I Went to Nest Fest and All I Bought was a Bunch of Books (so I’m giving them away!)


We drove five hours down I-77, outrunning the rain, driving between mountains, watching the leaves go from patchwork back to green again, then landing where the sun shone bright on a field-full of artisans and musicians and writers and creatives of all types. We went to the big white barn. I knew my friend Shelly would be there, and Lisa, and Emily. That’s why I went—to see some friends. And before I even walked the grounds I ran out of cash because I bought so. many. books. My only regret? I didn’t buy more books. I wish I had bought Tim’s newest book—a beautiful Christmas story that seems to celebrate his love for his three “pixie” daughters, because amazon tells me they are out of stock. And I wanted Edie’s book too—I loved her Lenten devotional this year. And Logan was there and Myquillyn, of course, and so much loveliness!

Sometimes, I need to run away to find my way back home. You? Autumn fills me with the wanderlust and a road trip always cures the ill. Jeff came along with me—my favorite travel companion. He sees a lot, that man. Just sits back and watches. You know what he said to me after watching me hug on Shelly for a time, then sit at Lisa’s feet to catch up, and soak up some wisdom from Tim? “You need to write more,” he said. “It’s clear how happy this makes you.” He knows I’ve been struggling with words lately. We’ve been wrestling with the question of time and I’ve gradually arrived at a place of acceptance. Acceptance that my time needs to be invested in other things for a season. But he knows it makes me sad. Because, writers gotta write, right?

The next best thing to writing is rubbing shoulders with some special writers. So that’s what I did this weekend. And because writers need readers, to celebrate beautiful YOU, my dear reader, I’m giving away some books. I have a signed copy of Lisa Whittle’s newest book I Want God, a signed copy of Emily P. Freeman’s book Simply Tuesday (my favorite go-to book when I’m feeling very small), and a book that Shelly Miller was supposed to sign for you but didn’t. I discovered too late that she forgot to sign it.  But … her sweet hands held this book, I promise. So that’s a copy of Rhythms of Rest, not signed, but touched by the author. One lucky reader will win this awesome stack of books. Just leave a comment for a chance to win. If you share on social media, let me know and you’ll get extra entries for each way you share. Winner will be announced on Friday, 10/28. I’ll leave you with a few random shots from Nest Fest. xo












  1. says

    Laura, how fun! I saw your pictures on facebook…looked like a beautiful time.

    I totally get the need to runaway to find your way back…I need that too. Lately, all the running I can muster is my early morning escapes with God. I treasure it. Life is full and good but something is missing or maybe just not revealed yet. But I am trying to be intentional about all parts of my life and waiting and listening.

    I haven’t written in awhile either and when I do it is few and far between. I still write but it never touches paper or the computer screen. My head is full of posts. I think I am afraid of sharing what is going on in my head and heart. These deep thought moments that maybe are just meant to be conversations between He and I.

    Bless you in the finding your way back. I have always been inspired by your words.


    • says

      We don’t know one another, but I hear you. I am not posting as much as I would like either. There are times when I spend days and weeks sifting through all that is going on in my own heart, unable to find words to express it to anyone else. And I’m often too busy to take the time to find the right string to pull for untangling all the thoughts. Something will come from these quiet times. I encourage you to live in anticipation. Out of your quiet with Him something beautiful with surface — the words He means for you to encourage and inspire others.

      May you be blessed in the use of your gift!
      Julie Joiner

  2. says

    Looks just lovely – makes me want to take a road trip too. 🙂 (and I have to avoid bookstores unless I want to come home with a handful of books – those places are dangerous! :))

  3. says

    I heard about this and wished I could have gone. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all! Thank you for your generosity, Laura. I’m sure whoever wins will be greatly blessed!

  4. says


    This was one gathering I wanted to attend, as I am a Hope*Writer. However, I had already attended two writer’s events in Michigan and Virginia this year. (Maybe next year!)

    I love what your husband said, “You need to write more.” What a blessing to have spouses who support us!
    Hoping you found your way back home.

    xo Sharon

  5. says

    Moved to tears as I read about your struggle to find time to write and the need to at least hang out with writers. There are seasons. I remember reading Ann Morrow Lindberg’s books years ago. She often wrote about the struggle to juggle family, events and writing. Those of us born with the passion to write suffer the loss when we do not write. It is sometimes a struggle to sqeeze in moments between the ministry, counseling, the ups and downs of elderly parents, etc. I am writing a little here and there. I am not known and I have no support from other writers at the moment. I long for kindred spirits. Almost every other woman knows the things that tug at the heart and turn us away from writing for a season. Hang in there and keep coming back to your gift. I love your writing by the way. You have such a wonderful way with words and you create such beautiful word pictures. Thanks for sharing. Julie

  6. Paula Gamble says

    You are so lovely, you know that? I love your words and your beautiful heart. I’m glad you felt renewed and encouraged, and my favorite part is what Jeff told you! I’m glad he got to see the joy that writing gives you and support you in that! I love you, my sister. 💜

  7. Cathy says

    I had planned to be at NestFest but got sick so I had to miss. I was so disappointed not to meet Shelly and enjoy the big event. I love books so your giveaway warms my heart.

  8. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Oh Laura, I would love to hug the arms embraced by the other authors’ arms. . . . a circle of love. And how I love your beautiful book, Playdates with God, and all your blogging. You have such an exquisite writing voice. God is doing some underground assimilation in your life, it seems, and then when He says, “Go,” your words will flourish, and I hope on the pages of your next book! This looks sooo wonderful. I can’t imagine all those books under one tent. You hear of kids reading by flashlights at night in tents. You all got to do it in the broad daylight. How I wish I could have attended. And this is one of my favorite photos of Shelly–with you!… two of my favorite authors/bloggers on the planet. You are so generous. Shared on FB and Twitter and w/ a number of contacts via email.
    Much love,

  9. Susan Shelfer says

    Laura, how very gracious and generous of you! The only thing better than receiving a stack of new books would be sharing a stack of new books. Bless you, sweet giver, and bless the fortunate receiver.

  10. says

    Laura, so glad you got to attend Nest Fest and enjoyed yourself. Your pictures are precious. Here’s hoping you find the right words and writing groove when the time comes to get back to writing. Your voice is so special, soothing, and encouraging.

  11. says

    “Sometimes I need to run away to find my way back home.” <– My favorite bit of this post. Well, that, along with your husband telling you to write more.

    Been missing you, friend.


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