|Some of my #hellomornings ladies via Hello Mornings|
Well I guess just like that.
I love these women. These beautiful souls who encourage me, challenge me and inspire me.
Around every corner was not only a cupcake but a warm smile, a hug and a word of encouragement.
I just really love these women. And they love me.
And I love that they love me. Not in this selfish, i-need-to-be-affirmed way, but because that's what real community is- people loving each other and being loved in the name of Jesus.
"They will know us by our love for each other"
Oh how that is my hope for the overflowing of #declareconf
Here's the 3 biggest things I learned:
1. Somebody gets me.
During the very first night, a key note by author/blogger extrodinare, Mary DeMuth, reminded me that I was not alone. She told stories of her years as a missionary in France and how it was so so hard. And then she speaks loudly and confidently to a room full of women and tells a story about rocks. "Oftentimes the support raising journey is like standing at the base of a long and windy driveway covered with rocks. Your mission is to find the 5 rocks with a red "x" painted on the bottom. So you just start turning over rocks. It takes forever, it's hard, but God asks you to be faithful"
And that's when the tears streamed down my face. Because it is hard.
The season I'm in now is hard. But somebody else gets it.
Mary DeMuth gets it. The other people on my staff team get it. And most importantly God gets it.
He knows its hard for me. But He knows what is best for me. And more often than not, the best thing for me is the hardest thing.
2. God is concerned with so much more than just me
My pride sometimes inflates my self-view so high that I forget that the God of the Universe is not solely concerned with me, that I am not the only one in the universe who really gets it.
Bottom line- I am just not that big of a deal.
From conversations about adoption, to motherhood, to bible studies, to community building I saw this thread running through of women who love God, love His word, and love people.
It was like a cool drink of sweet tea after coming in from the sweltering Texas humidity.
These incredible Jesus-loving bloggers were refreshment for my soul.
And even more so, (probably with out even realizing it) these women challenged my pride and selfishness.
And isn't that what it looks like to live out community? To spur one and other onto love and good deeds?
Simply by living out their love for Jesus, I am changed.
3. It's okay that I suck at blogging
That might be the most ironic of all statements, written here on a blog, learned at a blogging conference from women who don't suck at blogging.
I think one of the things I loved the most about Declare was that I walked away feeling like every single one of those women cared more about my soul than my pageviews.
It's okay that I blog so irregularly. It's okay that I sometimes focus more on other projects. It's okay that I spend more time writing for other peoples blogs than my own. It's all okay.
These women don't care that SEO baffles me or that I only use my iPhone to take pictures. They care about me.
And I think I much prefer it that way.
These wonderfully incredible women have become etched onto my soul. The words spoken at Declare to ring eternally. A weekend of life-giving, soul-refreshing, worship-inducing community. These are my people.
So who's up to go with me next year?
Linked up with some other incredible ladies at the Declare Conference Blog