I had finally found the little cove I had been searching for at Laguna Beach, nestled in the rocky shore and the ocean front houses curving around the coast. The sky couldn’t have been more blue, the waves couldn’t have been more calming, and I plopped myself down on the sand to drink it all in and reflect.
The fact that I was there, in California for work (and yes, my first work trip and my first time in California) all at once filled me with both incredulity and awe. I mean, let’s be honest, Shattered is no where near the point to be able to send employees off to big fancy industry conferences clear across the country. What’s even crazier is the fact that our little year-old publication would be rubbing shoulders with the big guys in the arena, editors that we’ve been looking up to from a distance from magazines like Christianity Today (should I mention we actually ate dinner at the same table with them?!) and World Vision.
In the days ahead, we attended workshops led by the likes of Phil Cooke, heard first-hand the stories behind incredible Gospel-centered efforts like Harvest America, and worshipped with none other than Meredith Andrews.
And you know what? We didn’t feel like the underdogs in the midst of these huge successful fellow workers. Why? Because it wasn’t about being huge and successful. We’ve all been given a mission to spread the name of our God through the unique avenues and the distinct abilities He’s given each of us. So when we came together for this EPA convention in Anaheim, that’s what it was all about – encouraging one another to push forward and to become a stronger voice for His glory, no matter how big we are or how long we’ve been around. Like Meredith said to me when we had a few minutes to chat, “Practicing the presence of God [is] learning to see Jesus everywhere… It overflows into every aspect of your life.” And I find myself so amazed that it’s overflowing into my job that I not only have to do every day, but that I get to do.
I guess that’s what made our one-year-in-print celebration this past week seem even sweeter. Only a few days before the party, when we went to pick up our boxes of magazines from the Fedex dock, I thought, “Some things never change.” It’s still just us, getting it all done. We don’t have little minions that we order around to do things for us (although Rachael’s kids do help find extra uses for those empty magazine boxes, like crafting a makeshift television complete with a remote 😉 ). But that’s what’s so amazing – we get to have our hands on it all and God continues to empower us to step through each door He opens before us.
So when about 100 people stopped by our party, it made me realize what an impact Shattered Magazine is having. I felt embraced by friends both old and new, encouraged to know the hope and joy that our work is pouring out on them. And that it’s really not just about a magazine. As we release our summer issue and you start receiving it in your mailboxes, know that it’s about a community of family and friends wanting to share our stories, pointing to the hope we continue to discover in Christ, and living it out to encourage one another. How encouraged I am by all of you to continue on this journey!