clinging to the truth

I sit with a very heavy heart tonight and attempt to put words on this screen. I think I've hit the delete button about 20 times. It's just so hard to form words when your heart is breaking. Precious Diana, a sweet online friend, said goodbye to her baby boy Kaden last night as he went home to be with Jesus. He joins his brothers. 3 babies she has now lost. I can't fathom the pain, I can't grasp the devastation.  All I can cling to during a time like this is the truth. The truth is: God is still on the throne and He is still good. Although we may be angry and not understand, we simply have to cling to that truth. This is a time to grieve with our friend. For this fellow mama, daddy & big sister. Tonight I was hugging my 3yo so tightly after I heard the news, and as I cried she asked me what was wrong. I couldn't imagine having to tell her she would never see one of her baby sisters again. That precious Bella will not see her brothers until they reunite in heaven. My heart aches for her so badly.

Lets join the thousands in covering this family in prayer. We grieve as they grieve.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15

I you would like to make a donation to the Stone family to help cover all the added costs over the last few weeks and to come, please do so here.

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I just love the pictures that Ounces of Hope captured. What a blessing it will be to have these to remember the joy and the pain of those few weeks with their Kaden.

planning for influence

mom+bloggerI've been praying over and preparing for my upcoming workshop I will be leading at The Influence Conference next month (eeeeek, next month!!! can I get an AMEN!?!?!). I feel like the Lord has put a huge responsibility on me for what I will be sharing and a huge burden on my heart for the moms of the Influence Network. I have a passion for seeing moms thrive (shameless plug!!), and I'm thrilled out of my mind that I will be able to share all that God has put on my heart with these ladies at the conference. My workshop is called "Mom+Blogger: the balancing act". Doing the two things really is a balancing act, is it not? Balance on so many levels: in deciding boundaries with blogging, finding the time to intentionally pour into it and really make an impact on the "mom blogging" community.

So, today I want to hear YOUR thoughts. Let's pretend we are sitting at a coffee shop together and you have my undivided attention.

What are some questions you would ask about balance, privacy, sharing your story, boundaries, etc. in "mommy blogging"? 

 

join me at Influence?

Hi friends. I want to chat with you about something today. Something very near and dear to my heart. I'm always talking about The Influence Network and The Influence Conference, but how about we go a bit deeper on that subject today? I really want you to join me. I want you to know why this community is important to me and why you should be a part of it.

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Why Influence? There are hundreds, maybe millions (probably not, but who's counting?!), of blogging conferences to choose from. There are a lot of things you can get from different conferences. I think you could probably choose from a number of great conferences and walk away with a wealth of knowledge and a new love for blogging. So what sets Influence a part for me? It's about Jesus. It's about community. I feel cherished for doing what I'm called to do.

Why should YOU go? Blogging is about more than you. It's more than stats and making money.  It's more than a number of comments, likes and shares. It's about something deeper. Once you know and believe you have an influence online, thats why you should be at Influence. You should be there because you want to make MUCH of Jesus and make it less about you. (ps. spoiler alert, but I'll be teaching a workshop too so you can add that to your list of reasons why you should go. WINK!!!)

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Since most of us are moms around here, let's talk about a few lies that typically keep a busy mom from going to a conference (or even to the grocery store!).

LIE ONE: I need to focus on my kids right now, not me. 

Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, LIES! This is a major struggle for me. I tell myself constantly that it should NEVER be about me and it should always be about my family. But do you know what happens when I do that? I hit rock bottom, I break and I'm worse off for my family. You need a break. You need to focus on you. Should I write that in all caps so you understand it? YOU NEED A BREAK. You will be a better you if you take a few days away to focus on your passions.

LIE TWO: It's selfish to spend money on something like this when I need to buy diapers & school supplies. 

Let me share a little story with you. Last year I jumped on board to be a part of this brand new conference and I knew that God had a big plan for me and for this community of women. So, with no idea how I would pay for it, I said yes. I prayed over how I would make it happen and in ONE DAY I made $700 to go to the conference. In one day. And I'm not some big famous blogger that typically makes a ton of money! But I knew that if I gave it over to the Lord, he would provide just like He always promises He will. And I still had enough for a few boxes of diapers to leave with my hubby while I was gone!

LIE THREE: I won't fit in. I don't know how to be me without my kids connected to me.

Just quit that right now. You are a beautiful, creative, brilliant, amazing woman created in the image of a perfect God. You were made for community. I know how hard it can be to shift from ABC's to adult conversation, but you NEED this. You need this community. You will not know how you were even on the internet before it!!! My entire outlook on blogging and online community shifted after The Influence Conference. I am a better mom, blogger, friend and follower of Christ because of this experience.

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Stop believing the lies that may keep you from being there. I promise those lies will come. If you want to make more of Christ and be an influence for Him, there will be obstacles in your path. Ignore the lies and know that this will be an amazing experience for you. I had a HUGE takeaway from last year, that resulting in me teaming up with one of my blogging besties to start a ministry focused on encouraging moms! You never know what God has in store for you, sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith!

Just get there, ok? I can't wait to hug you!  

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Go To Influence Giveaway!

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Last October I took a trip to Indianapolis that completely rocked my world. I walked in only knowing a handful of friends, and walked away with a family. There was no doubt in my mind that I had found my place. I had found my voice on the internet. I knew that I had a huge influence to my people. In the time since then I have started a new ministry that has been amazing. God has done a huge work in my heart and in my life. Some of my best friends in the world are women I have met through Influence Network.

This is something you HAVE to be a part of. And the good news, we want you there SO bad.

There is a majorly huge, awesome, amazing (and other large expressive words) giveaway going on today for The Influence Conference!! I mean, hold on to your hats ladies...this is a good one.

Deep breath...here are the prizes: 

prizes

An Influence Conference Ticket ($225 value) $250 Airline Voucher 2 Nights at the Westin Hotel ($250 value) Better Life Bags Brynnda Bag ($165 value) $50 Sashes Market Gift Voucher Lifetime Membership to The Influence Network ($200)

See. I told you it was good stuff.

One amazingly lucky winner will get the full Influence Conference Experience for FREE.

After you pick your chin up off the floor, enter below to win! I hope to see you there!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

where I come from {an influence net link up}

I come from a place of community. A place where you take cookies to your neighbors and wave at the passing car. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma where everyone knows everyone. There are good and bad things about that. I couldn't wait to get out of that little town, but looking back it wasn't so bad. I had a great childhood and have really wonderful memories! Edmond

Now my family and I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. We have lived here for about 2.5 years (we lived in CA and TX before that) I love this city! It's basically stay at home mom central. There's a good chance that Edmond is the "be fruitful and multiply" capital of the world. I have made some wonderful friends and it's really starting to feel like home. I love my church and being able to raise my kids in a state that makes really good sweet tea. The important things in life!

How about a flashback picture just for funsies? This is from college, I went to Oklahoma State University. Absolutely loved it!

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What I really love about Oklahoma is the people. You all know about the tornados that hit recently, and it's been amazing to watch everyone pull together to make a difference. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch something this devastating happen to our state again. Now that I'm a mom, it was even harder for me to watch. People lost their homes, their children, everything.

Even though it's been horrific, people all over the world have seen what kind of people Okies are. Kind, generous and wonderful people.

It's an honor to be an Okie!

Where are you from?? What's something you love about where you live?