Sometimes it’s hard to put things into words.

I know. As much as I talk (for those of you who get to listen to me in real life) and write (for all of you), this might come as a surprise. Finding words seems to be much less my problem than, you know, not using so many of those words.

But sometimes, my gift of gab escapes me – and this past weekend going to Hilton Head with 12 girls from (in)courage is a prime example. Possibly due to the hours – literally, hours – I spent talking and listening and laughing and crying. Or, it could be the overwhelming, incredible nature of our trip. Either way, I’m resorting to a list.

The Top 10 Things I Love About (in)courage:

1. Our founders: Holley and Stephanie are ah-mazing. First of all, they dreamed up the whole concept of (in)courage. And they didn’t stop there. When they talk about dreaming God-sized dreams, they speak from experience. Also, I have never met more encouraging, loving women. They love us – and by “us,” I mean the writers and readers of (in)courage – so well. And, have I mentioned that they’re super fun and hilarious? Because, yeah, they are.

2. No drama: Imagine a house full of girls. We have TVs, but we’re not turning them on. We’re on the beach, so we pretty much have to put on swimsuits. So we’re stuck with each other in a potentially awkward situation, and oh yeah, we come from completely different backgrounds, experience and lives. Yet, there was not a clique in sight, and drama wasn’t an issue for a second. It’s hard to explain, but somehow, we just loved each other. From the whole group discussing business and how much we missed the girls who couldn’t join us to pairs and trios talking missions and marriage and marketing in every corner of the house, we took turns spending time and getting to know each other. And it was lovely.

3. No pressure: To get from the middle of the country to the coast, I flew to Nashville and then roadtripped with Annie and Jessica. On the way down, we stopped in Atlanta at Annie’s parents’ house for the night. Although, “for the night” should be interpreted pretty loosely. We got there well after dark and, sadly, left when it was still dark. After driving through Georgia, checking out the beach and picking my room, I climbed into my very nice bed and took a long nap. When I finally woke up, Stephanie said, “I love it! You’re relaxing! That’s EXACTLY what this weekend is for!” And so it was.

4. Great partners: I already knew that (in)courage has impeccable taste and discernment when it comes to partnering with vendors and artists and charitable organizations (I’d love to say “and writers,” but maybe that’s annoying?). So I wasn’t surprised to find that our new friends in Hilton Head were incredible, too. I owe a HUGE THANKS to these great folks for our amazing weekend:

5. The dreaming: Yes, we all went to the beach to relax and have fun. But more importantly, we went to the beach to dream about how to make “this (in)courage thing” come to life – in real life. We want all of our (in)courage readers to have the chance to join us at the beach house – and we’re coming up with all sorts of ways to {possibly} make that happen. I love planning and organizing and list-making and task-checking-off, and I kind of can’t wait for that part. But the dreaming? This is the best part.

I promise to finish up on Thursday with five more things I loved about this past weekend and (in)courage in general. Until then, do you read (in)courage? If so, what do you love about it? Or, on the flip side, what would you love to see happen in our second year? And if not, do you read any online magazines? Tell me about them!

All the photos in this post were taken by the wonderful Dawn at My Home Sweet Home. I want to be a photographer like her when I grow up!

Disclosure: Hilton Head Island Chamber of Commerce generously provided the accommodations at the amazing beach house, bikes, a dolphin cruise and dinner at The Aqua Grille & Lounge. DaySpring took care of all the incidentals and meals for each of the bloggers.


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