In 15 short days, I will board a plane alone, fly across the country, and meet women I have loved from afar during The Influence Conference, a conference for Christian women about making much of the Lord online. This network has done nothing less than bless my socks off. I have experienced love, genuineness, and life though the network, and I cannot wait to hug everyone!
So today, The Influence Network is hosting a link up for the bloggers attending to get to know one another. Gosh, I just have to say right now again how INCREDIBLY EXCITED I am to be going! My life has been in a pretty rough season since my son was born in April 2012. He was a much harder baby than my daughter was, and as he has gotten older, parenting two independent kids is turning out to be the hardest thing I have ever done. There are moments of utter joy [they are playing on the floor together nicely right now] and moments where I want to cry. Earlier this year, I started praying for the Lord to bring refreshment. My husband and I were blessed by some friends with an amazing trip to visit them in Hawaii in March, but because I deal with anxiety and maybe a bit o’ OCD, I didn’t take advantage of the trip. I felt rushed. I felt anxious. And I did it all to myself. The availability of relaxation, sweet friends, and the beach [hello!] were all there — but I wasn’t. Our friends were beyond amazing and I chose to focus on stupid things. I regret that severely.
So about a month after that trip, I started praying for the Lord to provide me with refreshment. For Him to renew my mind. Clear out the yuck that clogs my thoughts and heart. I had wanted to attend The Influence Conference, but because I live in Arizona and the conference is in Indiana, it would be a large expense for me. When I calculated the cost, it came out to $670. Ahhh! And now that number is over $700. But, y’all, God is so good. In my pleas for refreshment, He provided. I asked, He listened. I called, He answered. Some things have come out of pocket, but others have been through gifts and the Lord’s provision. I am amazed.
This trip will be the first trip I have ever taken by myself, will be without kids, and will be to my second blogging conference. I will launch a business, share my heart, and hope to make many, many more wonderful friends. I will meet women I admire, women who have hearts of gold and businesses to match, women who have inspired me to embrace the gifts the Lord has given me and move forward in them. I am nothing short of ecstatic that I am going.
Two things I am looking most forward to during the conference is meeting my blog friends in real life. I have made many friends through blogging and some will be there. I am grateful to the Lord for heart friendships. Such a blessing! I am also looking forward to learning more about business and spreading the word about my new business, Happy Paper Company. There are going to be some great minds there and some wonderful opportunities to learn and glean wisdom. I am excited to connect, network, and learn. And I can’t wait to share with you what I will learn there.
Two things that will definitely be in my bag? Gosh, that’s a good question…only two?? lol…well, I am gluten free, so I will definitely have gfree snacks to save me in a moment where there may not be any. Kind bars, nuts, and fruit for sure. It is such a temptation to fudge on my diet when I am starving and there are no options. But feeling horrid during this time for refreshment is not an option! The second thing is a combo of a few things actually, blogging and note taking essentials – my laptop, a notebook, and pencils & pens. I love taking notes on paper. That is my favorite way. But I also want to have my computer for the plane ride there and back [six hours for doing whatever I want?? Call the Midwife, blogging, designing, surfing, and more. YES.]. But then there are also other things I will make sure to have – my iPad for my morning Jesus time & other times to read, spending money for THE SASHES MARKET, plenty of pictures to show off my kiddos, room mate gifts, business cards, and many other things.
I probably will overpack. ;)
You guys, this was seriously a major answer to prayer. God listens. And He heard my specific prayer for refreshment. You know how there is that blog that promotes picking a word for your year? This year, I picked the word blessing. I wanted to be a blessing to my family, my business, and any other area in my life. But the Lord has blessed me this year too. And if I could pick a word for this conference, it would be refreshment. Every time I think about the trip, that word comes to mind. I know the Lord is going to use the conference to renew me. And I am so excited! If you’re a fellow attendee, I can’t wait to meet you! And if you are not, you can still come by buying your ticket here. And if you are neither of those two, would you just pray for the conference? The women attending? And that it would be a refreshing time for all? Thank you! oh, and p.s., for you attendees, you can click over to my About Me page or visit me on Instagram for a picture of me. :) xo