Just a few things

As I prepare to open up Early Bird registration tomorrow 8/20/21, I just wanted to share a few things here for easy reference. In anticipation of FAQs, I suppose you could say.

Early Bird registration will be available only for a short window of time – August 20-31. On September 1st, I will have to switch it over to Regular registration, and then all registrations will close no later than October 15th. But I also only have 300 tickets… and last year they pretty much went like hotcakes, as they say. Perhaps this year people are not quite as desperate for in-person fellowship as they were last year… but then again, it is looking like perhaps we will be just as desperate once again. The Lord knows our need.

This is my fourth year planning, preparing, and hosting the Paideia Northwest annual conference for mamas raising their kids for the Lord. Some things, therefore, have gotten easier for me. I have figured out some ways to streamline some things, in order to not recreate the wheel every year. But on the other hand, some things don’t really lose their weight or complication even after repetition. Some things I am still figuring out. Some things need tweaked every single year.

And have you noticed that prices of pretty much everything have gone up in the last year? (Yeah, me too.) Some things in my budget lines have more than doubled in price. And while one of my main goals is to keep tickets below $50 (in order to make it what is considered a very affordable event), I also have to realize that I can not lose money on this endeavor every year. I have been able to budget well the last three years, and this year I am anticipating doing that as well… but it does mean that I have to pass along the cost increases to registrants. Charging $45 a ticket will allow me to break even. Praise the Lord! I love how He provides. And if there are still tickets left that sell during the Regular registration period, hopefully there will be a cushion left over… because next year will involve flying at least one speaker in. (Shhh! It’s a secret! But it’s an exciting one!)

Anyway. I know that money is tight. I know that raising a big family on a single income can be hard work. I know firsthand what it’s like to want to pinch every penny in order to provide as well as possible for my children. I want to spend every spare nickel and dime on more used books for my kids’ education and soul-fattening! I get it. But I have also been learning that it is okay to set aside some money in the budget to give myself teacher work days or mama refill days. The perspective and encouragement that I glean from listening to words from wise teachers and fellowshipping with godly women is honestly priceless. (Grace Agenda and Scholé Sisters are places where I find that myself… I do love the Paideia Northwest conferences, but they are exhausting work days for me on the heels of an incredible full week – so not exactly a mama refill event.) I would encourage you to find a way (or multiple ways) to prioritize these kinds of events in your life on a regular basis. Two to three times a year, I try to do this. There are many opportunities to glean wisdom and fellowship with sisters ~ choose wisely, but don’t starve yourself. You need to have opportunities to learn and grow, fellowship and feast.

I am delighted that Chris at Protect Young Eyes wants to help me make sure that anyone who finds $45 completely prohibitive can still come to Rest. I have already been able to commit a few scholarship tickets to some women who need that blessing. Rejoice with me over that gift!!

But could you also rejoice with me over the fact that I have been able to provide a lovely event on a budget for these last few years? I sincerely hope to be able to continue doing that. When I myself click on registration pages for events that are $100 or more per ticket, it feels kind of crushing. I can’t afford that. Especially if it also involves travel costs on top of just an event ticket! So trust me: I know. I try hard to find ways to make this an affordable, doable event for you. Because I’m in the same boat. I feel strongly about my family thriving on a single income, tithing faithfully, providing well for my kids, saving for the future, and not living in debt. I want to encourage you to pursue those same things for the glory of God.

And I still want you to be able to come to Rest! So register early for the cheaper price. I would be delighted to sell out before we even get to the “regular” price point!

Please be aware that the refund policy is different this year: due to multiple factors, I will no longer be processing refunds. I have to make payments for things in advance, and so by the time some people have asked for refunds in the past, I have already paid for things that can not be returned or reused. Since you get the audio and video recordings afterward, I think this is a fair arrangement (if that were to change, so again would my refund policy). Also, I am still able to do a ticket transfer… but only for a certain length of time… because I only do conference work in “free moments” – my fulltime gig is homeschooling my five kids, supporting my husband in running a Bible software business, and running a Classical Christian co op in my community… and I am tired of getting to conference week running on fumes and feeling like I’m forgetting things. So my deadlines and cutoffs are earlier now, in order to hedge my own time. I want to bring a conference that is a blessing. And if I come screeching into the finish line like a hot mess (and yes, I’ve done that before…), it’s much less of a blessing all around.

I am grateful to have people who want to volunteer on the day of the conference! Last year I had some people volunteer, but this year we need some more. 🙂 The more ladies who are willing to shoulder a coffee pot or a trash bag, the less burden an individual person needs to bear. Email me at [email protected] if you would like to help on a coffee/snacks team or luncheon setup/cleanup team. As a thank you gift, I would be happy to provide you with a Rest tshirt – you’ll just have to let me know what size you’d like, and I will have it for you to pick up on November 13th at the event.

It really is a gift to my heart to anticipate Rest, to look forward to sharing a day of blessing with so many women again this year. I remember when I was first asking other women if they would find a way to bring some kind of motherhood/educational conference to the broader Spokane area… and how I just desperately longed for something like that in this area. And I had no inclination of heading it up myself! But when the Lord calls you to do something, He usually paves the way and makes it pretty obvious… and I also find that He pours on joy when we offer our work to Him faithfully. That’s certainly been true for me here. I find so much joy in the organization, planning, and curating. I wish it weren’t just once a year!

So registration opens tomorrow morning. And you will be able to find me via email or social media if you have any questions or troubles or speed bumps. Hopefully in the meantime, I have addressed some potential FAQs and shared a piece of my heart with you at the same time.

Peace be with you. Selah. Rest in our Lord who does all things well.

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