photo-7This was my second year attending the Influence Conference and I was so excited to go and to learn what my influence can be in various aspects of my life (but focusing on my online influence). I was not disappointed this year – there were sessions, classes & workshops focused around using our online presence for good. There were many classes in which I cried, there were three amazing worship times where we cried out to God, there was a members-only session by Lara Casey that broke down walls and so many other good things. While my head is swimming and my heart is full of good things that now I need to implement, I can’t share it all. I didn’t even have time to take pictures during the conference. There is just too much good that happened in 48 hours. But I will share snippets that I will be taking with me in the days to come:

His Spirit lives in me, so it pushes out all of that try-hard and look-at-me. (Hayley Morgan)

Fear is the fuel in Satan’s getaway car. (Whitney English)

Just because it’s not published, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. (Life Panel, can’t remember who said it)

Don’t value the comfort that comes with sameness. (Jessica Honegger)

Do more of what fires you up. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things when they are surrendered. (Lara Casey)

There’s a lot of people doing what you do, so be appreciative of those who choose you. (Lindsay Sherbondy)

Fear, guilt & shame motivate temporarily, but the love of God motivates forever. (Ellen Parker)

Comparison is the thief of community. (Carrie McQuaid)

God loves HIS Kingdom. He hates MY kingdom. He loves when I build HIS kingdom. (Jess Connolly)

Seriously, so much good stuff! If you were there, what was your favorite quote from the weekend?

Influence-SWAGThanks to the wonderful sponsors that gave gifts & info in the SWAG bags and helped fund the conference:
Necklace from Simply Put Handmade Jewelry | Mug from Crystal Faye | KeyFob from Better Life Bags
Scripture Magnet from Chamels Creations | Pencil from DotProducts.org | Earrings from ViBella
Print from B Paperie | Card from Love By Design | Card from Rainy Day Colors | WiFi from David Kind
Journal from Patton Prints | Eight Twenty Eight book from B&H Publishing | Yoga Decal from Holy Yoga
Exploring Grace Together sample book from Crossway | Devotional from the Influence Core Team
Bag from Lisa LeonardGrace for Moms | She Does Justice | Mocha Club | Naptime Diaries Shop | ThriveMoms

If I have forgotten any swag bag sponsor please let me know! I want everyone to get recognition for their generosity in helping to fill 300 bags to bless the attendees. Thank you again to all of the sponsors who provided swag or funds to help put on the Influence Conference!

Last week I learned of a new conference and decided I wanted to share it with all of my small business peeps and also to remind you of a few conferences that I’ve been to and LOVED. If you’re looking for a conference to go to, here are my suggestions!

snapSNAP! Conference – What can I say about SNAP besides it’s FUN! Fun and happy and full of valuable information for the creative blogger. I’ve attended twice and had a blast both times. This conference is based in Utah (so beautiful) and is full of 350+ creative people all in one place. This year they plan to have over 500 attendees! SNAP is a great place to network and learn from other creative people. It is one of the best-put-on conferences I’ve seen. So much detail goes into planning & decorating…I expect nothing less from this year’s conference (although I’m not able to attend…sob!).

influenceInfluence Conference – I attended Influence in 2013 and I’m so glad that I did. It’s right here in my neck of the woods (central Indiana) and it was full of like-minded people (mostly women) that want to use their online influence for good. There were so many different classes and sessions filling the days ranging in topics from writing, pursuing your dreams, vision casting and femininity. We ended our time together with an amazing time of worship to God. I’m excited to go again in 2014 and to learn from this amazing group of speakers.

Pioneer Nation – I just found out about Pioneer Nation last week. I’ve been whining saying for over a year that I haven’t found any small business conferences out there. Sure, conferences like SNAP and Influence have business tracks that I could go to, but I feel like they’re more focused on bloggers. Pioneer Nation seems like something I’ll want to look into for 2015 because it’s simply a small business conference full of speakers who have built their small businesses into not-so-small ones. I’m excited just thinking about it! This year is its inaugural year so I’m excited to see how next year they learn and grow from their first conference.

I know the list is short, but I really wanted to give an accurate list of ones I know to be true (and what I hope to be true with Pioneer Nation). If you have a conference that you’d like to share, please do in the comments. I’m always looking for ways to grow myself and my business!

notebookI have a notebook full of notes that I could share with y’all, but for now I’m just going to share some of my favorite quotes and other things from the Influence Conference. The two days were FULL and the sessions so life-giving. The hard task now is to take time and process, as well as making life changes and goals for the future. Here are some of my favorite take-aways from the weekend.

laracaseythe goal is not happiness, it’s His glory. (lara casey)

stop glorifying busy. (lara casey)

a dream is a big picture vision, a goal is your action plan to get there. (lara casey)

success = good fruits from our work || we are temped to add: our value, money parameters, our pride, perception of success, our identity. (hayley)

the Lord leads us in peace. If you’re believing lies, you cannot enjoy the freedom of the truth. (hayley)

quality of life + living your values = success (shauna niequist)

I’ve crammed so many great activities into my day that they’ve stopped being great. (shauna niequist)

you are not the hero of your story, Jesus is. (ellen, sweetwater)

be a noticer and not a manufacturer, live your life and write from that place. (ellen, sweetwater)

sometimes not having the words is better than trying to come up with something. (diana)

my home isn’t about me, it’s a tool for God’s glory. (jessi)

we need to be great at what we do so we can honor God with our gift. (jeff)

the best creativity comes in the midst of life – not separate from it. (jeff)

I have so, so much more to share…I’ll unpack a few sessions that really impacted me in the coming weeks. In addition to the amazing sessions there was the SWAG (stuff we all get). I’m so grateful for the generous sponsors that participated in giving us all goodies this year.

influence swag closetote bag from The Printed Palette | greeting card from Eva Marie Typography
sideways cross necklace from Adie’s Lovelies | anchor necklace from Sassy Lemonade
lemon pound cake lip balm from i am Mermaid | lightbulb (inspiration) from mocha club
knit coffee cozy from Kirtley Michelle | card assortment & notebook from dayspring
business cards from moo | keychain from byTavi | book from Influence Resources
face mask from Annie Piphany || other sponsors: thrive moms | lemon bee
the tethered crate | pure charity | french press mornings | Reeve music (amazing worship)
two little fish || THANK YOU for your generosity, sponsors!!

influence swag I know that’s a long list, but they are all wonderful, godly people from what I can see. I’d love if you’d take a little bit of time (maybe space it out) and see what they all have to offer. Quite a few are charitable organizations that give back to the needy. {If I’ve forgotten a sponsor, it was not intentional…I just went through my bag of gifts. If I’ve forgotten your organization, please email me and I’ll add it to the list}

Don’t miss out on attending next year – get your presale tickets for just $200!

influenceThese past few days have been amazing. They’ve been full of meeting new people (and getting to know some old ones better), learning from some gifted people, shopping, eating, worshiping. It has all been so good and Christ-centered. Influence was a wonderful mix of business, strategy and Christ. I’m excited to share things I’ve learned from the Influence Conference in the coming weeks in various posts, but for now it’s time to decompress and get back to real life (hello laundry!).

I do have items left from the Sashes Market that I’ll be listing on Instagram this week as I have time. Last night I sold all but one pair of earrings so be sure to check back and snag some one of a kind goodies. Have a wonderful week!

It’s finally here…it’s time to head to Indy and meet some amazing women, learn how to build influence in various aspects of my life and have an amazing worship party with a ton of women. I’m not a goal-setter, so the session on goal-setting and making things happen should give me just the push I need. I look forward to learning more about biblical femininity, blogging with intention and strategy. I am just so grateful to be able to go to the conference this year with some friends and learn from some amazing people. Tonight is the SoleHope cutting party and I’m so excited to learn more about this organization. Time to head out – if you’re not able to attend the conference, never fear! I’ll be blogging about what I’ve learned so you all can too. See you next week!