influence conference 2014 recap

influence conf recap picThis past weekend I attended the Influence Conference. A conference for Christian women who desire to use their lives to influence those online, in their community, in their homes and at work. Some of the ladies were bloggers, some were small business owners, some were stay at home mommas and many worked outside the home. We all came together under one roof to find refreshment and seek encouragement to live out the lives God has called us to live in our sphere of influence.

The weekend was so good, but it was also hard. I had to confront my heart junk. I told Ellen Parker on Friday morning after a session that I was “learning to get over myself” because I wasn’t able to give my 100% attention to the speakers and I felt so dang tired from having a baby who was trying to adjust to a 3 hour time difference. She spoke some wise words over me in that moment. She said, “Sarah, we are all learning to get over ourselves this weekend. We are all coming to this weekend with some sort of baggage or distraction. Some of our distractions are physical and some of our distraction are in our heart. You are here and you will soak up just what God wants you to hear.”

And she was right.

Throughout those 3  days my mind was flooded with thoughts and heart pricks. I knew it was going to take me a few days to let the dust settle. Even though the dust is still settling there are a few things that have come to light over the past 2 days of being home.


God hates my kingdom. He loves His Kingdom. And God loves it when I build His kingdom. Those words from Jessi Connolly pierced my heart (if you haven’t checked her out, do it now! That woman is the real deal). Hearing her words drove home for me as God revealed to me that I am building my own little kingdom. A kingdom where I keep a pretty house (kind of), do all the wifey things I’m supposed to, serve at church, persevere in our adoption and mother Naomi. All of these things are so good, but it’s so easy to let those things start to become mine and not the Lord’s. I look at it all and say, “Look what I did for God.” But really, God is wanting to come alongside of me in my day-to-day moments and whisper in my ear, “Look what I’m doing in your life. Give me the glory. Isn’t this amazing! Give me the praise and your heart will be at rest.”  God doesn’t want or need me to work for His approval or the approval of man, I already have His approval. He wants me to be overwhelmed by His love and operate out of His grace.

So this truth leaves me asking the question, what does it look like for me to build God’s kingdom in my home? I’m still working through that answer, but one thing I know is that I want to love my people well. I want to remember that changing diapers, washing dishes and listening to and supporting my husband’s dreams is His Kingdom work.

And one other thing about this weekend’s conference was that it was confirmed that the women of Thrive Moms are the real deal. They served the mommas so well through offering a Mom’s Suite filled with chocolate, water, bumbos, swings, diapers and many arms to hold babies. I was able to find amazing community in their mom’s suite and also give Naomi quiet break from the crowds of people….who am I kidding, it gave me a break from the noise 🙂 I was so blessed by Amy and Kendahl when they told me to go to a session by myself while Naomi was sleeping so I could have a little alone time. It was such a gift! If you are a mom and are longing for community, check out Thrive Moms, an online community desiring to empower imperfect moms with His perfect Grace.


If you’ve been on the fence about joining the Influence Network, get off that fence and join now! They are an amazing group of ladies that I am honored to be a part of. I’m hoping and praying that it works out for me and you to attend next year! Mark your calendars for September 17-19th in Indianapolis!


  1. So enjoyed getting to know you!!! 🙂

  2. It’s so funny how God uses the same situation to bless people differently. I was beyond honored and blessed by the gift to get to love on little Naomi. I’m the one who should be thanking you for allowing me the chance to sit and process and serve. (Not to mention little N was a complete heartbreaker with those giggles!) loved getting to know you – I’ve been and will continue to share your story and pray for your family in this time of waiting. Xoxo kendahl

  3. Sarah, it was great running into you all over the place all weekend. Naomi is precious & I pray the goodness from the conference continues to work wonders in your life!

  4. jennymarrsphotography says:

    Sounds like an incredible weekend! I love the takeaways…such good reminders in my day to day life. Building His kingdom through my daily work. And I love that you and Naomi were loved on so well!

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