Before Declare Conference, There was Mamas Write
Two years ago, in August 2011, I walked into my 1st blog conference. Ever.
Scared. Okay, terrified. Insecure. Feeling out of place and sure I didn’t belong.
Who was I to be going to a blog conference? Yes, I had a blog, but no huge following. Yes, I had a blog, but I only posted once a week. I felt like a fraud, intruding on an event meant for “real” bloggers.
What I experienced there changed me forever. I was welcomed with open arms and learned I didn’t have to fit into a certain mold. I learned that God
could does have a purpose for me and my blog, however small. And most importantly, I learned this:
God doesn’t call the equipped.
God equips those He has called.
Two years later, I confidently call myself a blogger. In fact, part of the purpose God had in store for me was to become part of the team for that same conference. Once upon a time, it began as Mamas Write. This year, in it’s 3rd year, it has grown to a full fledged conference called Declare.
Declare Conference – To Know God and Make Him Known
People everywhere are asking me “How was it?” and “What did you learn?” and those questions are so much tougher than you’d expect to find words to answer. You see, God showed up in a really big way at Declare Conference this year. Huge. In every way we had hoped, imagined, and prayed for, and in a thousand ways we didn’t expect. How do you sum up the Glory of God in mere words? Words are inadequate for a heart this full.
What I learned at Declare Conference 2013:
- God is good. That whole ‘greater than anything we could ask or imagine’ thing? TRUTH.
- When God moves, He goes all out. ALL out. I was pretty much speechless all day Friday. All I could say was, ‘LOOK at what GOD has done.’
- I am not afraid to speak in public. (When did THAT happen?!)
- God is good.
- There is never enough time to talk to all your friends, and make the connections you want to. There is always someone who you missed because time ran out. (If that was you, I’m so sorry!)
- I am not alone. Rather, I am surrounded by sisters both in real life and online. Truly blessed.
- Denise J. Hughes, Meredith Duke, and Traci Veek have amazing hearts to serve and pray. Thank you ladies, for lifting us up all weekend. We are grateful for you!
- God has a purpose for me, a job for me. (And to be honest, it’s a little scary to wonder where exactly He plans to take me in the next few years, so I’m going to just focus on now, and see where He leads. Deep breath. He equips those He calls, remember?)
- God is good.
- Heather MacFadyen needs to be a speaker y’all. I could listen to her preach all day!
- Witnessing the intimate huddles of spontaneous prayer in the hallways and ballroom was one of the most poignant and beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.
- God uses us, our pain, our weaknesses to minister to others in similar circumstances.
- God is good.
- Our Declare Community ROCKS.
- Accepting help is a sign of strength and leadership, not weakness. If someone volunteers to help you, let her!
- Hospitality and old fashioned customer service DO still exist in the world. Thank you, Ricky Hawkins and Dallas Marriott Las Colinas! (And a special Shout Out to Jose! thanks for the coffee to go with our creamer!)
- I should have learned how to delegate years ago. Such an easy, fun and useful skill!
- Eryn Hall has a beautiful ability to bring to life the vision she created for Declare. Thank you, Eryn, you amaze me!
- God is SO into details. When you realize just how much the littlest details intertwine…. breathtaking.
- I don’t need to wait for permission from anyone. God has already granted me permission when He placed the call on my heart. (Whoa. That one messed with me for a good long while, y’all.)
- Kristin Lemus is a beacon of calm, with a heart that rests deeply in God. It’s a quiet presence that exudes peace. Beautiful.
- I can talk to Jeff Goins and Mary DeMuth without running away. (ask me about it sometime.)
- I am not the same girl I was two years ago. I am a radically new creation. Still getting used to that truth.
- Bloggy friends are the best. It’s so nice to have someone understand you!
- I am brave. Confident. Courageous. Strong. Powerful. A Daughter of the One True King.
- I am a writer. Even more importantly, I am a LEADER.
- God is good.
Thank you again to everyone who came out to support Declare Conference and make it such a wild success. From our sponsors and speaker to our attendees and volunteers… we couldn’t have done it without you, and we’re so thankful God brought us together. Thank you for helping us Know God and Make Him Known!
To God be the Glory!
If you were there too, we hope you’ll tell us about your personal experience at Declare! Who did you meet? What message spoke to your heart? What is God calling you to DECLARE? Link up and share your Declare Conference recap posts here.
If you weren’t there, and maybe are stopping by for Thought Provoking Thursday, I hope you’ll pop over and see how God moved in hearts & lives at Declare 2013.
Thanks to everyone who shared pics in the #DeclareConf stream on Instagram. So grateful to you for sharing Declare through your eyes!