JOY in Relationships {CELEBRATE This Week 145}

I’m glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.


My friend Patrick Allen says relationships is how he keeps his joy in the journey. I layered this thinking onto my own life, letting it color the way I see the world. Patrick is right; there is great joy in relationships.

This week, I celebrate relationships. It’s been a week that seems like a lifetime with the different circles of my life intersecting and linking and bumping into one another.

This post is just the beginning of my reflection. I feel wisps of thinking and know I’m not going to catch them. Truth be told, this is usually when I say, “Check back later for a celebration post.” I’m afraid I’m going to leave out important truth.

Sometimes I need to give myself more grace and remember I don’t have to get this one post right…but it one more step toward living the kind of life I hope to live.

The week began with a writing retreat. I met some new friends, reconnected with longtime friends, and missed some dear friends. 

I also slipped into my writing world and was lost with stories and research and thoughts about structure and craft. I came up for air, going on walks and meeting with response groups. There are times when I have laser-focus as a writer and the days that follow are about needing to ground my feet back on the earth.

The next day the All-Write Conference began. Again, it was about meeting some new friends, reconnecting with longtime friends, and missing dear friends.

These women are so dear to me, because they remind me that my story matters. I’m touched by the way their encouragement does not end. It doesn’t end. You may recognize…

Christy from Read Write Inspire
Rebecca from Pen Nguyen
Mary Helen from Book Savors

I wish you could see in this picture
Leigh Anne from A Day in the Life
Jennifer from Sweet Writing Life
Michelle from One Grateful Teacher

And we missed
Linda from Teacher Dance
Lori from Carpe Diem

My circles of relationships intersected. 

The bloggers who have become dear friends and then Tam, my mentor from my first year of teaching joined us because she’s part of the blogging friends too. She writes at Clay Fragments.

And my friend, a fellow Stenhouse author, was there too. Patrick Allen visited with us, and met Andy and made the trip to the tiny library where my mom is the director. “Which one of you is Ruth Ayres’ mom?” he announced walking up to the circulation desk.

Linda Urban, middle grade author of The Center of Everything, A Crooked Kind of Perfect, Hound Dog True, Milo Speck: Accidental Agent (and others) became a friend. I’m so grateful. 

Meanwhile, Andy and Sam have been “living it up,” just the two of them while I’ve been out on writing adventures and the three oldest kids have been at camp. In fact, as I write this, Sam and Andy are having their last hurrah, just the two of them.

In a few minutes, we are going to go pick up the three oldest kids from camp. They’ve been in another world this week, too. 

We’ll all find our way back to home, and be better because of the relationships we are privileged to have. 

Share your celebrations below.

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  1. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED All-Write!!! I am glad to meet you in person and thank you for your part in such a fantastic conference. Already looking forward to next year!

  2. I missed you all very much this week, will try to make it next year for sure. Love seeing all the pictures, know it was another 'grand' occasion. Enjoy your family all back together again, Ruth!

  3. It was wonderful to see you, Ruth, and other bloggers that I got to meet in real life for the first time! Thank you for all your work in pulling together such a stellar conference. Megan and I had a great time! Your session on conferences was great – we were both talking about how we needed to get better at record-keeping, and your session helped us a lot!!

  4. Ruth, Thank you for…well, for everything! The conference was amazing and it was a gift getting to know you these past few days. You said it best here, “We'll all find our way back to home, and be better because of the relationships we are privileged to have.” YES!

  5. Yes! Realationships and stories that is what connects us, challenges us, eventually so richly teaching us the deepest truths of life if we let them. I believe many of us can trace back to the encouragement you sparked setting us on this journey. Writing informs enriching all aspects of our lives if we let it. Way to shine using your God given gifts. Light leads to more light banishing many layers of darkness if we let it.

  6. So much AMAZING is packed into this post. This is your life and you choose to share it with so many others. Thank you for the gift of your friendship and inspiration. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities your belief in me has fostered. I enjoyed every moment of the past two weeks, thanks to you. Especially the small moments–the moments were friendship felt as natural as breathing.

  7. Feeling blessed to have shared time at the writing retreat. Loved this post and the gift of relationships! I'm looking forward to celebrating with you here next Saturday. I am ready with a post! Thanks for your support Ruth.