Why All Christian Writing Conferences Should Be Held in the Redwoods

I’ve spent the last five days in paradise.

It was perfect timing, God’s timing, and because of a tweet and a twitter party and a writing mentor I’d never met, I registered for Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference about a month ago. I’m going home today.

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference

The speakers are superb. The sessions and education are not to be missed. The keynote speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, is a master in her craft, weaving in biblical story, literary connections and the insecurities all writers feel in her hilarious talks. And the location? God’s country.

The lush mountain landscape, the blooming cherry trees blushing against the deep pine green, the hills and slopes that make you look up and down with every step, and the redwoods.

You could almost look past them; they’re everywhere. Only when my daughter asked me to send her a picture did I look up and notice a larger trunk, bigger on one side than my arm span, and tried to capture it for her. Of course, it can’t be contained.

It filled my phone’s camera field. I looked up and couldn’t see the top. I snapped the picture anyway, knowing it could never do the tree justice.

I have a feeling the redwoods will be my metaphor for this conference and my writing life after I return home. Here, I’m too close. I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to do after the conference — sending manuscripts, starting new social media efforts, writing articles, making electronic connections with people I’ve seen and touched here. But the list? That’s are the tree. I’m still too close to it.

When I go home, I’m hoping I’ll be able to see the forest. To see the story God was weaving here, to see the big picture come into focus, to better understand why he brought me here, for what purpose and how I can better honor him and bring his hope to the world with my little words.

I’ll miss those redwoods, though.


Linking with Heather.

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10 comments on “Why All Christian Writing Conferences Should Be Held in the Redwoods

  1. stacey says:

    It is so beautiful there, isn’t it?? I was in Santa Cruz in Feb to visit some blogging friends and absolutely loved it there. We drove through the hills to get to the beach and I was in awe at the amazing trees and greenery. I had never been to CA and I fell in love with it all. The redwoods mesmerized me.

    My friend who I visited used to be a camp counselor at Mount Hermon and now her kids go to camp there. She lives just minutes from where you are. What a blessing to be able to be amongst those towering trees and then see the ocean on the other side. I want to go back.

    So happy you were able to experience this conference, it sounds amazing. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

    • Yes, Stacey! The Mount Hermon campus is absolutely gorgeous, but the conference schedule was so packed that I didn’t get a chance to explore Santa Cruz itself — makes me a little sad. When I signed up for this conference I thought it would be a one-time deal, but now I’m not so sure. 🙂

  2. Jules says:

    Hooray for conferences, God, and you. I can’t wait to hear all about it, friend!

    • Oh, and I have so much to tell! Start saving now, because we are rooming together (along with two other amazing young women) next year.

  3. My grandparents honeymooned there about 65 years ago and an aunt and uncle used to own a cabin there. We’ve gone to visit a few times, as it obviously holds special meaning for our family, and yes, I can agree that it’s a magical place. So quiet, so still, and so filled with God’s presence!

    • You’re so right! Magical is the word for it. I was amazed by their long history. It’s the place as well as the staff there — such an uplifting, supportive and encouraging place. And yes, I saw God ALL over the place. His fingerprints were undeniable.

  4. Ellen Stumbo says:

    What I wonderful experience you must have had! I hope to some day make it there as I have heard only great things about it. For now, my budget only allows smaller conferences. Can’t wait to hear all about it as you blog your experience. Did you meet Gillian Marchenko? She is one fantastic lady!

    • Ellen, yes!! Gillian and I were one another’s spot to land and vent and celebrate at the conference. A brief Twitter intro and we were fast BFFs. We had a great time. (See my recent tweet for a pic of us together.) Yes, I agree — she is fantastic!

  5. Kim, thanks for this post. I’ve been trolling for Mount Hermon info. I’ve been to the conference a number of times and really miss not going. It’s a great experience, and I love your metaphor comparing the redwoods to the list of things you’ve come away with.


    • Thanks Rebecca! Don’t you just love Mount Hermon? Such a nurturing place, filled with real people who just love Jesus. I loved every minute.