We sat on the back porch soaking up the sun, our bodies still craving its warmth after the long and frigid Michigan winter. The table between us held two large cups of coffee and the remnants of a muffin I had grabbed before the buffet breakfast had been put away by the inn keepers.
“What is your heart speaking to you?” came Mary Jane’s curiosity, enhanced by the signature twinkle in her when something good is about to unfold from her noticing soul.
The next hour, as the women attending the Red Tent Weekend in May were walking and journaling and listening for Jesus to speak to them, we sat and spoke our gratitude for what was happening and from there the first seeds were planted for where the next Red Tent Weekend would take us.
Red Tent Living was birthed at a table, where women dear to my soul gathered without an agenda to talk about the goodness of what they had tasted during their experiences with the Red Tent Dinners. Red Tent Dinners came to be over two cups of coffee at a Starbucks in San Antonio Texas and were first experienced in my home there.
I believe in the power of goodness that comes around a table where food is tasted, stories are savored and drinks are sipped slowly, almost as if to hold time and keep the moments from ending.
Several of us gathered a few weeks ago to recount the past year and imagine the next year.
This year we went from twenty initial invitees to come to check out our new online magazine to hundreds of followers. We have readers in over 100 countries. We’ve added our Wholehearted focus and we’ve had 32 guest contributors grace us with their stories. The year has surpassed anything we dreamed possible a year ago when we first launched Red Tent Living. Honestly, I am learning that my dreams are so very small in comparison with what God has imagined.
Thank you all for reading us, for sending in your stories and for sharing with your friends what is happening here.
We hope that the coming year will continue to see us grow and add to our community. We will continue to enter into the fight to end human trafficking and invite our readers to live more intentionally in every area of their lives. We believe our resolve and our creativity as women is strengthened and enhanced by journeying together and offering our stories generously to one another.
We will host more Red Tent Weekends, which provide opportunities to for gather face to face and experience the community we share here in written words more intimately in one another’s presence.
We still have some spots available for the upcoming weekend in South Haven, Michigan. The time will be relaxed and will include the chance to hear stories of encouragement and inspiration from Mary Jane and I. There will also be time for writing, walking on the beach, shopping or just resting in your room along with a Red Tent Dinner on Saturday evening.
Our weekends are designed to offer you kindness for your body, your mind and your soul. There are a place where you can bring a friend, or meet new friends, and your daughters are welcome too (aged 14 and above). We would love to have you join us September 26-28 for our Weekend of Engagement. God’s love for you is lavish and His commitment to you unwavering. Join us as we share stories of how we have tasted the sweetness of being His betrothed and where we have run from it to lesser loves. Together we will discover how to make choices that lead us to greater places of kindness and joy.
Thank you again for making this first year of Red Tent Living so memorable and exciting! Stay with us as we watch for what God will unfold in the coming year!
Tracy Johnson is a lover of stories and a reluctant dreamer, living by faith that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when dreams come true there is a life and joy” (Pro. 13:12). Married for 26 years, she is mother to five kids. After nearly a half century of life, she’s feeling like she may know who she is. Founder of Seized by Hope Ministries, she writes here.