The Influence Conference 2013: Recap (It’s Going to Get Real)

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I’ve been sitting on this post since Monday debating what it was going to become. I was very tempted to just tell you how wonderful the conference was, and that’d be oh so true, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth.

First of all, if you were wondering what I am talking about, the Influence Network is a fabulous network of Christian women who are striving to use their blogs, small businesses and social media to the glory of God. This past weekend in Indianapolis they hosted a conference with wonderful speakers, workshops, worship and more.

And that’s where I spent this past weekend. It was a wonderful experience, but the conference was also hard and oh so challenging. Not so much while I was there, but since I’ve been back this week thinking about my blog, what it currently is and what it needs to become, I am definitely being pushed out of my comfort zone.

Great Panel Discusions

Great Panel Discusions

So far this blog has been a place to share my love of food, creating, my photography and classroom, and some of the times I get to spend with my wonderful family. But, this is just a sliver of my life. My life is SO much more than these few things. I rarely talk about my faith or my marriage, and I know this is out of fear. These things are so important to me and have shaped me from my core into the person I am today. All I could think this weekend was how will anyone be compelled to follow along with me, finding the joy in the details of life, if I’m not sharing those important details with you.

I might have taken a few selfies in the elevator mirrors.  One of my new bag and one with my awesome roomie!

I might have taken a few selfies in the elevator mirrors. One of my new bag and one with my awesome roomie!

Someone at the conference this weekend said that if we didn’t want to build a community around our blogs we would just be writing in a journal where no one can see, but I’ve chosen to blog amidst a community.

If I truly listen to God, He is telling me:

  • I have this blog to share my faith and how He has blessed me beyond all measure.
  • To tell the story of Sean and my struggles and journeys over the past few years that I have so fiercely kept silent about and even though I know that they have molded me into who I am today.
  • And to make more art! Create everyday and share it with others because creation is good.

All of these things will not happen over night, but I have a new resolve: to purposely work on them daily. Yes, daily. Practice is the only way to success and as Haley and Jessie said in both of their talks, we’ve been telling ourselves lies for too long. I always felt that my story, my art, my (fill in the blank) wasn’t good enough or important enough to share. But that is just a lie I have believed for far to long.

Beautiful art created during worship

Beautiful art created during worship

I am complete in Christ. I don’t need to feel ashamed when I don’t blog, create, love… the way I am supposed to. I just need to empty myself so that He can fill me up and start again a new.

This probably won’t be my last post about my experience at the Influence Conference, but I thought it was a good place to start.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful! I wish we had connected sooner at the conference, but yet, I’m sure God brought us together at just the right time on Saturday night after dinner, walking and talking about dance 🙂

    • Thank you Jessi! I’m so glad I was able to connect with you too. You’re story inspires me and I’m loving your Lindy Hop series! I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things you share.

  2. Sarah I love everything about this post. God stretched me at the conference as well. I just wanted to share that while my blog is focused on missions, I do share public struggles and victories in my marriage through open letters to my husband. And while I thought most people would ask about the missions aspect, most people I met at the conference asked me about marriage. So I want to encourage you to jump in a do that (with your husband’s approval and blessing) because people want to read it. Satan attacks marriage harshly and a way we can fight back is to publicly proclaim our love for our husbands! There is power in it.

    • Kerrie, thank you so much for your encouragement! I feel so challenged to shed my fear and share the love the Lord has poured on me. I’m excited to follow along with your story as well! Thank you again.

  3. Beautiful!! It’s so freeing to just let all our insecurities go and share what we need to :). Girl , our art, our creativity, there is a reason God gave them to us for a purpose! I wish we could have talked more about visual art and I too danced in high school. Wonderful post girl :).God is so good 🙂

    • Thanks so much Heidi! I wish we could have talked more too, but there’s always next year if we get to go, and online! I’m loving following your blog.

  4. So wonderful! It is encouraging to see other christian women strive for more to the glory of God, wish I could have gone to the Conference.
    May God fill you with joy in this new vulnerability!

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  1. […] year was my first year going to the Influence Conference, and it definitely rocked my world.   I left last year’s conference with a new found confidence in Christ that has truly shaped […]

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