This past weekend I attended the Declare Conference in Southlake, TX. This conference was a fantastic opportunity to meet many women who are blogging and/or writing for God’s glory. These women are truly an inspiration.
I went with two main purposes in mind: 1) to learn how to blog in a way that shares God’s truth and my journey. 2) to connect with other christian women who love Jesus and are sharing their passion on a digital platform. My expectations were met in a BIG way. Moreso than I ever expected.
A few takeaways from this experience….
Erica Boutwell and her husband Stephen led us to the cross daily in worship. One of my favorite songs was Here As In Heaven. What a blessing worship was to me during this time.
Lara Williams brought us truth about Living Water for Thirsty Souls as she shared from John 4. This passage reminded me that Jesus graciously pursues my heart so that I can intimately commune. I was overwhelmed with excitement to be at my first writers conference and make sense of this call, Lara shared that I’m not called to change the world, I’m called to give a drink. Baby Steps. I need to start with baby steps.
Michele-Lyn Ault shared how we are Developed In the Secret Place. The devil can not take my identity or purpose, but he will try. This last year and a half I’ve struggled with finding who I am or what I’m really called to do. Michele shared briefly the story of Mary & Martha and how Mary lingered in the presence of Jesus instead of working frantically to make things perfect. What we give up in the waiting is nothing compared to the wisdom gained. What a blessing this was to hear. I don’t have to have it all figured out, but to practice presence over productivity.
Kristin Lemus hit home for me as she shared about being FEARLESS. OMG! This has been one of lifes biggest hangups for me. Fear of failure and fear of success… why does one have to struggle with both? I do! I have! Kristin shared truths from Psalm 23 and John 14. PEACE I give to you. Jesus comforts his disciples as He tells them in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Oh how sweet this was for me to hear this weekend.
Rachel Martin was full of wisdom and power. I had the privilege of spending a little one on one time with her and what a blessing she is/was this weekend. Here are a few takeaways from our time together: “be willing to get messy”, “if we look the same on social media, where’s my story, my impact?”, “post intentionally and with authenticity for my community”. Rachel, thank you for everything!
Heather MacFadyen shared about hearing the voice of the Lord and discernment. This is wisdom I also needed. Sometimes I get so busy with everything, that the noise of the world can be overwhelming and I find it difficult to hear and discern the voice of the Father. One piece that she nailed for me was “only the creator can name the created”. No matter what the world (or me) may say about me, only God can define me. /shama/ – I’m listening. May I be obedient.
Alli Worthington shared good points on how to break busy. “God says I’m already I’m already enough and I don’t need to sacrifice myself or others in order to achieve more.” She gave an analogy between my phone and I, my phone tells me when it’s at the end of it’s rope (out of power/space). I can plug it up, delete apps, etc – I need to learn to do that for myself. I need to plug into my power source and eliminate that which is taking up space without adding value to my life.
Anne Watson was fabulous as she spoke about being Insecure & Overwhelmed! A few quotes worth remembering: “Failure is nothing but an opinion”, “satan uses discouragement to unwind us”, “I can’t control life but I can manage it”. Insecure and overwhelmed is where I am and her wisdom rang loud and clear. And by all means I need to remember, “do the work and God will do the miracle”.
Jen Weaver encouraged us to Unlock the Power of Your Story. She shared how “my voice is my personality through writing” and how “God wants to reveal himself through my writing”. Although my story may not be pretty, I need to “embrace my testimony” and “forgive myself”.
Jenn Sprinkle shared wisdom on How to Dream and Do Well. She shared 5 key points that I will be practicing in the days to come. 1) Dream with boldness 2) Pray with courage 3) Redefine Success by preparing myself and realizing everything isn’t for everyone 4) Predictable Insecurity – after the call I can expect insecurity. 5) Obedience over Outcome – don’t let the hustle take over my heart and my home.
Kat Lee shared Practical Action to developing my calling. 1) Map the End Goal 2) Acknowledge Boundaries 3) Zero in on Progress 4) Embrace Focus – stay on the bus 5) Ask Jesus – start my day by asking Jesus his plan for me. There is NO ONE LIKE ME – NOT EVEN QUITE LIKE ME!
I do DECLARE these women ARE MY PEOPLE!
To say this weekend was eye opening and life changing is an understatement! The ladies I met, the wisdom & encouragement received to begin this journey was incredible!
As I trek upon this new terrain, may I be like Samuel and ask, Speak Lord for your servant is listening. Oh how I want to not just be a hearer of the Lord, but a doer.