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The Influence Blog

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    Here in the network we know that that internet is real, it’s here to stay, and we can use it for good. We know it can be super life giving and it can sometimes feel super draining. We’ve talked about the funnel and we think its really important that as a generation, we remember that the internet is a tool. It can be so easy to see our own words and the words of others in black and white and start to believe that what is on the internet is forever. What we say, how we feel, everything we post, even the way we use the internet can feel so permanent. But it’s not. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.

    Because God’s grace extends to the internet.

    There are seasons in the weather, seasons in our lives, and there can be seasons on the internet. I don’t know what everyone’s online life has looked like, so I can only speak to what it’s looked like for me. I started as many did years ago, as a way to keep far-away-family up to date with our life. But I stumbled across this really beautiful community and this really fun hobby. I wasn’t yet a mother, so I was mostly asking other wives for advice. Eventually, we started having children and the few minutes of time here and there as woman with a job and a thriving social life were replaced with long hours at home alone, with the internet. It was a very internet heavy season and it was just what I needed.

    Because God’s grace extends to the internet.

    Because ladies, the internet breathed life into me. Where there was a very obvious lack of real life community I had a very strong and supportive online community. We were totally immersed in each others lives. There were prayers requested, new life celebrated, losses grieved, careers championed, scripture shared, jokes told, and more than enough “your-not-the-only-ones” passed around. I knew that even though I was alone, I wasn’t alone.

    Because God’s grace extends to the internet.

    I found a voice and even a job. I was regularly posting, sometimes every day. I found that the internet could be a place to grow. We can say what we think, share advice and recipes, and take it back when we find something better. Sure, our words are in black and white and we can look back on them, but it doesn’t have to be like we are reading an encyclopedia. We can look at our words and the words of others quite literally as one’s walk with the Lord. How they felt, what they thought, opinions they held firmly, words they typed almost in a whisper, even if they’re not believers, we can map out the beautiful work The Lord is doing in someone’s life.

    Because God’s grace extends to the internet.

    Sometimes we can succumb to comparison- social media can cause us to feel like we aren’t doing it right. We can even start to think there is a certain way we have to use the internet. We must make money, we must post X amount of times. We hang out with our real life friends and we make sure to post it because #thishappened. But the truth is, if you are walking in obedience to The Lord, there is no “right” way to be online.

    Because God’s grace extends to the internet.

    I walk along side this awesome network of women and serve with this eclectic team of women and  I see us all using the internet in different ways.   I see Lindsey curating beautiful and practical content. Hayley is putting her whole heart and family behind it and launching an ethically made clothing line. Moriah uses the internet to connect with other mother’s and women in her life stage. Jessi uses the internet in #allthethings to support her family, church plant, and partner with other ministries through writing, speaking and her shop. Rachael uses the internet as a resource to inspire women in making much of Jesus, right where they are. I myself am funneling way down and stepping back a little, because it’s what’s right for my family right now. And all of us are using the internet right.

    Because God’s grace extends to the internet.

    Take a little time to think about what the internet means to you and where Gods’ grace is extending to you through the internet. Is this a heavy internet season or is God calling you to something else? We would love to walk through this with you next month during the conference weekend. We aren’t just hosting another blogging conference. With the life track and the strategy track, there is something for everyone. This is your last weekend to purchase tickets. Join us, wont you?

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    Ladies, we are SO excited. The Influence Conference is exactly one month from today! We can’t wait to reconnect with old friends and see all of the new faces! We know God is using Influence (so humbling) and we are thrilled to see what He does this year!!

    This is the absolute last week to purchase tickets to the conference, so if you haven’t snagged yours yet, make sure you do! We made the decision not to limit how many tickets we sell and accommodate as many of you that can come instead! But we have to cut off ticket sales on September 1! We can’t offer any more discounts but our #influencenet network members will still receive their discount up until the last day! So August 31st is the last day to purchase a ticket to this year’s conference. You can purchase a ticket HERE!

    If you’ve already purchased your ticket, great! Make sure you book your room at The Westin Indianapolis through THIS LINK to get a special discounted rate! We have a group of rooms blocked off for just our attendees! 

    Also, we have time blocked out during the conference between 4:45-5:45pm on Saturday for regional and community meetups. We’d love you to take this time to peruse the booths, mingle with sponsors, or form your own meetups based on influence small groups, the region you live in, or common interest. Feel free to send out an all call in the forums and on social media using the #influenceconf hashtag. Click HERE for a full conference schedule.

    Speaking of, our forums an the #influenceconf hashtag are the two bet ways to connect to other attendees, both before and during the conference. The best part about having the year round network is that NO ONE needs to show up feeling like they haven’t connected with anyone yet.

    Remember, the conference edition if the influence magazine comes out the week of September 15 with a map of the hotel, local restaurants, items being sold  in the Sashes Market, fun outfit suggestions for the Black and White Party with Mocha Club and much much more! This is an awesome and fun resource for not just attendees but anyone who’d love a mini-conference experience from home, so keep an eye out.

    Remember, this is YOUR conference (<– if you have’t read that post, you should!). We want you to take ownership of your weekend. The Lord is building it and the glory is all His. We want it to be a time of growth, both within our community and in our personal relationship with The Lord. Join us, won’t you?

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    The Influence Network

    It’s easy to look at women online and see only a glossy exterior. Maybe the photos and words seem glamorous. When daily life is full, hectic, and downright normal, maybe you wonder how she can do all those things. How does she think those big thoughts or dream up something new or inspire so many followers? Her life can’t possibly be as gritty, messy, lonely, or real, as yours.

    When the Influence Core Team began, I was just barely blogging on a brand new site. I had hopes of connecting with this group of phenomenal women I had watched on the #influenceconf hashtag during the very first conference, and a blog seemed the best route to take. I am a quiet soul, so I had nervously put my foot forward and introduced myself on social media. I’ll be honest and tell you, I looked at all the other girls on the core team and told my husband I had no idea why I was included after seeing how many followers each of them had. Surprisingly, I could connect with these seeming online giants on so many levels, and their daily lives were shockingly similar to mine. Just because they blogged didn’t mean they didn’t have struggles, heartaches, messes, and children’s temper tantrums to work through. They used their voice, and people listened.

    I have found the same thing to be true for myself. As I kept writing down my stories and words, I connected with a beautiful group of friends. Thanks to two years with the network, my writing, photos, and blog design improved. I wrote, and people began to listen. My job as content manager is a fairly behind-the-scenes role, which often involves sending 100 emails to help keep the network running smoothly and generating fresh, beautiful content through all our different avenues. My goal is to highlight other women, who are doing big, brave, fresh things in the kingdom, and tell their stories well. I like this quiet role, and I’m grateful other gals on our team are comfortable with handling a microphone with ease or writing big, gutsy posts.

    Over roughly two years, the platform of Influence has launched our entire team into something far bigger than any of us could do on our own. I’m grateful and genuinely humbled to stand in front of you as a leader in this community.  I still find it surreal that any words I have written could be read by thousands of people. The Internet is certainly a powerful tool to quickly communicate ideas. The fact that people have followed us, joined in the work, and stepped up as leaders, is all God’s work.

    None of us are known because we are extraordinary on our own. I fail, I forgive, I need Jesus desperately, and at the end of each day, I hope to have loved well. So, I take this online work seriously. I believe this work, my small role, can take a tool, which I once despised because of the damage it can cause, and use it for incredible good. But I also know that as soon as I stop writing this post, I will go back to a very ordinary life. My most lasting influence continues to be in the quiet bits, sharing a meal with friends, holding hands late at night, creating a home for my family, thumbing through the pages of my Bible, and sitting in the pews on Sunday morning.

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