The Influence Conference 2013


It's quite possible that I might be one of the only people who attended Influence Conference and took very few pictures with or of people. It's also quite possible that I'm the girl who lugged her DSLR to Indy and didn't use it a single time. Honestly, I was appreciating every moment and happy to focus on those things.

Today is the official day to linkup our Influence Conference recap posts and I don't think I've even begun to process most of the weekend. It still feels really raw and fresh, but almost like a dream or distant memory at the same time. It's funny how easily "real life" sucks you back in.
 
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Here's my best attempt at a recap, which will include my trip highlights. Excuse the random ordering.
 
I flew in the day before the conference this year to stay with my friend Mary (Brittany came in early, too!) When I woke up the Thursday morning that the conference was to begin, I was struck by the fact that the year before, Mary, who was a complete stranger at the time, picked me up at the airport. And this year, I stayed in her home, ate dinner with her daughters, and woke up to muffins and coffee in her kitchen. You guys, the internet is REAL.
 
Friday morning, before the first session, I also had the opportunity to share on stage a little bit about The Tattoo Project and how it has changed me and my blog. I can't say I remember "all the things" I said, but standing on stage with other women who have completed their own projects was such a joy. 

I also had a chance to meet many and eat dinner with a few adoptive and foster mamas. Bloggers are my people, but those with a passion for the fatherless are my people within my people. My tribe within my tribe.

I came down with what seemed to be a little stomach bug thing on Saturday so I missed the first two sessions/events and slept till my body felt well enough to get up again. Sometimes I think God makes me slow down because I won't do it on my own. Sleeping till 9:45 in a dark hotel room was a little like heaven. 
 
We also had the chance to hear from Shauna Niequist on Saturday afternoon and holy cow, y'all. She was incredible and everything I dreamed and hoped her to be. Be sure to look out later this week for a post of my favorite quotes from the conference, Shauna and all of the other fabulous speakers I heard from will be featured there. 
 
In summary...I ate too much, laughed till I almost peed my pants, cried, talked literature, talked writing, and found myself being continuously embraced by women who truly understand me. It was exhaustingly beautiful.  

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Now that I'm back home, I can say that I miss the endless coffee and "me time" but I know now more than ever that I am in my place, right here. Texas, this city, and most importantly in this little house are where I have the biggest influence. 
 
The day to day seems mundane sometimes. I get tired of being needed, but this weekend I learned it's okay to be the needy one...so here I am, being needy and needed simultaneously. Here I am asking the Lord to be with me hour by hour and minute by minute as I do my best to live out the influence I have been given. 

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Lord, I need You. Oh, I need You. 
Every hour I need You. 
My one defense. My righteousnous.
Oh God, how I need you.