Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Influence Conference 2013


This weekend.

What do I even say about this weekend.

As I wrote about in The Influence Conference Magazine, this conference is oh so close to my heart. I have worked on it, prayed for it, grown with it, and just been so expectant. I really believed in the organizations that were going to be spotlighted, I couldn't wait to hear the speakers we had scheduled, I was excited to see our artistic vision ok not at all my artistic vision but the conference artistic vision come to life, I was excited to see the sashes market come to life, and man, was I excited to meet the women.

And the women.

What do I even say about the women.

Moriah, me, JessiLindseyHayley, and Rachael
This was the first weekend I met many of the women I have grown to know and love out here on the internet and a weekend to reconnect with the few I had already met. These women who put it all out there. These women have prayed for each other through heartache. They have celebrated with each other in times of great joy. These women who love the Lord something fierce and who get what this whole blogging/online life thing is all about. These women took my baby from my arms or rocked my baby in her carseat when I needed to work. These women of Influence are my people, and I love them all dearly.

But I gotta admit, it was a little strange, seeing things from behind the scenes. I loved watching it all come together and facilitating things with the hotel.  I am the Conference Manager and so I was involved in all the planning, all the set up, and at times, even the one on stage.


And, oh Lawdy, what do I even say about the time on stage.

If you weren't there... just know that the power that be prefaced this weekend using phrases like "maintain professionalism" and instead I did things like "get on stage wearing my baby". But that's not all.  During the panel I was hosting, prompted by a question about how not to feel exposed online, the lovely Erin mentioned the fact that sometimes when you're online you can't keep everything to yourself and you do have to expose yourself. And I, in turn, said something to the effect of "Ladies, this is a christian conference... do NOT expose yourself".

SUPER professional. Aaaaaand that was the moment the Core Team began to regret adding me to the team. Not really. Well, at least I hope not really. But they probably began to regret handing my a microphone. Ok, I'm done.

And the people who helped.

What do I even say about the people who helped.

In all seriousness, we could not have pulled this conference off as just the core team. There are so many people who helped in ways I didn't even realize I'd need help. Adam handled all the lighting and A/V, and y'all... I am doing my very best to come up with a way to bless him. April and Margaret did all the decor and set the mood. Kara-Kae helped coordinate all the volunteers. Reeve and Chris led one of the most powerful nights of worship I've ever experienced. Brittany and Kirtley straight up handled the Sashes Market. Hannah and her husband Bryce did pretty much everything else. (Hannah even sent me all the pics I used in this post!) And about a million other people I don't have the time to mention.

It was so amazing, and humbling, and crazy awesome to see the holy spirit show up and MOVE. It was incredible to meet the Influence team for the first time. It was awesome to see this whole thing come together in ways I truly never imagined. I am SO excited to read all the recap posts to see just exactly what The Lord is doing with this little conference of ours. I am kind of nervous to write my own heart posts about what The Lord was doing in me at this conference yes that was me ugly crying in the corner during Jessi's ENTIRE session. I am so thankful that I had the privilege of being a part of this weekend.

And PS If you want to make sure you don't miss out next year, although an exact date isnt set (yes, it will be fall.. yes, it will be in Indianapolis) tickets for the 2014 conference ARE already on sale

23 comments:

  1. you did amazing this weekend. & you are so dang funny. obviously that's why people kept handing you the mic.

    love youuuu!

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  2. I loved seeing you and hearing you at the conference. Like I said on twitter, funniest woman! Love your heart girl!!!

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  3. Reading all of these recap posts has been so cool, even though I didn't get to be a part of this. Influence 2014, I'm coming for ya.

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  4. Oh I love you. You did a fantastic job, friend! Everything ran so smoothly and it was FUN and life-giving and beautiful and full of amazing content. Thank you for all your time and for being a beautiful servant. And I guess I set myself up got that one with all the exposing talk ;)

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  5. Sometimes professionalism is overrated. I remember when you first announced that you were going to be conference manager, and I think you did an excellent job of keeping everything running!

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  6. Your time on stage was one of MY highlights of the weekend. You are one funny woman. Seriously, you had us all busting a gut on the regular. We still need to do lunch. ;)

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  7. I know I've told you this about 27 bajillion times, but you ROCKED this weekend. So very proud of all your hard work, and even more honored to call you my friend. Thank you for letting me hug you over and over and over until I smothered you!!!!!!

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  8. You were SO GREAT!!!! I loved getting to chat a bit and of course, I loved all your crazy jokes :) Already excited for next year!

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  9. friend, thank you for NOT being super professional! That would have made it feel too much like we all had to be professional too. You set a perfect example of casual for all of us. You were great. and thanks for having me and for your kind words.

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  10. Loved this conference so much. And you were a highlight...so witty!

    Looking forward to attending next year.

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  11. it was an amazing conference, everyone did a great job. you ladies have beautiful vision and intention and i'll be attending the conference every year that it exists because it is GOOD.

    also, the photo of you on stage wearing that precious baby? love it. that's real life right there.

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  12. I am SO grateful to have met you! I was so nervous coming into the conference and you made me feel right at home : ) Thank you thank you!

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  13. I had every intention of telling you thank you in person for all of your hard work...I plan events for my job and I know how hard it is...so many details! And girl you are so funny! I loved your presence and the humor you shared. :)

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  14. I bet you ROCKED that mic girlie! And I probably would have laughed really hard at that joke...soo...

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  15. Sounds like it was an amazing, God-blessed time!!! I'm pretty sure you and I would get along dandy if we ever met. ;-)

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  16. Friend? You were lovely and endearing and I smiled so big every time you got up to lead us through our time. I felt the sweet spirit of community all weekend. It was wonderful and I'm thankful for you!

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  17. you are the best Ashley. I meant it when I said the conference struck gold when they hired you. Your stage presence is like non other ;) Also, oddly I sort of bonded with your husband (the whole OP thing) which was a surprise because I really felt (still feel like) I shouldn't even know what he looks like! I love that you and I are from some of the same places. Love you girl!

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  18. You are so funny and made me laugh more than once! Love the picture with you and your baby candy!! Super duper dope! Had and amazing time at the conference thank you for all the hard work and prayer and dedication! My life was change!

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  19. I'm so glad you are thriving in this position =) I would think you would be a perfect addition to the stage, you're hilarious! =) I SO hope I can come back next year.

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  20. guuuuurl! love love love you. i just read your post on why you don't do paid advertising. so good. thanks for being so real and honest. that is hard sometimes.

    God is so good. And so gracious. I love that your blog reminds me of that. Hang in there. Keep loving your babies and being such an encouragement to so many. You are beautiful my friend!

    xo

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  21. I'm just now reading these posts...a month later. :) But anyway- you were awesome! Great to meet you. :D

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  22. I am one of the people who followed along on the conference via Twitter and Instagram; although this conference has been on my heart for two years now, I am sad to say that once again, I allowed fear to cheat me of an amazing experience. I've been reading everyone's recaps about the conference and wishing that I was a part of this community. I hope to make it next year and experience the joy and love that I am reading about. (new to your blog, I'm Angie, by the way!)

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