Joining the network challenged and inspired me in my faith, family, and ministry through monthly online classes on topics like marriage, motherhood in the midst of the mundane, and how to use your writing to build God's kingdom. It even introduced me to another expat living in Bangkok (hey, Danielle!) who became a neighbor and friend while we lived there and gave birth to Declan.
For the past four years, the network has put on a conference in Indianapolis to bring women from all over the country together to connect, inspire, and celebrate what God is doing in each of our realms of influence. We get to hear speakers like Lara Casey (of Powersheets), Lisa-Jo Baker, and Jess Connolly; drink LOTS of coffee during meet-ups; and spend time worshipping God together.
I wasn't sure I'd be able to go this year. But when I mentioned it to Andrew, he said, "Why not?" I realized I had been downplaying my desires and my need for times like these to step away from life and get filled up. And I don't take his support lightly - this means four days away from home, just him and the baby. Luckily, he is a fantastic father, and I'm not worried about that at all (thanks, babe!).
So tomorrow I jump on the plane and head to Indianapolis. Through random chance, I'm actually rooming with my husband's cousin's close friend (yay, Lottie!) and am pretty excited to meet up with women I've only known through blogs and Instagram accounts. If you are going to the Influence Conference you should definitely drop me a message so we can connect!
There are four things I'm hoping and praying for over the next few days:
- Time to step out of the crazy rush of daily life and spend time in prayer and Scripture, reflecting on everything the Lord has done for us in the past year of transition, and opening up my mind and heart for God to show me what his vision is for me and our family in the next year
- Building on friendships already started online and meeting new, like-minded women with similar passions and situations
- Learning from women like Ruth Simons and Rach Kincaid about work + motherhood
- Getting inspired for a new strategy of blogging and ministry, both online and off
I won't be blogging while I'm there, but you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see photos and read notes from the speakers. I might even try that new-fangled app called Periscope - look me up as @whitconard. And like I said, if you're going, let me know so we can connect!
If you're going to the conference, what's one thing you're most excited about?