How is it possible that, this time next week, I'll be attending my 3rd Annual Influence Conference? The inaugural conference feels like it took place months ago, and yet, 2 years have passed since I first arrived in Indy. I felt nervous and anxious to meet fellow blogging women and explore the notion of using my online voice to make much of Jesus. I worried myself over things like What to Wear. But, when I stepped foot through those hotel doors, the fears all melted away and I began to embrace my place in this online community of women who love Jesus and the internet.
At the time, my blog was titled, "Williams' In Love." It was a place where I documented life as a newlywed so that my family and friends could see what we were up to.
But I had felt a stirring, in the months leading up to that first conference, to use my online influence for something more. I took mostly strategy classes during the conference weekend and learned to use my blog with intention. I changed the name to Life On a Mission and began to share more of what has become my battle cry: That we, as believers, are all called to LIVE our lives ON A MISSION.
The second year, I was in need of REST. I had literally just moved to another country and was exhausted. I woke up early to start the day with Holy Yoga and stuck to mostly Life sessions throughout the conference. Dinners with friends and talks in the lobby were my jam that year.
This year, I'm coming with three-fold intentions. God has been increasing my desire for His word (which is a huge answer to a long-time prayer) and I am excited to be filled with the wisdom and knowledge of the session leaders on the Life Track. I'm also looking for a rejuvenation with my blog after a particularly busy season that left this space a little lack-luster. The Strategy Sessions will be just the boost I need. The third thing I look forward to experiencing is the blogging community. Many of my "core group" won't be attending this year and I'm anxious to embrace the opportunity to meet even more women in the network.
I'm keeping it simple this year. With a few years of Influence Conference experience under my belt, these are the things I will be bringing along to ensure a fun, comfortable, and successful weekend.
I am so cold-natured, so this cozy kimono will be in my bag at all times, just in case! I want to get comfy and feel at home, so I'll be bringing along my favorite sandals as well. Easy to slip on (or off if I'm feeling really crazy and want to sit cross-legged in my seat.) And the red lipstick? It is a super simple way to take your look up a notch before heading out to dinner.
As many times as I've read blog posts saying NOT to, I will most definitely be lugging my laptop around with me. I learn best by documenting information and am a much faster typer than I am a writer (not to mention the fact that I have horrible handwriting! Someone lead a workshop on cute lettering please?!) But watch out for my bag! It's gotta be big to carry all this stuff (+ my camera!) and I might accidentally knock you over. My apologies, in advance.
I'm in the middle of the She Reads Truth study, Open Your Bible -- get the printable workbook free! -- and have plans to find a comfy couch, just me, my study pack and my bible in the mornings in order to get myself focused on what God wants to speak to me each day. And, last but not least: Contact cards! I always love my collection of business cards I come home with at the end of the conference. I usually go through them during my layover on the way home and make sure to visit each and every site! Contact cards are a great way to make lasting connections.
Pro Tip: Bring a giant key ring and a hole punch to keep your card collection organized! Click here for an example!
Will you be at the conference? Let meet up!