Relevant - It's Only the Beginning

rel86 Relevant was everything I expected, and nothing like I expected at the same time.

While I was aware there would be blogging tips to be learned, that was not my reason for going (after all, I could find all that stuff online). The reason I went was for the people; for the community of women; for the connections.

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My expectations were waaaay exceeded. But, I didn't feel the way I thought I would after I left. I didn't have this overwhelming urge to change my life around. It is only now that the urge is coming. Most of what I heard was just a confirmation of things God had already spoken to me. However, there were still some new things I learned.

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I spoke 1-on-1 with Ann Voskamp (such a beauty) about how God was changing my blogging vision and I shared with her my struggles. She said, "Of course! Because when God wants to use us and do something great, Satan is right there trying to mess it up." Yes, trying to turn God's blessing into a curse. He does this by leading us to be wrapped up in the numbers and statistics. By feeling like we have to be hoovering over our blog, or over Twitter.

Later, Ann spoke to us as a whole (and isn't she so beautiful? So passionate?) For those of you who didn't attend or who were unable to take notes for whatever reason, Ann will be sharing what she spoke about on her blog for the next 4 Tuesdays. She began by posting her "Bloggers Prayer" this week. She spoke on how to be an upside down Kingdom Blogger.

I encourage you to keep up with her posts the next 4 Tuesdays to really hear her heart, because I'm sure I missed much of it (being in and out with my baby and unable to take all the notes I wanted).

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What struck me most, though, was that we both (Ann & I) wake up every morning fighting for joy. My heart's desire is to have joy in all things and one of my biggest areas of struggle with this is mothering. Not because I don't enjoy my children, but because mothering is hard work and at times leaves me drained. And even sometimes leaves me feeling like a failure. (I'm sure none of you can relate. ;) )

She encouraged us to tell our stories...not our sermons. That really struck me, and in fact, it will be the cause of change on my blog with what and how I write. I often sit here, thinking I should be teaching something to my readers, but find myself lacking in what to teach. I have not lived enough to even be qualified to teach. So instead, I will write my story, my struggles, my service. My everydays.

God spoke to me at Relevant. But it wasn't as a loud trumpet. Rather, it was a still whisper. He told me that for me to love others (and love them well), I had to love myself - and I didn't. I hated how often I failed. I hated that I felt like a hypocrite. I hated that I couldn't keep up with life. I hated that I just didn't feel good about myself. And I'm not talking self-absorption. I'm talking self-love.

I will share more of that journey another day {subscribe so you can follow along.} :)

This is by no means the end of my journey through Relevant. It's really just the beginning.