Last September, I returned home from the Influence Conference empowered, filled up, and looking forward. I didn't know where God was going to lead me, but I finally understood that I had influence and was praying for an opportunity to share.
Fast forward to a couple weeks after the conference: I received an email from Jessi asking if I'd be interested in serving the network via their Twitter & Facebook accounts. I was shocked to even be considered, but completely honored at the same time and continue to be blessed daily by the women I get to meet & interact with via the Influence Network's social media.
Around November, I started thinking about following year's conference and ended up buying my ticket during the Black Friday sale. Honestly, I can't remember if I even did the math on how old my baby would be, but it didn't matter. I just knew the impact the last one had on me and felt like it was important enough to try to attend.
When conference information started rolling out this summer, I began to wonder if I could actually make this trip happen. I was deep in new motherhood and feeling pretty scared of going alone with my baby. As a last hope/joke, I asked my best friend (also a new mom) if she wanted to join me in Indianapolis & help with Calvin and to my surprise, she said yes! And from there I felt like everything just came together...
Now, on the other side of it, I know there was a reason everything came together. God wanted me at the conference and He made it happen. Putting words to what I learned & experienced just days after something like this is hard for me to do, but a list of my favorites? I can totally do that!
My #InfluenceConf 2014 Top 5
1. Worship --- For the second year in a row, I was brought to tears during the conference worship time. There is something about singing in a room full of 300+ God-loving women that just moves you in the best way.
2. The Mom's Suite, hosted by Thrive Moms --- This space was a total blessing! Even though our room wasn't far, having a place to feed, change, & play with Calvin just a few steps away from the conference was wonderful. Some of my best conversations of the conference happened in that room with women who are in similar stages of life as I.
3. The Message Revival session on home --- I wasn't sure what to expect with the revival sessions, but ended up walking away a page full of ideas on how to make my home a place that works for my family & I, such as dedicated date nights with my husband (even if they are at home after the kids go to bed) and organizing my home so it functions best for everyone who lives there.
4. Lara Casey's mini-Making Things Happen session --- I didn't know of Lara Casey before last year's conference, but on a whim I attended her session and was blown away by her southern charm & inspiring ideas. This year, the network hosted a members-only event where Lara gave us a glimpse of her own conference - Making Things Happen, which intends to "fire people up to make bold decisions towards their best lives and empower them to step into their fears instead of away from them". And that it did! The feeling in the room was vulnerable, but hopeful, as women admitted their fears and discovered how to overcome them. Definitely a night I'm still processing through.
5. A (small) glimpse into the behind the scenes --- Last year, I remember thinking to myself a number of times, "how did they put this conference on?" As a do-er, I love helping to put feet to someone else's ideas. So this year, being involved on the social media side, I was able to see a tiny part of what the core team goes through to bring a message to 300 women. And it's inspiring! Thank you Hayley, Jessi, Ashley, Lindsey, Rachael, & Moriah.
Honorable mention: my best friend, Kelly --- I'm so thankful she said yes to flying across the country with our babies (five & seven months old), hanging out in a hotel room, and watching Calvin anytime I asked. I already knew she was the best, but now everyone knows. Kel - are you ready to come back with me next year? ;)
So tell me... If you attended the conference, what was your top moments? And if you didn't attend, do you have any questions I might be able to answer? Leave a comment or send me an email.