It wasn’t quite two years ago that I met Kacie. We were both attending the Influence Conference in Indianapolis and had just played one of those ‘get to know you games.’ You know the ones – where someone yells SWITCH! and everyone reluctantly moves to a new table to sit down with a complete stranger. For an introvert, like me (yes, believe it or not I am!), a game like this is pure torture. I remember back to my first day of college and my roommate and I were supposed to go to a get-to-know-you event like this. We’d heard from some sophomores that the team leaders “make” you stand up in front of your circle, say your name, and what you’re most looking forward to in the school year. Needless to say, both my roommate and I skipped out on that – which we ended up getting in trouble for but I’m here to tell you – it was worth it to save myself from attention I just really didn’t want from complete strangers. Same kind of thing used to happen to me at summer camp – one person from the dinner table would be chosen by the team leader each night to stand on your chair (IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CAMP), shout your name, your table’s group name, and then you’d grab the leftover slop from the center and run with it back to the kitchen… while people cheered. You can bet your butt I somehow had to “go to the bathroom” about 5 minutes before this would happen every single night, and excuse myself from the table so I could hide in a bathroom stall until the madness was over. So no, just because I was now 30 years old and a confident young woman, I was not excited to play yet another “for extroverts only” game. And it’s not that I didn’t understand the importance of doing this, I did. And it’s not that I didn’t want to meet new people – I actually really did, it was one of the main reasons I’d signed up for this conference. But it’s the whole small talk thing – and you ALL know my feelings on that, as I’ve talked about it many times on EG 😉
Anyway- so I had gotten up from my table and walked over to a new one. I sat down and there were only a few girls there but we each turned to the person next to us and started with the usual: what’s your name, where are you from, is this your first time here, what do you do, etc. etc. etc. About 10 minutes into this, another girl at my table got my attention and said, “OH! You should meet Emily – she’s about to move to Nashville!” Now honestly, I can’t remember how this introduced me to Kacie, as she lives in Indiana – maybe she’d just visited Nashville, or perhaps she’d mentioned that she was a fan, but somehow I met her through this exchange.
You know how when you first meet someone, and you just get this feeling – like your energy mixes with theirs and you’re like – I LOVE THIS LADY! That’s how it was with Kacie. I’m pretty sure she showed me pictures of her adorable dogs, and I most likely showed her a pic of Oooj, but we exchanged business cards and have kept in touch ever since.
I’m talking about Kacie today because 1. I love the random story of how we met, and 2. Kacie runs an amazing mission and shop called Persimmon Prints. You may have noticed the ad on the right hand side of EG, but it was important to me to officially introduce you to her and why I support her work so much. I have purchased quite a few things from Persimmon Prints – these JOY Advent Cards being my all time favorite purchase – and hey! They’re on sale right now! I love her mission statement for her shop because, now that I’ve met Kacie, I know that it truly does echo her heart:
help others FILL their lives with His printed words, help them FIX their hearts on Him, and FIGHT for those in need.
Kacie and I have encouraged each other in tiny but wonderful ways over the past couple years… things we have both (separately) endured, and of course a shared love for Jesus. And I’m really, really grateful now for that horrible get-to-know-you game. God pulls us out of our comfort zones. Even those of us who are so shy… introverted… who get absolute anxiety at even the thought of being in a big room with a bunch of strangers. He encourages us to be vulnerable. He asks us to ask OTHERS questions, instead of constantly asking ourselves. He pulls us out of our heads and forces us to use our hearts. And while I may still be an introvert, I’m so glad He gives me His strength and bravery so that I might celebrate His love with someone else.
I hope you’ll read Kacie’s story, visit Persimmon Prints and take a look around (and if you DO decide to purchase something, use the code WELCOME to get 15% off!), and say hello to my friend, Kacie! (And if you love free things – because, DUH – check out her beautiful wallpapers!)