I think my brain, my heart, is still decompressing from The Influence Conference.
It was truly an intense, thought provoking weekend. I came to the end of each day bone weary, climbing into my comfy bed and quickly falling off to sleep.
But it was a good tired.
It was the tired of a heart that was being pushed, of someone who had heard some words of truth spoken over her life.
Being in a situation with 300 unknown women wasn't easy for me. I'm not really a crowd sort of girl, more of a one-on-one type.
But this event pushed me. Pushed me to introduce myself, even if I did feel awkward and out of place. Pushed me to make some new friends through the process.
I think, perhaps, the first day, I pushed myself a little too hard. I felt my body saying that I needed a break, my head was pounding, shoulders sore, but still I pushed on. (I hate thinking that I missed something!).
I don't think I gave myself the space I needed. This sounds a little silly to write, following the words up above about pushing myself to meet new people. Does it make sense though? Sometimes it's good to stretch, good to seek, good to reach out and make new friends, but we all have our limits. We all have breaking points.
In Friday evening's session, Lara Casey reminded us to pay attention to our bodies, to recognize what they're telling us. I had come to a point on Friday of desperately needing rest, even if I didn't want to admit it.
Saturday was so much better. I gave myself permission to NOT attend everything. To NOT feel like I had to meet every person at the conference. To NOT feel like I had to be passing out my business card and promoting my blog all the time.
Such freedom comes with that.
There's such freedom in letting go.
And I have to say that I enjoyed the second day even more. I enjoyed letting myself have breaks, roaming the halls of the hotel, even lounging in my room for a bit watching tv. I mean, this was my unique weekend away from kids! A total new experience for me, I needed to embrace it :)
I loved all of the classes, all of the things to learn at this conference. I've always been a bit of a school nerd. Taking classes in a Christian environment made it even better. I definitely took home some useful tools for writing, blogging and business in general.
But, for me, the points that hit home the most were the points of the heart. The things God spoke to me. My favorite two sessions were by the founders of The Influence Conference, Haley Morgan and Jess Connolly. I loved their honesty and transparency.
On Friday, Hayley talked about "The Try Hard Life." Here's a few bullet points from her talk that really meant a lot to me:
- "His Spirit lives within me--so it pushes out all of that try-hard and look-at-me."
- What is the ARC in my own life? Pinpoint 5-15 things that changed me.
- "There's nothing that will make God love you less or more"
- "We need to preach the gospel often enough to ourselves to remember it"
- "The Gospel is like a diamond, it's beautiful from a billion different angles. Just look closely at each side and tell the world about it" Haley Morgan quoting Jess Thompson
- "How can I flip the idea of insignificance on it's head?"
- "Make the best decision you can at the time and walk forward"
- "Every single day I have influence, because I am in Christ and Christ is in me"
So much to ponder over here. I definitely have a lot to stew over in my journals.
On Saturday, Jess Connolly had her talk. This was the point that I lost it, y'all. I truly was in tears during the worship set immediately following all of this. God has some deep things He's working on in me. Walls and expectations that definitely need to change. Thank you for your words, Jess Connolly, They truly affected me. And thank you to my new friend Lauren, who let me poor out my heart at the conference. I loved getting real with you like that. Here's a few bullet points for you all:
- "It's worth us taking the time in the early stages of building to ask why we're building"
- "God loves His Kingdom. God hates my kingdom. He loves when I build His kingdom."
- "God hates it when I give enough tidbits to affirm me.
- "God hates it when I love my husband and kids just enough. When I love them just enough to be good for me"
- "How do I need to love my family to build God's kingdom?"
- "What does God think about my kingdom?"
- "When I say: 'take my business, take my influence, take my passions, and remove them from me,' God says, 'Take this business, take your influence, take your passions and just use them for me'"
- "God is out for His glory, but He is gracious"
- "God doesn't want a better life from you, He wants a better life for you."
There's so much here, it's really all my brain can process at the moment. Right now, I'm getting our household back in shape, ferry-ing Emma back and forth to school, and praying about what God might have next in this little live of ours. I definitely don't want to just file this past weekend away in my memory, without taking some things to heart. Thank you for reading my words today. I hope you found them interesting. Join me at The Influence Conference next year?