Influence Conference: First Thoughts

Influence Conf Stripes Party

Thanks, Nicole, for the picture!

I can’t figure out how to write this post. There’s no pretty bow, no neat packaging, no clear boundaries.

I went to the Influence Conference last week, and it was perfect. Overwhelming for this girl who likes to hibernate in the house with coffee and computer, but perfect as well. Spiritually, a gut check. Blogging-wise, a kick in the butt.

So I’m reading my notes and letting my brain run wild and mostly hoping I can pray through all this blessed stuff. With the end of the conference, though, came all sorts of possible beginnings, middles, and endings. There are no pretty bows here.

Overall, I found a beautiful tension to accept and live in. I want to be all about Jesus in my life (because I’ve tried it half-way, and, yeah, that doesn’t work) but I also want to become more business-minded. Can I do both? Yes, I learned, but there’s no easy solution. I have to press forward, set goals, and act, and constantly I must be humbling myself before the Lord to make sure all that doing is worth doing.

Then there’s this beautiful, vulnerable, connected tribe of women (and a few men) that was solidified during the weekend. It’s for real. These people, their hearts for Jesus, their hearts for others–it’s all for real. If I personally gain nothing else but friendships and community from this experience, that’s enough.

There are more coherent Influence posts in the future, but here is a sampling of what I took away:

  1. You have gifts to share with the world. You have a place in the creative, business, and ministry communities. Don’t waste it.
  2. You can grow your blog or business with good planning and help.
  3. You need to be intentional–with your family, your writing, your work. What’s the purpose? Is your life reflecting that purpose?
  4. None of it–not a single slice of it–matters without Jesus at the center. Don’t lose focus.

P.S. – Those are my precious roommates in the photo. More on them later.

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The Real Deal

Are you heading to Influence in a couple few weeks?

I am, and I’m giddy about it. Making new friends typically leaves me sweaty-palmed and wanting to fake sickness, but for whatever reason, God has gotten my heart thrilled about this opportunity.

If you’re attending–or if you’re considering attending next year, perhaps–head over to theinfluenceconference.com and watch the simulcast video from last week (link on their blog). It will give you a glimpse of the authentic, funny, grace-soaked heart of these women.

My favorite part? The discussion of not recognizing each other in person because our avatars don’t actually look like us. Um, guilty.

That picture on the right? That was pre-baby–so add 20 pounds, a major hair cut, and the darkest hair I’ve ever had, and you have what I actually look like now.

So there you go–that’s what I’ll actually look like at Influence Conf. No visible jawline and Alexa Chung-wannabe hair. Someone else please tell me they won’t be looking their best October 11th.

Influence Introduction

Hi, Influence friends! I need to make a confession from the start: as a to-the-core introvert, I’m a little freaked out about coming to meet all of you without any “real life” friends in tow. But I’m so excited to be drawn into this group of creative, faithful women; I couldn’t ignore the pull to come learn, worship, and laugh with y’all. Here’s a little bit of what you should know before we meet in October.

3 get-to-know-me facts:

{1} My life is about my people: husband, baby, parents, church community. In all honesty, God had to pull some other things from my hands before I realized what a treasure these people are. They are enough, and I’m learning to pour myself into them.
{2} I’m a little nerdy. Love to dig into learning, enjoy marathon reading sessions, take copious notes. I can have an excellent weekend with a lot of coffee and a few good books.
{3} Jesus has been my Savior for many years now, but His grace has fallen fresh on me the past three years. I’m just in love with this Lord that I can trust with everything, and I’m always searching for what it means to follow Him in our everyday.

2 thing I’m looking forward to at Influence:

{1} People: I love how the word “tribe” has been used to describe the coming together of this group. There’s a sense of intimacy and loyalty there, and that’s what I hope we find in October amidst our different gifts, occupations, and point-of-views.
{2} Learning from you all. I’m a new, little blogger with many dreams and few concrete ideas to make it all happen. Some of it involves online work, and a lot of it doesn’t. Y’all are moms, entrepreneurs, wives, writers, artists, and a bunch of other things that I want to know about.

1 thing I can’t leave home without:

{1} Dry shampoo.

I’m so looking forward to meeting you all in October!