This last week I attended The Influence Conference in Indianapolis. This conference is a place where hundreds of Christian women come together and learn how we can use our influence in a powerful and meaningful way to build Christ’s kingdom. A lot of the time is focused on how we use our influence through technological mediums like the internet, but it doesn’t stop there. Even if you aren’t a blogger, or don’t have Instagram, or Facebook you still have influence over many people that you come in contact with daily.
I struggled with the decision of going to the conference. I applied to sell Oh Tiny Gifts
products in the Sashes Market (the marketplace for handmade products set up during the conference) and put it in God’s hands. I decided that if I was accepted, maybe that would be God’s way of telling me it was time to take a leap of faith. Well you’ve probably already figured out that since I’m writing a post about attending the conference, yes I was accepted, and yes I took that leap of faith.
And guys, I’m so glad I did.
This conference filled me up in a way that I so needed. It energized and renewed my spirit. It put new fire into working to build God’s kingdom and spread His gospel. It connected me with soooo many sweet and generous women and quenched a thirst I had to connect with other Christian women that want to use their influence for His good.
For the Introverts…
So to those of you that are fellow introverts, you may be thinking that spending several days amongst hundreds of new women, attending seminars, revivals, worship services, and dinners sounds a bit overwhelming. And though by the end of it I could tell I was winding down and was needing some time to step away and process everything, it was just so good. Before the conference I was full of nerves and jitters about being amongst so many new people. But the women this week were some of the sweetest I think I’ve ever met. I sat at tables full of women that I had never met before and felt completely and totally accepted the minute I sat down. It felt good to step out beyond the comfort zone I walk in daily and reach beyond to new and exciting connections. Yes there were still times when introducing myself to someone made me feel like a nervous high schooler, or an opportunity to connect was missed, but when I think back on all the wonderful women I met and now call friends, my heart is full. I even was able to connect with another influence member before the conference and decide to room together. Turns out that rooming with someone you’ve never actually met in real life can be pretty wonderful.
For the Moms…
Miss Lillie accompanied me to the conference, and let me tell you, if you’re ever nervous about meeting other women, just bring along a cute accessory, or in my case, an adorable baby. My girl was a dream baby most of the week, slept through the seminars, and hammed it up for her adoring crowd. But even if you have a baby that decides to be a bit more feisty during the conference, it’s OK! There are so many other wonderful mamas and others that are quick with an encouraging word or willing to hold your baby while you eat! Shout out to all the women that held Lillie so I could eat a few bites of food minus a wiggly babe! The conference even had a Mom’s Suite hosted by Thrive Moms
full of snacks (including chocolate), baby swings, diapers, a place to nurse and just connect with other mamas. It was wonderful and my heart was so filled amongst these women. And seeing lots of squishy, squeezable babies all together in one place is kind of the best therapy ever.
For those that just aren’t sure…
Do it. Join the network
. Buy a ticket for next year’s conference. Reach out and connect with these women. Start using your influence today to further His kingdom.
There were so many wonderful points and phrases that stuck with me through the conference, almost too many to share, but I’ll try to convey a few.
shared beautifully on God telling her he hates her kingdom. God doesn’t want us to build our own kingdom full of thing we think we need, but rather to build His kingdom. Because His is the one true kingdom and the time to build is now.
touched so many hearts with her powerful questions and moving testimony. She asked what we fear most and why. I realized that I fear truly relinquishing control to God because I’m afraid of losing someone or something that I love. But life is too short to live scared because God is in control.
encouraged us to step beyond our comfort zone and say yes to God. That’s its ok if it’s a quiet and unsure yes, because God is going to use us and even if we don’t have the perfect plan, we just need to start doing. Start reaching out, start helping the poor, start bringing justice, and start spreading the gospel.
shared on spreading love and kindness and being a cheerleader for others. Her enthusiasm for kindness and giving is contagious and the joy of God spreads through her.
I really could go on and on and on, but that just gives you a taste of some of the wonderful stories shared. The challenge now is to take these things that I learned and share them. To keep them close to my heart, but to also share them with joy and enthusiasm. To take them back to my every day life and apply them when chasing around my girls, interacting with my husband, worshipping in church, or going through the checkout line at the store. Let’s work to build His kingdom together ladies, because the time to build is NOW.