This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending Edmonton’s first Gather Women event!  Gather Women is all about connecting women of faith across Canada, creating a united diverse harmonious sisterhood!  There were inspiring speakers – locally and from across Canada, meaningful representation by sponsors, and the chance to talk with friends – old and new!

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I loved the journal they provided, organized by speaker with space to take notes. My journal is FULL of profound, inspiring notes that I will ponder at length during my upcoming rest!  AND they gave us each a little present…

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The theme was abundance – abundance of place, glory, story and grace – which is so meaningful for me as my life “motto” for the past five years has been to live life to the full (John 10:10).  Gather Women  is here for everyone, whether you attended or not, whether you are a believer or not – this is a truly inclusive sisterhood and you are invited!  For a glimpse into the day (with better photos than I managed!), check out Gather Women on Instagram and to stay in the loop for upcoming events, check out Gather Women on Facebook or Twitter.  Here are some other shots from my day…

My thrifted OOTD - Everly dress $7.50, Marc Art of Walking shoes $19, denim jacket B.T. (Before Thrifting) and She Does Create accessories.
My thrifted OOTD – Everly dress $7.50, Marc Art of Walking shoes $19, denim jacket B.T. (Before Thrifting) and She Does Create accessories.

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What you wear to Gather doesn’t really matter, but after hearing from one of the sponsors, International Justice Mission, I was proud to be wearing sustainable fashion and proud to be a supporter of Dressember for several years – an annual fundraising campaign that partners with IJM to bring awareness to the global slave trade which includes human trafficking and the garment industry.  You wouldn’t support children being sold as sex slaves, so don’t support fast fashion where children are being used as slaves to make your $8 top.  Just sayin.  It was a pleasure to meet the representatives from IJM…

Of course, I made them take a selfie with me! Thanks! xoxoxoxo
Of course, I made them take a selfie with me! Thanks! xoxoxoxo (Note to self, next time take a few selfies in case of blur!)
And I bought an IJM t-shirt - ethically and sustainably made. Now that's a STATEMENT tee!
And I bought an IJM t-shirt – ethically and sustainably made. Now that’s a STATEMENT tee!

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I also finally met Krista from Just One!!!!

Krista and I go way back (even if she doesn't know it!!) to 1999 when I started OT school with her sister, Marcie, one of my best friends! Though we live on opposite sides of Canada, when I see Marcie it's like no time has passed. That is a Gather Women friendship.
Krista and I go way back (even if she doesn’t know it!!) to 1999 when I started OT school with her sister, Marcie, one of my longest truest friends! Though we live on opposite sides of Canada, when I see Marcie it’s like no time has passed. That is an example of Gather Women sisterhood!
I *had* to support Krista and Just One - check out the table of wonderful jewelry in the background!! It is stunning and is ONE easy way YOU can make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty and disadvantage.
I *had* to support Krista and Just One – check out the table of wonderful jewelry in the background!! It is stunning and is ONE easy way YOU can make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty and disadvantage.

Krista is also the woman behind the 40 Dresses campaign we supported last December!  It is amazing to put a face to the name, to meet an “ordinary” woman doing extraordinary things that make a real difference in the world.  I can’t help but be inspired – and I can’t wait to wear my new Just One pieces!  I encourage you to check out their online shop and make a difference too!  In addition to Just One and International Justice Mission, Compassion and Mercy Canada sponsored Gather and were just as awesome (even though I didn’t snap any pics!).

Gotta love a sisterhood that includes trays of cookies at their events! THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!
Gotta love a sisterhood that includes trays of cookies at their events! THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!
My favourite part of the event was this: I am ____ and the woman I represent is _____. The women on stage represented so many of us, and that's just a few. YOU matter, YOU represent and YOU are included.
My favourite part of the event was this: I am ____ and the woman I represent is… The women on stage represented so many of us, and that’s just a few. YOU matter, YOU represent and YOU are included.
Each of us had a puzzle piece on the back of which we wrote, "Grace frees me to..." Each pieces fits with the next in any combination, and pushing into each other displaces any of the muck and mire that gets in the way of connecting! We need us all to be a complete picture, a complete story!
Each of us had a puzzle piece on the back of which we wrote, “Grace frees me to…” Each pieces fits with the next in any combination, and pushing into each other displaces any of the muck and mire that gets in the way of connecting! We need us all to be a complete picture, a complete story!

Thank you Gather Women for an amazing, inspiring day.  Till next year!

I am a Gather Woman.
I am a Gather Woman.

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