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We Are Live Salted!
The dream was to create a weekend where women from out of town could come for a retreat surrounding conference weekend. What we hoped and prayed for was that a community of love and friendship would blossom from the experience. And God provided.
Fall 2021, I, Rachael, was sitting on the couch after a long day as a stay at home mom of four kids under three. The emotions going through my heart were that of loneliness and thirst for community – so like any millennial, I pulled out my phone and turned to Instagram. Not the greatest decision, but it was here, in a moment of inner pain and searching for relief through distraction, that God met me with Live Salted’s post asking women to apply for their conference volunteer team.
At this point, the Weekender was not a reality yet, only a seed that Krista had taken from thought to written word describing what the “Conference Weekender Coordinator” role would entail.
After reading the description, I was struck.
The Weekender was exactly what I wanted to attend in order to grow and move forward in my relationship with Jesus. After a season of isolation where the enemy’s attacks felt heavy and constant while I defended “solo” (not that we are EVER solo…but the era of Covid was capable of letting one forget that), I knew I needed to rebuild community and fight shoulder to shoulder with other sisters on a similar journey towards Jesus. But at this point, what I needed, the Weekender, was nothing more than the Instagram post I looked at…
Would I be the one to make this idea a reality?
And then, a whisper came over me telling me that this post, this position, was truly meant for me.
For a number of months, Krista and I worked together thinking through logistics, assembling a Leadership Team, marketing the opportunity, and squeezing all of our big dreams into a pretty conservative budget.
We didn’t know if anyone would even sign up, especially because the event wasn’t cheap, but we were blown away!
The Lord brought this event to the attention to a number of women and then thirteen of them actually signed up. We were hyped! But to be honest, also a little nervous.
Would everyone connect? Would it be awkward? Would people connect on a deep, genuine level?
However, the more we prayed and connected with the women through phone calls and Zoom, we knew the Lord was behind each and every connection and that it would most likely translate to a culture of comfort, ease, and unity within the group. We wanted the weekend to be intentionally cultivated to fit the needs of our attendees as well as the theme of 2022 conferences “Legacy.” We prayed God would lead our discussions and guide us toward long-term life-change in each attendee, and ourselves too!
One day out from all the ladies arriving in from Ohio, Texas, Canada, California, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado, the Weekender team met up at our Airbnb in Seattle Thursday night to finalize our preparations and pray over the space. We filled goodie bags with the ladies’ favorites snacks, and words of encouragement from their family and friends back home. We could feel the Spirit’s presence in that space.A
As a team, we ate dinner and asked the Lord if there was anything He wanted us to know about the weekend. We heard His desire for freedom, breakthrough, new perspective, refreshment, laughter, and true sisterhood. And goodness, did the Lord show up in those ways and so much more!
“This weekend felt like a touch of heaven. Time seemed to stand still. The intentionality behind every action blew me away. How every single space we entered was drenched in prayer. I can’t get over how ten strangers who met once on Zoom jumped right into this whole experience together and connected in such a rich, beautiful way. Only Jesus can do that!” – Weekender Attendee
“Despite our different life seasons and experiences, My favourite memory was how we all just jumped into vulnerability and shared the real things with each other. It’s wildly refreshing when the foundation of a relationship is a shared hunger and desperate need for Jesus. It was an honor to spend the weekend with everyone, there is nothing better than girlfriends and Jesus together!!” – Weekender Attendee
“When people are willing to get real and deep right away, it always surprises me, and ends up being the best part of any event. I was moved by how the Lord provided in such unexpected ways from meeting women from all sorts of walks of life and being able to learn from them, to the personal letters from our loved ones, to games, snacks and of course the conference. It was such a life giving weekend!” – Weekender Attendee
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”– Matthew 18:20
Then, there we were at baggage claim at SeaTac Airport. After a group introductory Zoom call, everyone was aware of each other’s names, faces, and basic backstories, but beyond this, we were still strangers.
As everyone arrived, we greeted them with a massive hug and threw their luggage into the cars. Soon enough, everyone was there and we were off to Pike Place to go explore Seattle.
If you’re in Seattle for one weekend, you have to make a stop here! I was born and raised in the Seattle suburbs, and I have been here many many times, but this market just does not get old.
From pictures at the Gum Wall and the Market Sign to Beecher’s mac n’ cheese and Pike Place flower bouquets, we all started to get to know each other as if we were just friends having a Saturday girl day.
Just as the rain started to fall and our fingers were about frozen, we took our loot back to the Airbnb where our sweet leader Dawnelle had made us all a warm meal. After a day of travel and exploration, the warmth of a homey setting was perfect. No hotels, no finding your own fast food dinner, no Ubers.
Just home and with a new, budding family.
As we got into the post dinner conversation, I opened up with a quick ice breaker game where we heard a fun fact and got to guess who’s fact it was. I am the first to say that ice breakers aren’t always my favorite, but I do think this was one of the very best parts of the weekend. I was able to witness women go from sharing very silly, random fun facts to diving in deep and sharing the good, bad and ugly of life with one another right off the bat.
Topics turned from fun and games to real life – past, present, and future. We opened our hearts to the community before us and brought not only our hopes and dreams to the table, but also our struggles. And in each struggle, we were met with support.
By the end of night one – only ten hours into knowing each other – it was safe to say we weren’t strangers any more, we were true sisters and friends… we had become family.
The conference day itself flew by in the best way. We got the gals some coffee from Zoka (keeping it LOCAL!) – and then drove over to U District to worship and learn alongside 200 other ladies. The day was filled with the sound of voices singing to the heavens, women preaching the word, and 1-1 sets of women praying for an over one another. For lunch, we walked to another local spot and then came back for part two of learning, worship and the most epic dance party! Once back at the Airbnb, we were exhausted but fired up and ended our night with ice cream and more life chats.
Sunday morning the Weekender crew sat with quiche and coffee in the living room of our Airbnb. Talking about everything and nothing all at once, we soaked up our last minutes of the weekend before it was time to part ways and head back to our homes. It was truly the best weekend.
“Lord, you are my God: I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”– Isaiah 25:1 NIV
Looking back, I truly believe this weekend was planned by God Himself – that He knew the names and desires of His daughters and provided space and community for them – and that we all got to play our part in its creation by saying “yes” to partnership with Him.
Krista said “yes” to the boldness of thinking crazy new ideas.
Myself, Dawnelle and Ellery said “yes” to the insanity of taking on new roles and investing our own time and money to make this event happen.
And each and everyone of the gals who attended said “yes” to taking a risk and stepping out in faithfulness to the nudge the Lord put on their hearts to attend.
There is so much power in a “yes,” is there anything the Lord is encouraging you to say “yes” to right now in your life??
I dare you to take it… just wait and see what the Lord has on the other side of it!
Rachael Baer, The Legacy Weekender Coordinator
Rachael Baer was the Live Salted Legacy conference Weekender Coordinator. She spends her day to day as a stay at home mom of four kids under four. Born and raised a Seattleite, Rachael currently lives on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family. Her spare time is spent with the company of friends and family – her passion is found in bringing the kingdom earth side through hospitality and devoted relationship. When she finds a moment of silence, she spends her time studying the Word and writing.
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