Beyond Borders

courage. faith. action.

And the brownies stuck…


It has been months in the works. Months since I made the leap to host an (in)RL Beach House Party, the mini conference right here in my home. In the weeks leading up to the event I am stricken with migraines almost daily. The day before… the anxiety monster rears its head and I am down for a whole day.

There were cancellations and conflicts; decorations left wanting, and unbelievable weariness from at it all. I am hosting a conference, and nothing is going as planned. And then…  the brownies stuck. The tears well, the hands tremble and the words flood… What was I thinking hosting a party? A conference? Right here in my home? I just want to find my bed… Climb in and pull blankets to ears… because who wants to be a part of this? Who wants this mess?

They tell me it is ok to cancel. It is just a party. And there it is… why I cannot cancel. Why I need to tell them, need for them to understand. This is not just a party. This is God, and women. It is connection. I choose that this day is what god wants it to be. It’s definitely NOT the brownies.

It is how I found God in my mess, when I was sick and I could not leave my bed, much less my house. That going to church was near impossible, and friends were hard to find, because my life was really that complicated. And it was and is lonely.

Then I found (in)Courage…  and they were me. And they knew. And they comforted. And they encouraged. And they prayed. And He finds me there. God. He finds me. The love and the understanding grows. Never have I known Him like I do because of this place called (in)Courage.

I want them to know that God really meets you right there in the mess. That He provides the way. With all the isolation, He sought me, and I found Him. Through the words and lives of these women of (in)Courage I learned more of my God then I ever did sitting in a pew.

And we watch. And I am blessed. Encouraged. The fire burns. And I want to live it out. Live it. Right. Out. Loud.

We share moments and food and all too soon it comes to an end and we wave goodbye. I wonder as they drive away… did they get it?

Once again I find myself remote in hand sitting right back in front of that screen. And I watch it all play out again. And again. And again. Savoring every word. Letting it seep right into my soul. I don’t want it to end. My husband, he cooks dinner and feeds the kids. Because he knows. This is my community. The place where God meets me.

Deuteronomy 4:29 says “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
By His Grace Alone,


Author: Shelly Richardson

A stay at home mom, married to my best friend, who loves like Jesus. Together we have four beautiful daughters. One biological, one adopted and two by way of marriage. Our 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when she was 6 years old and our youngest was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. I have dealt with chronic illness most of my life and at times has been debilitating. It is through this illness and the special needs of our children that drew us closer to God. Beyond Borders is the place where I write out my story of living beyond my borders. A place to share of God’s love and grace, His mercy and sovereignty, and what that looks like in my own little world of chronic illness and autism. A place where courage and faith intersect and He moves me to action. My hope in writing is that you find something that inspires you. Encourages you. Makes you smile.

5 thoughts on “And the brownies stuck…

  1. I got it! And I didn’t want it to end either! Thank you for not canceling! Love you!

  2. Isn’t it awesome that we all were left wanting more? I think that is one of the best parts about this weekend. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I find myself having more tears than words these days, but thank you for sharing your heart. Your very last paragraph could mimic my response to the conference! and truly, God does meet us at our point of need!

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