30Oct

Allume: The People

I’ve been putting off this post (it’s actually Wednesday morning that I’m writing this), because I wasn’t quite sure how honest to be. But to me, this blog is nothing without honesty.  So, here is my experience.

When I was in high school, I was never one of the cool kids.  Truly, I didn’t mind too much, being “cool” wasn’t really an ambition of mine, but it came at a larger cost—community and fellowship.

In high school, the majority of the people already had their friends, their groups, and I didn’t fit.  I often found myself rejected, less than, and left out.

Going into Allume, I worried it would be just like that.  That the room would be filled with 400+ women who were all too cool for me.  And that I would be left out. Rejected.  Less than.

And you know what?  I was right. There was definitely a cool table.  There were a couple of groups that just didn’t have room for us small people. So, yes.  For me, there were times when someone brushed me off, made me feel less than, and I heard the same from a couple of other women.

But at Allume, something amazing happened.  Those cool kids?  They were in the minority.  And, They were the ones who missed out, even if they never realize it.

They missed out because the vast majority of those 400 women had such open hearts and open arms and it was absolutely amazing.  I went to this conference knowing no one.  When I found out that I had won the sponsorship package from Christin Slade, I began frantically trying to “meet” people online so that I would at least kind of know someone, but I still went there with very few real connections.  I came away with so much more.

So, I want to take a few minutes to tell you about just a few (there were so many more) of the awesome women who really blessed me this weekend.

It was awesome to meet my sponsor, Christin Slade. She has such a giving heart, and you could see that just by watching her at the conference.  I’m glad I got to meet her and hug her and thank her in person.

I was standing alone on the first night when Tanya Morales came up to me, telling me about how she’d read my blog.  This woman was just oozing joy and love.  God’s spirit was all over her and I was so blessed to get to meet her and see that.  She just poured out love on me all weekend, and it was such a blessing.

My roommates, Erica and Reeve were just amazing.  I was so afraid of rooming with complete strangers, but they really blew away my expectations (and even hopes!).  We connected immediately and spent hours chatting each night and throughout the days.  These women were just so sweet, and thoughtful, and loving.  I am so blessed to have roomed with them.

One of the biggest surprises for me was Crystal from Money Saving Mom.  She has one of the biggest blogs represented at that conference and yet she was so down to earth, and opened up her heart and arms and conversation to whoever happened to be in front of her.  She didn’t have to reach out to me, but she did and I really appreciate that.

There were so many women who just poured out God’s love that I couldn’t possibly name them all one-by-one.  But the bottom line for me is that this is, overall, a great community and I was blessed to be a part of it.

24Oct

Thriving Thursday…From Allume!!!

Okay, so I’m not quite there yet, but tomorrow at 6 am, I will be boarding my flight (Lord willing), and heading to the Allume Social conference in Pennsylvania!!!  I am nervous, excited, scared…and everything in between!

I’m so excited about what God is doing in my life through this blogging ministry and lots of other things.  He has been preparing our family for His calling and purpose and it’s a great feeling to be led by Him!

I’m terrified to be going to meet 400+ women.  Beautiful, fashionable, successful, gracious women…and I just know that I’m going to stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of them all! I’m not always great at the socializing thing and I’ve just been praying that God will help me be a little more “on” this weekend. To open myself up and let these awesome women in.

I’m nervous about leaving Chad and the boys for almost 4 whole days!  I’ll be leaving before they get up tomorrow and won’t be back until Sunday evening.  I’ve never been away from them before, and I know I’ll be sad at times.  But I also know it will be good :)

I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to this conference!  I would never have dreamed of it until God made a way.  And he did that through a very special woman, Christin Slade, who runs a business along with her blog, offering blog consulting and critiques, and virtual assistant services.  Go check her out, and give her some love for me :)

I’m happy to be forming connections in this online ministry.  I believe that blogging can bring people together in ways that face-to-face ministry and relationships can’t.  I, for one, am incredibly shy and insecure in person, but online I can communicate so much easier.  I have more boldness to share what God has placed on my heart, and have the opportunity to minister to and fellowship with people I couldn’t otherwise.

I first felt the full effects of the community of blogging when my youngest son, Logan was born and spent the first week of his life in the NICU.  This space was called “Scrapper Mom” back then, and women from all over the country, many who visited my blog for the first time just to share a kind, encouraging word.  Complete strangers were loving on us, leaving promises from God’s word, praying for us and for Logan.  It was a beautiful thing, and made me realize that this blogging thing is real.  It’s not just a waste of time.  There are real relationships being formed, and lives being touched.

If you’re a blogger, or a reader…never forget that there are real people, with real hearts, feelings, and souls on the other side of the screen.

Thank you all for bearing with my allume/blogging rambling today…I pray that you’ll have a blessed weekend!

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 <a href="http://www.servingjoyfully.com/category/thriving-thursday/"><img src="http://www.servingjoyfully.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Thriving-Thursdays1.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150" /></a>

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives.  It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ.  Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord.  Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.



24Oct

Bonus: Hear from the Husband!

 (My husband doesn’t really enjoy computers, the internet (except for fantasy football), reading (except his Bible), or writing.  So when I mentioned the husband challenge at Allume, with husbands being challenged to share how blogging and/or Allume has impacted their wife and family, it was more of a “Hey, they are doing this thing that’s kinda cool.”  Followed quicky by, “I don’t expect you to do it b/c I know it’s not your thing.”  Instead, he said “I want to do it.”  And, here is what he had to say…his encouragement and support is such a blessing to me!)

My wife is a very talented writer and God has used her blog as an extension of himself to touch countless people that are struggling with the same issues that our family struggles with. When she writes on a subject and the comments come flooding in about how much it touches them. It is very inspiring to our family to see our wife and mommy being used by God to help people where they are. This is exactly what Jesus did throughout His life. He didn’t wait for people to come to Him, He went to them and ministered to them with real life, something they could relate to and let them know that God can move in any problem or situation.

Each and every post that she writes comes straight from what God has laid on her heart because He knows who needs to hear a certain subject at a certain time and that is what is why this is such a valuable ministry tool. We see her everyday living what she writes and overcoming struggles, frustration, pain, and heartache. We are so thankful that she has decided to listen and follow what God has for her to do.

Our children are learning the word of God and biblical virtues and values from her everyday. I am learning about what a treasure God has blessed me with, a wife who truly loves God, her family, and someone who is 100% genuine and passionate about everything she believes and talks about.

Witnessing our wife and mommy living and doing the will of God everyday through her blog is exciting and very inspiring. In His word Jesus says  “If you are faithful with a little He will give you much.” This is just the beginning and I can’t to see what’s next.

 PS–My blog is nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 home management blogs.  If you enjoy my blog, would you take a moment to vote? Voting ends 10/26

06Sep

An Exciting Announcement

Some of you may have noticed this pretty pink sign on my sidebar.  Yes, it’s true.  I’m going to Allume Social!!!  I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I have been given in this, and it comes at the generosity of Christin Slade from Joyful Living Media.

I have wanted to attend a conference for a while now, but with our tight budget, I knew it wouldn’t be a possibility unless God stepped in, and in a big way.  I knew that we could contribute very little, so even a sponsored ticket wouldn’t have gotten me there.

Christin, earlier this summer offered a series of posts on her business blog, giving tips about approaching companies with sponsorship requests.  She ended that series with an announcement that she was offering a generous sponsorship for Allume Social—including not only ticket to Allume, but also money towards travel expenses!

I took a deep breath, said a prayer for God’s will to be done, and sent off my application/request to Christin.

Now, I’m making plans to attend the sold out Allume Social Conference!

For this introverted homebody, it’s going to be a huge step, but I know that God is all about pushing us out of our comfort zones sometimes, and I’m excited for it.

I’ve reserved my plane ticket, found a roommate, and have been chatting up other Allume goers via twitter (which I am also brand new to, by the way!).

Another aspect of Christin’s sponsorship was a mentorship through Joyful Living Media.  If you are a blogger looking to grow your blog, or if you feel like you’re hitting a wall and aren’t sure what it is, Christin is the perfect person to help.  She offers affordable blog consultations and critiques to help beginner to intermediate bloggers get over some of the hurdles we might encounter.  Christin has her own successful blog at Joyful Mothering, and she works with some of the biggest names in blogging, such as with Sarah Mae and Allume Social.  So, she knows how this blogging stuff works, and is in a position to help others figure it out as well.  She just announced some exciting changes coming up on her business page, including some great helps for bloggers, even if you don’t get a consultation, so be sure to check it out.

And I will be sure to share every detail from the Allume Conference :)

Have you ever attended a blogging conference?  If so, what are your tips for a newbie like myself?

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