in fact. Now I’m contemplating where to volunteer and how to plant myself more fully in the soil here.

  10. posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 6:31 PM  |  reply

    I cannot BELIEVE we were in the same place and didn’t meet up. Of course, the size of that place was pretty huge and crazy, but still!!! Love your thoughts and am anxious to read/ discover/ understand more as you sort through Chan’s talk… I, too, have much to say and even more to learn ๐Ÿ˜‰

    loveYOU! Lucy

  11. Stephen
    posted on Oct 08, 2010 at 10:43 PM  |  reply


    Did you get to sit down in that VIP area next to the stage?

    Your sentiments from Thursday are right on. Especially on Francis. More and more I’m realizing I love that man. He is been a blessing in my life and I’ll miss hearing him on his podcasts. His message about living in line with people like Peter and James was hugely meaningful to me.

    Today there was some more crazy stuff including trampolines and a human cannonball. I bailed before Andy’s closing session, but I thought Perry Noble and Craig Groeschl were top-notch. Having never heard them speak before, I really enjoyed them (especially Perry’s humor).

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Lindsay Rossetti
    posted on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:22 PM  |  reply

    Can I just say that I was SO excited that I got to meet Anne on Friday? And then she told me that you had been there on Thursday. Still so excited about meeting Anne, SO bummed I missed meeting you. I was a volunteer with a group from my church. It. was. AMAZING! As you know, obviously. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. posted on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:13 AM  |  reply

    great post! i enjoyed reading this. blogs have a trillion pictures on them these days. it was nice to just sit and read your meaningful words.
    fyi: i’m not a writer, but the huge part that beth moore has played in my life has always made me want to be one. can’t wait to hear that story!

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