Small Acts of Kindness/ACFW Conference 2016

patricia fay reeceBy Jennifer Hallmark

I love stories about small, often random acts of kindness. Even in the world we live in, people amaze me with their generosity, thoughtfulness, and compassion. Today I want to share about a person who touched my life in a very special way.

In 2014, I remember reading a post about a premiere Christian fiction writing conference, one sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). The article mentioned that in August of 2016, the conference would be coming to Nashville, a two-hour drive from my house. I prayed.

“God, I’d really like to go to that one. Do you think you can make it happen?”

One quick prayer and I went back to normal life and didn’t think of it again until around Christmas of 2015. At this time, my husband and I decided to attend my nieces wedding out of state in June of 2016. Our son was getting married in May and I knew that our budget wouldn’t afford all these events. I let it go and decided maybe I could attend a smaller conference in 2017.

But God…

Fast forward to August 17th, 2016, one week before the ACFW conference. I was sitting in the recliner, wrapped in a blanket. I’d just called the doctor to make an appointment because of a sinus/cold/yucky thing I’d been dealing with for several days. I looked down and noticed I had a Facebook message from one of my good writer friends, Betty Thomason Owens. She said she’d just received word of a friend, Patricia Fay Reece, who couldn’t go to the conference because of an injury. Patricia was trying to find someone to take her place.

I messaged Betty, telling her I couldn’t phoneafford to go at this time and I was hoping to win a scholarship to another conference in 2017. At this point, I went ahead and called her so I could quit messaging. I asked again about the offer.

“You don’t understand,” Betty said. “Pat wants to give this to someone.”

I’m sure I sat there in silence for several minutes, so many thoughts going through my mind. I remembered the prayer. Tears welled in my eyes and I swallowed hard.

“Really? Like free?”


Within 24 hours, I was registered at the conference and the hotel, and even had a ride to the event with my friend, Ginger Solomon, who lives in a town near me. I had a long talk with Patricia who lives on the West coast. She kept telling me to give God the praise. She was following what she felt like He wanted her to do.

So I am. I’m praising Him while deciding what to wear, what writing materials I need to take, and trying to find out which of my writer friends will be in attendance so we can meet and chat. I give Him all the glory for the week ahead. I hope I can positively impact someone else’s life while I’m there. And Patricia, I know you said not to, but I’m sending a big hug your way and another thank you.

For providing a special act of kindness…


patricia fay reecePatricia Fay Reece lives in Washington state, along the Columbia River. A native of Tennessee, she enjoys researching the past history of her ancestors and the times in which they lived. The historical novels she writes have been inspired by that history.

7 thoughts on “Small Acts of Kindness/ACFW Conference 2016

  1. Jennifer, I am so glad that God has blessed you in such an amazing way! He is never early, never late, ALWAYS right on time! Praying God has more and more amazing blessing in store for you.

  2. Pingback: A Life in the Day of … Jennifer Hallmark |

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