“The voice of anxiety is an invitation to call on God.” Lara Williams, Delcare Conference
I’m in post-conference mode, meditating on all the things I learned, the people I met, the God “nudges” that nudged, what I want to do next or need to do now.
At the moment my most pressing issues are: wash post-camp+post-conference clothes+a ginormous sleeping bag, enroll kids in public school after years of homeschooling, grill the marinated chicken (because I’m more of a griller than a cake-baker), finish unpacking from every suitcase cranny (not a top priority but still…), write two books and a workbook (as if–at least keep them at the forefront), plan a dinner party, touch base with friends, write, schedule appointments, write/edit more, consider tasks for late Fall book launches, and do the dishes.
I’m still raising young men so writing is squeezed in the margins. But, I purposefully assign margin where I can.
As I sit in my typical writing cave, Crape Myrtle limbs droop with crimson blooms. Shadows silhouette areas underneath the tree onto the ivory patio. But I’m not fooled from my air-conditioned spot, typing to you–the sun beats down as if it were flaming humid arrows and hurling them at every inch of shade.
“There is spiritual warfare, trying to steal and destroy the good God planted in you. More strife in your family, louder lies, increased overwhelm. Be on guard.” ~~ Heather Price MacFadyen
I’m tired of lies. Sick and tired, y’all. When does it meet a forever-end?
I agree with what Ann Watson said at Declare, “Maybe our insecurity is a gift that keeps us humble.” It’s a tight rope out here in the creative jungle.
Once you step off with Godly obedience, the enemy resorts to familiar lies or creates all new ones to mess with your head space. The battlefield is in the mind. And thank God, Christ renews that old thing.
But it is work, y’all. We have to constantly evict unwanted squatters.
I’m constantly in the eviction game. I teeter in that fine balance of feeling called as if a rope connects me toward a dream, project, or vision and all I need is pull on it to remember I’m tied to that thing. But then there’s the other side where doubt plagues and I question everything–callings, abilities, capacities, qualifications, timing, me.
Some days, I grow weary of pressing for answers. But I surrender my courage (or lack of it) into God’s goodness.
Having wholesome people surround me makes all the difference. I only need to practice in asking for help. I tend to knuckle down or white knuckle it.
But Declare offers a place to encourage all of us to find those people who’ll support our growth in Christ and calling.
If you’re on the fence for Declare 2017.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Declare Conference. In the past, I’ve attended writer events like the High Calling’s Laity Lodge Retreat, Allume, and even a phenomenal writer’s Marketing Expo.
The Declare Conference had big shoes to fill. But they filled them and walked in more than one pair.
If you’ve been considering Declare, then yes, I recommend going all in and make that leap. It’s so worth it.
While there, I discovered in-depth conversations, small mastermind groups based on your interest of focus (great for also developing friendships), networking with authors and literary agents, assistance with social media, marketing advice, ways to find balance, platform-building, and several other interest-based models, all wrapped with inspirational speaking to help keep you centered.
What exactly is a mastermind group?
This year, the groups were interest-based so you could connect with other like-interested people. This is a small gathering to foster conversations. At least one expert sits at the table to help you explore ways to expand, enlighten, encourage, inspire, or educate you to go to the next level of what ever interest you picked.
Not only do you receive support from one another, learn more about your target of focus, but you also get to know some good people.
I attended one of the Podcasting mastermind groups, because I’d love get out of my closeted writing experience and engage with people through interviews. I want to have an outlet for my (ambi)extroverted-self. Writing is lonely, y’all! I need to talk to a real-life-body who’s in this same creative process.
I feel this is the next thing for me, but I’m still chewing on it.
The were two podcasting ladies who helped me. Valuable input was received from Tiffany Castleberry at Mom’s Mission Field and Emily Thomas from the Mom Struggling Well. We had great conversations on all things involved with podcasting. And unbeknownst to me, because she sat in the backseat while I drove, my car compadre, Lisa Hensley also has a podcast at Uniquely Woman: Where Womanhood & Faith Intersect. Lisa, I missed out!
However, the work involved to podcast? Still wrapping my brain around that one.
I eyed the speaker mastermind table from afar. Fear is so dumb y’all.
Crash & burn.
Sometimes in our post-conference recovery (of goodness!) when we’re no longer huddled together and encouraging one another, we look around. And we reflect. And we look at this person and that person and in our weary stupor, we stumble and slip into thinking others are doing this better.
Or we may have arm-chaired a conference (or two), stayed home while we hashtagged and tweeted what bread crumbs we could gather from speakers. And then we look around. And we reflect. And we look at this person and that person.
I strongly believe social media is a powerful tool for sharing our message. Heck, I wrote a book on it.
But the enemy is right there too. Compare-itis is real.
From where ever you are, remember these 4 things:
And then read below.
Take Away Quotes
Ciff notes from Declare Conference speakers that I want to pass on to you.
“We can’t go into our callings if we aren’t first filled.” Lara Williams
“God is a gracious pursu-er.” Lara Williams
“Jesus tenderly reveals so we can release what steals.” Lara Williams
“Jesus gives us permission to make His presence a priority over productivity.” Michelle-lyn Ault at A Life Surrendered
“Our dreams are cultivated in the soil of faithfulness.” Michelle-lyn Ault
“We can choose brave over fear.” Kristen Lemus at the Beautiful Deep
“It takes great courage to type something out on social media (for the world to see).” Rachel Martin at Finding Joy
“We lose our voice and authenticity when we try to be everything.” Rachel Martin
“Only God can tell you who you are.” Heather MacFadyen at God Centered Mom
“You can’t hear God’s voice when lies and labels come against you.” Heather MacFadyen
“You can’t give into insecurity at the expense of your calling.” Ann Watson
“Failure is nothing but an opinion.” Ann Watson from God Dots
“Before you were born you were given an assignment.” Ann Watson
“You can’t use comparison to measure success.” Ann Watson
“Write from that place that says, “Oh, don’t get me started!'” Jen Weaver
“Dream with boldness. Pray with courage.” Jenn Sprinkle
“Choose obedience over outcome.” Jenn Sprinkle
“Thrive in your boundaries before you push them.” Kat Lee from Inspired to Action
You can also go to Twitter >>click here<< for more quotes.
How God is nudging me.
I’ve felt more affirmed and confirmed in the direction of my writing career. And yes, I call it “career” because I spend a significant amount of my time and life, devoted to it. 🙂
I’m working on three writing projects as I continue to create.
I’m prayerfully considering the balls I’m juggling that aren’t related to writing or my social media job because I want to do a lot of good things, but which ones are best?
Discernment is so critical. Imagine me squeezing my eyes shut as if I’m Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz tapping my ruby red shoes, “There’s no place like discernment! There’s no place like discernment! There’s no place…”
My family will be enrolling our kids in public school for the first time in 8 years. God only knows what the year will bring. We’re holding everything loosely. But both the 10th grader and 7th grader are excited if that says anything. My youngest son took a four hour exam this morning, with no adequate prep time. Bring out all the feels. I felt my whole teaching/parenting life weighed in the balance. We don’t know the results, but considering that we only had a day and a half prep time, AFTER a huge mindless summer break? Um, yeah. Not sure how that went.
I just heard from my editor, I’ll be receiving edits back this week for my next book. And you know, Subscribers (only), you’ll be getting FREE copies of some of my books, right?
Also for subscribers ONLY, I’ll be sending off a newsletter later this month about where I’m at in the writing process and more about the above book idea I’m working on, along with more giveaways. I’m also creating a workbook to accompany the book project as I work on another book that is co-authored. I hope to see all 3 projects come to fruition, later this Fall.
Have a great week, y’all! Keep digging inside your gut to do that thing God is calling you, even if it seems as simple as taking care of your family in this season. No feat is too small or insignficant with God.
Everything has a time and a season. Flourish in the one you’ve been given today.