Lessons in Prayer {How I Won a Ticket to Allume}

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I intend to begin a series on prayer next week. One of my goals is to grow in a more consistent time of personal prayer. God has used several avenues to teach me about prayer over the last few weeks. I will share the bulk of what I’ve learned next week including: Prayer breathing, thresholds in prayer, praying scripture, and a review of Prayer on Fire by Fred A. Hartley III (which I’m excited to be able to giveaway to one reader!)

Today, I want to give glory to God for His answered prayer by telling you a story. I’ll return tomorrow with my personal testimony and to answer any questions from my Break the Ice series.

I started this blog 22 days ago. I set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account, read Blogging with Amy’s tutorial, and started blogging. In 22 days, I have met some pretty amazing people.

People that I consider to be “famous” in the blogging world have commented on my blog simply because I linked back to theirs. But they didn’t just comment. They encouraged and one person even answered every single one of my 10 questions.

People replied to my tweets when I had questions, notified me when my blog was messed up, and gave me RTs TWICE because I forgot to include my link in the first one.

I began to realize there was more to the blogging world than simply good reads, tips for keeping house or raising kids, and free eBooks and printables.

There is relationship. Kindness. Friendship. Service.

I simply craved to be a deeper part of that world. I wanted to joke through tweets. I wanted a “tribe”. But How?

Then a discovered Allume Social: a seeming common denominator between several of the bloggers I had interacted with and those I have followed for years before becoming a blogger myself.

Allume: Living in the Light

At Allume, I would not only have the opportunity to meet and get to know many wonderful bloggers, but I could also learn more and improve my blogging skills. I’ve told you before, I’m an academic at heart. When I do something, I want to jump in with both feet and do it wholly and completely right.

My heart sank when I realized it was in Pennsylvania–a $400 plane ticket away. Add to that the cost of the conference itself and hotel reservations, and attending the conference was simply impossible.

This is where my prayer life was challenged. Somewhere in my prayer journey, I was challenged to pray “God-sized” prayers. To pray for things that could only be credited to God.

I often found myself praying “safe” prayers. Things I knew (or assumed) were going to happen.

Attending Allume Social is a God-sized prayer. We absolutely do not have the money. I tried. I looked for it. I cried on the couch Monday night of this week after my husband finished allocating his tax season bonus money, and I realized with finality we absolutely did not have the money.

I could not manipulate this into happening.

I had to completely and solely trust God for it. I shared my desire with my husband Tuesday night, and I also shared with him my fear: What if I pray for this, trusting and believing, and God doesn’t do it? What does that mean?

My kind-hearted husband looked at me and said, “It doesn’t change anything. You’re still a good blogger. It just means He has a different plan.”

Isn’t that true? Don’t I know that? Believe that? I can pray big prayers and ask God to do abundantly more than I can ask or imagine, but if He says no to this particular thing, that doesn’t change who He is! And it doesn’t change how he feels about me.

You see, I think there was a part of me that thought, if God says no, then I’m not a good Christian. Or I am not praying correctly or hard enough or often enough. You see, I thought it was about me.

But it’s not.

It’s all about Him.

So I gave it to Him, trusting that if attending Allume Social was in His plan, He could and would make it happen.

Last night I attended a “Twitter party” hosted by Avodah Coffee and Sarah Mae (Host of Allume Social). They were giving away sample coffee, a year’s supply of coffee, and a ticket to Allume Social.

As we tweeted and laughed during the party, I got more and more nervous. I was really praying for God to do something Big. It was getting close to 10:00, so I knew the grand prize was nearing. Here are my tweets:

Oh please, I’m jittery with excitement about the ticket! #allume #avodahcoffee

here we go!!! #avodahcoffee

y’all my heart is pounding! #avodahcoffee

Somewhere in the midst of me tweeting and trying to read the tweets on Tweetchat, my phone starts exploding. In about 5 seconds, my notifications were full of tweets mentioning @newlifesteward. Several said Congrats. I literally froze for a minute. Then found the tweet that said this:

My hands were shaking so hard I could barely type out my response:

ARE YOU SERIOUS!?! #avodahcoffee

Praise the LORD! He is so good and faithful!! #avodahcoffee

Thank you #avodahcoffee There are not words! #avodahcoffee

I’m almost in tears. Seriously. #avodahcoffee

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There is nothing My God cannot do. #avodahcoffee

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20

I’m learning to pray big prayers that only God can answer. I’m rejoicing in His faithfulness to answer those prayers. I still have some work to do in order to get to Allume: plane tickets and a hotel room. But I know that God is faithful. I’m trusting Him.

Thank you so much to Avodah Coffee and all those at Allume for allowing the Lord to use you to provide this opportunity.

I do want to say that I know there are much bigger things out there in need of prayer than going to a Blogging/Social Media Conference. I’m simply relaying my personal story in what God is teaching me in this season of my life. I don’t want to diminish in any way what other people are going through. My hope is to encourage you. If I can pray for you in any way, please leave a comment or send me an email (newlifesteward @ gmail . com)


  1. Well, I live not even 3 hours away and cannot go to the Allume conference. I hope that you can go!!

  2. Amanda Ungleich says:

    Such an encouraging post (not to mention timely!) God has been challenging me to pray big prayers as well! He is SO BIG!! Thanks for sharing and encouraging me to trust our very Big and very good God!

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    I love it when someone deserving wins a prize. Congratulations to you!

  4. Lane Connerley says:

    I realize that I am WAAAAAY behind here, but this is an awesome story!  AMAZING!

  5. This is such a beautiful post! I found it through Sarah Mae, who posted it on her FB wall. Thank you so much for sharing, Mary Beth!

    As a young, “unfamous” blogger, I completely understand and feel the same way, especially about the blogger confrences. But how AMAZING that you trusted God enough to ask Him for such a big blessing. I’m doing the “Soul Detox” via the #SheReadsTruth Bible study going around the blogsphere: a common thread in the devotional is letting go of fear and trusting God. Your post and story definitely glorifies Him – and has encouraged me to dream and pray big!! It may not be part of His plan to answer such prayers, but now I have no fear in praying to Him about even the wishful fantasies. :)

  6. Love it, love it, love it!!!! I am so happy for you! Whooo-hoo! I don’t even know you, but I feel like I was there when you won! : )

    I so totally believe in BIG God sized prayers. I’m up at almost 1am, waiting to leave in a little bit to drop my daughter off for a mission trip to Costa Rica…a trip that should not be happening, had it not been for BIG prayers and an even bigger God! Every odd was stacked against her going (long story), but in December, God gave us the idea that she needed to go. We trusted Him though so much…each time saying, “If God wants you on that plane, He’ll have you on that plane!” In an hour, she’ll be leaving to get on that plane! God is so amazing! : )

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      Well I’m glad you found your way here and enjoyed your stay! I hope you’ll come back!

      I am so beyond excited about Allume. I just can’t wait!

      Mary Beth

  7. Such a wonderful story!! And congrats – so fabulous to receive such a blessing!! I’ll be going to Allume for the first time this year – very excited! I’ve “known” Sarah Mae since she first started blogging and have always wanted to attend, but knew hubs would never go for it. This year I decided to go ahead and ask him even though I knew of no reason why he should say yes (timing, dollars,etc) and I prayed and prayed and decided to truly believe that God would indeed have him say yes if I were meant to go. He said yes and my jaw about hit the floor. So I will see you there! :)

    And I didn’t realize that you have been blogging such a short time – you’re doing an awesome job!!

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      I’m so glad you stopped by and left a comment! I am increasingly excited about Allume as I hear different ladies’ stories about h

  8. I was waiting to see this link you set…what an incredible, incredible story! I know you will have a great time, learn so much, meet so many, and I can’t wait to hear about it. I just found Allume site today and now want to find the Allume Social you mentioned!

  9. I’m so excited that you won! I cannot wait to hear the rest of your story. Your faithfulness in the Lord is great and I hope to meet you at Allume. :)

  10. Congratulations Mary Beth! I know you are truly excited and ecstatic. This is such a great reminder that God is capable of a whole lot more than we could ever dream of doing. I’m glad you are enjoying your blogging journey.

  11. I love this:
    “Isn’t that true? Don’t I know that? Believe that? I can pray big prayers and ask God to do abundantly more than I can ask or imagine, but if He says no to this particular thing, that doesn’t change who He is! And it doesn’t change how he feels about me.”

    So very true! I often find myself feeling like I must be doing something wrong if his answer is no. I also love how you said you find yourself praying safe prayers. Definitely something I struggle with. I love your story and how it encourages me to keep praying God sized prayers. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

  12. congratulations! what a fantastic blessing from the Lord! Thanks for sharing this fantastic story of faithfulness – you have encouraged me :0) Hope to meet you at Allume! Praying for a way there myself :0) God bless!

  13. Congratulations! I attended in 2010 but absolutely could not go last year. I wanted to return so badly but now I live across the country instead of 30 minutes from the conference. I too won a scholarship to attend from the Write It, Girl page…isn’t it BEAUTIFUL when we give God the space and glory to move in our lives?! You said it so well.

  14. I love this!! I am so excited you won! (I was the one you were retweeting like crazy for the extra ticket … @lovemadeafamily). I’m still praying for a way to get to Allume! I would love to meet you there!

  15. That is so cool! Congratulations! I hope you have a wonderful time at the conference.

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      I love the name of your blog! Thanks for allowing Jessica to tell your story on Allume. You are such an encouragement and testimony to God’s strength.


  16. That is so awesome! Thank you for sharing this! I hope to see you there too :)

  17. love, love, LOVE this story!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it out!! Such a great and mighty God we serve, isn’t He? What a testimony! Can’t wait to hug your neck at Allume (it’s my first time, too!) :) Blessings to you!

  18. It was so wonderful “meeting” you last night at the party. I’m so happy for you winning the ticket so we can meet in person at Allume. This makes it even better. Looking forward to getting to know you more and calling you “friend”. What a challenge to me to pray God-sized prayers! Thank you!!

  19. I am so glad you won. I told my husband about this adorable young mom that won and we were both so happy for you!

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      Awe thank you so much Tereasa! I’m looking forward to meeting you! I just love how you set up your blog to greet your visitors from Allume today! Very creative!

  20. What a fabulous story! I look forward to seeing you at Allume. You’re going to LOVE it!

  21. God is so good, isn’t He?! I also found myself at Relevant (now Allume) last year by a series of totally God ordained circumstances. So glad you wrote this down, it is a beautiful testimony of what it is to pray hard prayers, hold on to hope, and let God work. Congrats! Hope to meet you there this year ;)

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      He is indeed good. Looking forward to it! I may even have a t-shirt made that says I’m the coffee girl! Maybe Melanie and I can get matching ones!

      See you in October!

  22. Yay! I’m so glad you won! This is awesome!

  23. Love your story! I won the #allume ticket at the first #allume chat & my emotions were pretty much the same as yours. God is so gracious! Can’t wait to meet you!

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      Congrats to you! I was telling my mom today, I don’t know why I’m always so surprised when God is so gracious to me! He has proved himself over and over in my life. I should come to expect it. :)

      See you in October!

  24. Just amazing!!! So happy for you! Love, Traci Michele

  25. Congratulations! I so love what you have shared here. I have had many similar thoughts. I was at the tweet chat too (only my second one ever, both trying to snag a pass:) Your story does give me hope, as I am in a similar situation. I have been blogging just since late November, and attending Allume Social is my dream. However, my husband just got laid off, and I am a home schooling mom of 4. If you could pray for my husband, and also for me to know whether or not God wants me at Allume Social this year/how to pursue that, I would be so grateful. Thank you!

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:


      I would be honored to pray for you! Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

      Mary Beth

  26. I am LOVING YOU and THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!! So thanful God connected our hearts, and I’m looking forward to meeting you there! :)

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      I love the excessive use of exclamation points!!!!! I always have to reign myself in a bit on those! ;) I feel like people probably think I’m shouting in my texts because I use so many! HA!

      I definitely think Allume is shaping up to be a FABULOUS time.

  27. Love this! Can’t wait to meet you :) (ps check your email)

  28. What an amazing story of trust, faith and following in Obedience! Your Allume Experience will prove to be an even greater blessing! I cannot wait to meet you there! Be prepared for HUGS at Allume! Blessings!

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      OH I’m a {hugger}! Good times ahead!

      I’m pumped to see what the Lord has prepared to teach me and the friendships he has waiting for me at Allume!


  29. That is awesome!! Congrats.

  30. This is so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m telling every one about this right now.

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      Thank you so much! Apparently, when you speak, the people listen! :) My phone is going nuts again tonight with comments! HA!

      To God be the glory!


  31. Jordan and I are so looking forward to meeting you at Allume! :D

    • MB@NewLifeSteward says:

      Me too! I might even have to be brave and try some of this amazing Avodah coffee everyone is talking about! I’m not a caffeine drinker, but surely there are exceptions for special events! :)


  1. […] I first won the ticket to Allume, I was nervous. Would I fit in? Would I get lost in the crowd? Do I even qualify as a […]

  2. […] MePosted on October 2, 2012 by MB@NewLifeSteward • 0 CommentsTweetI’m heading to the #Allume Social conference at the end of this month! Some awesome gals, Brooke and Stacey, host a link-up every […]

  3. […] never won anything in my life until I started blogging. Now I win stuff all the time. Small stuff. Big stuff. In between […]

  4. […] attending the Allume Social conference in October. I really can’t describe to you how excited I am. I’ve never done […]

  5. […] that I simply didn’t have the time to write an entire eBook in three and a half months before the Allume conference. I had just finished up Jeff Goins #15Habits Challenge. In that challenge, I was inspired to write […]

  6. […] worship“. That is also the driving force behind Avodah Coffee (the folks who gave me a ticket to Allume!) Avodah is the idea that work, family, and all aspects of life blend together with worship and […]

  7. […] is where I was challenged to pray “big prayers” rather than “safe” prayers. Pray for something that you know cannot be done except by divine […]

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