In a surprising turn of events (seriously), I’m in Hawaii.

Last year, about this time, I was a part of the Bloom Conference, hosted by my sweet and wonderful friend Tiffany Thurston.

This weekend, Bloom Conference is happening again. Twice as many girls, twice as much work, a billion times the excitement. I’m such a huge fan of this place and the people and this conference.

But I wasn’t planning on coming. I’m not speaking this year and I have a pretty packed schedule and oh yeah Let’s All Be Brave releases in three weeks.

Then, two weeks ago, Tiffany’s dad, Uncle Charlie, passed away suddenly from a heart attack.

And I knew I had to be here. To hug her. To help her. To support what God is doing in this place and in these girls through Tiff’s obedience and planning. I just plain wanted to be here. (One of the times when being single is kinda awesome because it didn’t mess up anyone else’s schedule for me to make a last minute decision like this! Booyah.)

So I got on a plane Thursday morning and here I am. Right here, beside Tiff. And y’all? She is doing so good. She’s honest about the pain but joyful in the Lord and peaceful and hurting and still absolutely lovely to be around. It’s amazing and she’s amazing and God is amazing, even in our deepest moments of pain and highest moments of joy.

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The conference is Friday and Saturday and I’m back on a plane to Nashville early Sunday.

But I made a promise to myself this summer – I wrote about it here – that I won’t be ruled by tasks, but by love. And thanks to some Delta points collected by myself and (mostly) my parents, and the shuffling of some calendar things, I’m able to be here.

As Shauna Niequist says, “more love. less hustle.”

Yes and amen.

Would you please pray for this weekend? For Tiffany and her family as they grieve the loss of Uncle Charlie while also hosting a Kingdom-expanding teen girl conference? Pray that God would move through every aspect of the weekend and that lives would be changed for His glory. Pray for laughter and joy amidst grief. And pray, like it says in Proverbs 31, that each woman in attendance, young and old, would be “clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

If you have a message for Tiffany, condolences or prayers for this weekend or virtual hugs or whatever, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will be sure she sees each one.