How God is Using NOT Going to Influence Conference to Grow Me

Fall seems to have hit full force this week at least on the East Coast. My day has been full of soup in the crock pot and folding laundry with the windows open. It's also been full of checking Instagram and feeling a slight pang every time I see the #influenceconf. This is the third year of the conference and once again I am watching it from my computer. 

Four month ago just days after my 30th birthday I sat down at the computer with money in my bank account ready to buy my conference ticket. Josh had recently been promoted at work and for the first time in our marriage money wasn't really an issue. And yet, for some reason I couldn't explain it just didn't feel right. I talked it over and over with my husband, he was all for me going, but didn't want me to go if I felt uneasy. I desperately wanted to be there this year but couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong.

Fast forward to the end of August. My husband went into work one day and called me a few hours later. For reasons totally out of his control his position in the company had been down sized. Thankfully they were able to find him a different position in the company but it mean additional hours and a pay cut.

As I sit at home today watching woman across the country prepare for Influence Conference my heart hurts a little bit. But, I understand why I am not there. Last month our lives tipped sideways and we are still recovering a bit. I know if I were trying to get ready to leave town and getting ready to get on a plane and travel nine hours away from my family it just wouldn't feel right. I know I wouldn't be able to enjoy this weekend if I was there because I would be worried about our families finances. I know God protected me and my family when He put that nagging feeling in my heart back in May.

I desperately, selfishly want to be at the conference this weekend. My soul yearns to be surrounded by like minded women and to be encouraged and motivated in my passions. But more than that I want to be where God has called me to be. And today, He has called me to be home. This isn't an easy "yes" to say but it is the right "yes".

I want to be go to Influence Conference. I wish I could say that if God wants me home that's where I would rather be. I am not sure I can say that. Maybe wanting to be able to say that is enough for now. I know this, I know that NOT being at Influence Conference is what God wants for me this year. Not being at Influence Conference was His was of protecting me this year.

Maybe being ok right where I am is a lesson I need to learn, before He can teach me other ones.

Every Day Beauty

I was reading a friend's blog today when I was hit with a pang of jealousy. Not of anything she has, but simply a moment of "why can't my story be more like that"? It was a silly passing thought, but one that I am sure hits most of us more often than we would like.

Because there are nights like tonight when the notes home from school aren't what you would hope, when the toddler is sick, when home work is met with blank faces, when the toddler refuses dinner but eats cat food. Because nights like that it makes it hard to see the beauty in your own life.

We are in a stretching season right now. A season that has me so exhausted at the end of the day that looking for and finding the beauty in my life is a bit challenging. But the beauty is there, I just have to look for it.

A beautiful gift from a stranger. 

A chance to actually enjoy a local festival as a family. 

More time studying my Bible in a new way. 

Waking up to this happy face every day. 

Here is to finding beauty in the every day.