The conference ended, as I knew it would, on Friday night with hugs all around and tears shared with new friends and old, not wanting to leave the precious gathering of sojourners who stopped for a mere week of respite. NGLC 2021, a time to drink deep from the well of worship, prayer, and truth, that included our own pouring out of fear, pain, weakness, and dryness of soul.

I felt full and at peace.

Already days have passed and I wonder, does anyone really remember what was said? We carry cards with “take always”, but did we walk away with something or nothing? Back to the pace of life, the old habits of familiar, who we were, instead of who we desire to be.

How long before my cup becomes dry?

I look at my take always and wonder about the how.

How will I make this change, pursue the purpose I feel is before me, answer the still small voice that spoke during my time of being still. I remember my plan to intentionally seek care for my own soul, because few leaders have people standing in line waiting to be the vessel that God could use.

It is a quiet space, filled with chaos. A dwelling where others come expecting to draw from a source overflowing. For me, this “how” question is an important one that demands an answer. How will I listen to learn from God, to leave the mysteries too big for me with God, and stay focused on loving God and loving others…my neighbors. My mission. Even the ones I don’t necessarily like or seem toxic to my soul.

Take aways have the potential to turn into “something” when they are developed through the well-known SMART outline.

Specific, in that they answer questions like “what is my goal, who is involved, why is this crucial?”

Measurable takeaways are not vague, but rather include tasks that can be evaluated later to determine whether or not they have been completed.

Achievable goals may require developing new skills, habits, etc., and yet, they can actually be accomplished.

Relevant takeaways support the overall mission, the big picture, and move you forward toward that end.

Time-Bound takeaways include deadlines that define when you hope to see the goal completed. They promote a sense of urgency.

I’m not a leadership guru, by far. Just a leader who has walked away from many a conference with a desire to change, and yet nothing to show for it. I share this because in the coming months we’ll meet with our mentors, and my heartfelt desire is that we will have something, and not nothing, to share.