Hello and happy Thursday, my friends!
Fun fact for you: Today is the first playoff games for the Kansas City Royals – woo, go Royals!
It’s also a beautiful Thursday morning here in KC. Woke up to 68 degree weather. Nothing brings a smile to my face more than walking outside with the sun barely over the horizon, birds chirping, and a crisp fall breeze brushing against my cheeks. I mean, c’mon now, that’s straight up perfection, am I right?
I’ve been meaning to recap some of my favorite moments from the Influence Conference I attended two weekends ago now and I apologize for just now getting to it.
BUT, better late than never. So let’s get to it!
My Biggest Takeaways From Influence Conference 2015
God gives everyone a unique influence
What I was prepared for, and certainly was most excited about, was getting the opportunity to meet other like-minded women who loved God and wanted to have influence for Him. What I wasn’t prepared for was how inspired I would be by them.There were graphic designers, calligraphers, Instagrammers, authors, bloggers, non-profit businesswomen, and creative entrepreneurs at this conference. They came from all over the country with on uniting goal in mind – use our gifts and talents for God’s glory. I loved hearing story after story of how God was inspiring these women to utilize the gifts He gave them to reach people in their communities. It’s truly beautiful that God can have a different plan for everyone but keep it all under the umbrella of one bigger purpose.
I was among the roughly 25% of people who were single and had no kids
This is a funny one that I couldn’t help but notice during the conference. I’m pretty sure every woman I
met there was a mom (several moms had a baby wrapped around them during the entire conference and to that I say “kudos to you, mom!” You’re the real MVP.) or engaged, newly married or married for years. I couldn’t always relate to their parenting stories or marriage struggles but I had a newfound respect for these women. It was easy (or should I say easier) for me to up and leave Kansas City to spend a weekend at a conference, but these women had families and obligations they had to leave behind. It was an act of faith for them, and every attendee there, to put their lives on hold while they gathered to hear from God.
The people in your circle of influence need you too
This one really hit home for me. Like a deep-in-your-soul, clutch-your-chest, sit-in-utter-dismay type hit that left me pondering how I could have missed this. During one of the breakout sessions, the speaker said “if you can’t even lead your family and friends, then how do you expect to lead thousands of strangers”? After she said this, it felt like a ton of bricks hit me. I’ve always been preoccupied with “What’s next, God? What’s the next big thing I can do for you? Where are we going?”, which are not bad questions to ask – but it has become my main focus. I desire to reach the masses, but neglect to reach out to people at my work. I desire to encourage tons of middle and high school students to be on fire for God, but I forget that God has already given me this kind of influence with the kids in my youth group. I’ve been so focused on a larger goal, that I wasn’t being fully there for the people in my community. This thought has radically changed my approach to discipleship.
God revealed a lot more ugly in my heart than I realized I had
Let’s just say God did some major soul-work on me that weekend. He revealed ugly pretenses and embarrassing pride that I didn’t realize I had. He dug up my lack of persistence and restored a warrior spirit in me. He nudged me to stop sitting in confusion and encouraged me to walk in the clarity He’s already given me. He reached in, grabbed the strongholds in my life, and crushed them in His hands. He melted my heart (which resulted in many sob-fest episodes during worship) and renewed me in ways I didn’t even realize I needed. Phew! I know, is that all?! Classic God move. He’s kind of awesome.
What lights me on fire most is to reach the lukewarm
I think I’ve been wrestling with God for clarity on my “calling” for about a year, but definitely more so within the past few months. (It’s silly when I think about it now because God already gave us a calling by commissioning us to make disciples of all nations and to love one another – done and done.) I mean, I’ve done some serious work guys. I’ve read books, made lists, asked friends and family; I’ve done all the research possible to try and figure out what I’m meant to do with my life. I’ve been a little overly obsessed with this, but hey, that’s what your 20’s are for, right?
I still have a lot of dreams I’ve been communicating to God, but the biggest kicker for me was realizing my desire to help those who are in a lukewarm relationship with Christ. I want them to get it. I want them to be strong disciples who understand the power of Christ in their lives and their calling to reach the poor and lost. I don’t want them to sit idly by, simply surviving, when this world desperately needs the Truth they bear. I think I want this for them because it’s something I want for myself. And as I seek God for His help to be strong and courageous for Him, I want to use what I learn to help others. I could write a whole blog post about this topic, but I’ll save it for a later time.
So those are my biggest takeaways! If you attended the conference, what was your biggest takeaway? As always friends, let me know if there’s a way I can pray for you. Until next time!
Love you guys,
What I listened to while writing this post:
“Look What We’ve Become” by Grace Potter
“Every Giant Will Fall” by Rend Collective
“I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe
“Good to be Alive (Halleluja)” by Andy Grammer