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I’m Not at ACFW Conference and I’m Jealous!

I shouldn’t be writing this. Really, I shouldn’t. Social media posts should be positive, uplifting. I want to be a light in this world, not a dark shadow! But I know I’m not alone on this subject, so I’m putting it out there.

I’m not at ACFW conference this year, and I’m jealous!

The logical part of me can recite the pros and cons list on why I’m not there.

We took our first week-long family vacation (no tent involved!) this year. We have a senior in high school with plenty of expenses, and a son in travel baseball with plenty of other expenses. We’ve put money into house projects ever since buying our current home three years ago. There are many more projects to do, big ticket items to replace, wish lists to fund. You know the drill. You live it too!

On top of that, there’s the time issue. Our kids both have cross country races this weekend, I’m trying to finish a draft of a book, and our church commitments kicked into gear last Sunday.

I’m sure you can relate to all of the above. You have your own expense and time issues. We all do.

So even though my logical brain processes and accepts all this, my insecure heart wails.

I’m missing out on the fun, the fellowship, the wonderful meetings with friends, the chance to meet my editor and the worship time. Waaahhhh!

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a conference (Yes, I’m blessed that I’ve attended them in the past!). I know how uplifting they can be. No, they aren’t perfect. Yes, they can be draining. But even during the not-great times, I loved spending time getting to know other Christian writers. I forged friendships I treasure.


I miss these people! ACFW 2013


So what is really going on with these jealous feelings?

Where are they from, why do I have them, and more importantly, how can I handle them without becoming a jerk?

I spent some time in prayer yesterday morning. 

Where are they from? I’m afraid of being left out. Afraid my friends are moving on to newer, more exciting people. Afraid of being left behind in my career.

Why do I have these feelings? I’m a sinner. Imperfect. Immature sometimes.

How can I handle them without becoming a jerk? As I mentioned earlier, I prayed about it. And I realized that just because I’m not there this year, doesn’t mean God won’t get me there another year. If it really means this much to me, I should be praying all year for Him to find a way to get me to conference. I also have to graciously accept that I will not lose my friends and that I won’t be left behind in my career just because I’m out of sight.

I guess sometimes I just want everything to be easy. I don’t want to have to choose between paying for this or paying for that. I don’t want to have to explain to my family that this trip is important to me and that I’ll be missing their events. I feel selfish for wanting to go to a conference just because it’s  fun and I get to hang out with amazing writers.


I’m not at the conference. I’m jealous. But I’m doing something about it. Prayer, a right attitude and M&Ms work wonders.


Have you missed an event and been jealous because of it?


Enjoy your weekend!

*My second Lake Endwell book, Unexpected Family, is on sale now! Look for it in grocery stores, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and anywhere books are sold. It’s available online, too. Go HERE for the links!*

Jill Kemerer is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of heartwarming, emotional, small-town romance novels often featuring cowboys. She hopes to encourage readers through her books the way so many books have encouraged her. Jill's essentials include coffee, caramels, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. For more information, visit her website,

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Oh Jill, I know exactly how you feel. This year for the first time in 8 years of belonging to RWA I registered for the conference. Then a huge unexpected expense came up and just as quickly I canceled. I was so jealous I stayed off social media that whole week. Jealousy always requires prayer. Life requires prayer. Youre human. And I think you’re doing the best you can do. Praying you get there next year.

  2. I missed RWA15 this year and I felt left out, too. :*( I missed the silliness and the face-to-face talking and the workshops and the parties and … oh, just all of it. Crossing my fingers for next year, though!

  3. Oh yes, for several years in a row I attended the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and because of certain life changes, I’ve not been able to attended. I must have felt jealous knowing my friends could go and I’d miss out on “opportunities” and “new friends.”
    I looked at it as just one more loss in my life, but then again, I must remember that God is a redeeming God and to not give up on future opportunities—things don’t always stay the same, I tell myself. I know God has called me to write; therefore, in his perfect timing, he will help me work it out.
    I totally relate with what you are saying!
    I too, want to go to ACFW conference one day . . . it will happen!

  4. Jill: I can’t go to a conference next month that meets about four minutes away from our home. The reason is my hubby said I couldn’t go. I attended last year and was told something in a time with an editor that must have broken my heart. I found myself struggling to write my blog entries and my column submissions. Just this week, I attended a meeting to see if we could revive our Drama Ministry at church.Yesterday, I caught the idea of a play that may fit our need for Christmas 2016. Praise God, He has given me this germ of an idea.

    1. My hubby has had the same reaction, Cecelia! They don’t like to see us upset and down. I had a lousy pitch session and was just extremely discouraged in 2013. It was pretty tough. But time passes and God keeps gracing us with ideas. I love that! Enjoy writing the play!

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