i had been going through a period before the influence conference where i was wondering how much good my recent posts were doing anyone. i remembered this time last year, my comments blew up at the beginning of the 31 days but tapered off as the month went on. and i wondered if it would do the same this year.
so i was a little bit wrecked when rebecca said to me thursday night at the stripes party that she had been wanting to meet me.
i can't even remember how i responded to that, but i can tell you i was thinking, you want to who? you want to what?
and that was essentially my entire weekend. not the whole being recognized and wanting to be met thing. the whole being floored thing.
i told kristin after i read her post on being influenced from a distance that i wanted to share the conference in such a way that y'all were influenced, too. i tweeted and instagrammed so much because i wanted to share it as much as i could, not to make anyone jealous, but to bring you along. (i'm not sure i necessarily succeeded.)
i feel like a lot of times on this blog i come across like i have my life together and i just want you to know: i don't. and somehow, Jesus meets me in that mess and inspires me to say one marginally intelligible thing that someone comments or emails me to say has touched their hearts deeply.
so thank you. thank you for influencing me, with your encouragement, to keep influencing you. because it's your kind words that keep me believing this small effort of words is worth whatever it'll bring and everything it's already brought.
i never, ever expected that anyone would tell me to my face they were wanting to meet me, just from knowing me through my blog and twitter. and i never expected that i would meet people whose blogs i started reading when i started what she saw in 2009. (i'm looking at you, erin and hayley.)
i don't want influence, the conference, to be a thing that just stops with me. i want influence, the conference, to translate into influence, the community: both the larger community and the community i'm striving to build here at what she saw. i want Jesus to meet me and you in this hot mess of a place and move us out of it into ministry, because while He will meet us there, He won't leave us there. and i don't want Him to. i want to be moved, beyond myself, for His glory, even when i don't know what that looks like. but i'm learning, more and more: living gospel is really just living.
it wouldn't have been a part of my life if it didn't include some sort of ridiculousness at some point in the weekend: erin and i came in the side doors of the hotel after parking my car in the hotel garage and because of the angle we came at through the lobby, we missed the elevators. so we walked up the stairs into the influence check-in area, trying to figure out how to get to the sixth floor while walking in circles, me holding a broken jujitsu bag packed full and clutching tigger and a plastic hanger.
also, i suppose you would like to see some pictures. i took maybe a whole three with my actual camera. maybe. three might be pushing it. so all my pictures of the conference are from my phone and the vast majority of them were blessed with instagram glory. all that to say, you might have already seen these pictures, but here they are anyway:
four: ke$ha. i mean, kacia. ;]
six: outfit of the (fri)day
seven: taking notes
eight: my twin. seriously, i think 98% of what julie says about herself is true of me, too.
nine: the single ladies dinner.
twelve: alli, L, brittany, lisa, erin, chelsea, kerrie, julie. we decided if we ever start a band, this will be our official photo.
fourteen: casey and sweet baby apple!