I’ll do my best to share some of what I learned and experienced, but I’m still processing much of it (as most of us are and probably will be for a long time).
I sure like dressing up, but what a lot of people didn't know was that the majority of my outfits from the weekend cost under $25. Total. As in for the whole outfit + accessories (ok, minus the shoes - but those weren't very expensive either).
On the topic of fashion, I was heavily encouraged to start incorporating my finds & strategies into future posts, which just might happen. Because I am still trying to figure out which direction to take this blog in...
I had the privilege of attending talks from John Saddington, Hayley Morgan, Nish Weiseth, Jessi Connelly, Sarah Matheny, and Jessica Turner.
Of all the sessions I attended, I think Sarah Matheny's (aka Mama Pea) was like a shot to the heart. No PowerPoint. No bullet points. Simply a beautiful woman sharing her even more beautiful heart. Her words have been resonating with me ever since and I would encourage you to stream the audio when it becomes available online.
She Reads Truth dinner. I wouldn’t have even known about the Influence Conference if it weren’t for learning about it through an Instagram hashtag.
Dorothea’s Closet) $25.
Madewell styling session with The No Brainer Wardrobe author, Hayley Morgan. We don’t have Madewell stores in Iowa, so I splurged a little for the occasion. Without spending a whole lot of money, I will add;)
Their mission is to provide sustainable jobs to African women who may have otherwise had to make a living through prostitution. I really believe in what they are doing and am crafting up some ideas to stay involved in their endeavors. Stay tuned.
I kept hearing the phrase “come tender” throughout the conference, and that I did. I arrived at Influence as a “small potatoes” blogger who doesn’t have sponsors or even an “about me” page. I am working on both. Needless to say, there were times where I felt a little out of place and humbled by my lack of knowledge, experience, and connections.
There were also times where I wrestled with the disillusionment of my expectations vs. reality. My soul got a much needed exfoliating. And that part hurt. I left feeling a little raw. Grace was a huge theme on so many levels throughout the weekend. And once I got over the junk of some of those insecurities, I had a pretty great time.
I want to thank my roommates - Jill, Adri, Amanda, & Nicole for their encouragement and accessibility.
I want to thank the women who engaged in REAL conversations with me. Women who made me feel that their circles weren’t small enough to let one more person in.
I thank God for bringing me to this conference at a time where I needed this kind of experience the most. I am just so immeasurably humbled by His great love for me. Not only that, but for sending along a companion in my journey to help process everything I learned. It's hard to say what my experience at Influence would have been like without my friend, Nicole.
From the bottom of my heart…thank you.
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