The Relevant Conference :: Session Notes from My Journal

I can't believe it has been two weeks since The Relevant Conference!
The conference was held in Harrisburg, PA in October, the 21st-24th, 

for Christian women who blog. Like me! 
There were 200+ women there- OH! The estrogen!

I have finally settled back in to the routine of home life.
However, I am looking at all I do through different eyes,
listening to my family and friends with brand-new ears,
and waiting on God with an eager and expectant spirit.

As you are reading my notes, are there any thoughts that are meaningful to you? 
If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The sessions that were offered were varied and informative,
here are the ones I attended and the notes I took that were the most compelling to me:

Keeping First Things First
Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom:

1. What are the first things?
Are they first?
If I don't have time for the Lord, I don't have time to blog.

2. Second, is relationship with my husband.
If my blog takes time from him, get it back into balance.

3. Third is my role of mom. If I am not impacting my daughters,
then I am out of balance.

What Does it Mean to Be a Christian Blogger? 
Sally Clarkson, I Take Joy

I am a message maker after God's own heart,
I can't NOT write.

The Word of God is my heritage of writing and Scripture a legacy of righteousness.

I can't give away what I don't possess in my heart.
Integrity comes from living in truth.

It's the living of life, not the writing of it,
that is a ministry to the world.

Balancing Heart Desires With Priorities

Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom:

Uses a virtual assistant because she wanted to free up her home time.
Her Facebook status updates are always a verse from Scripture

Melissa Michaels, The Inspired Room:

Turned off her email notifications, for each time she gets a comment on her blog.
She only takes emails directly form her contact form on her blog.
She only follows 25 people on Twitter.

Serena Woods, Grace is For Sinners:

She schedules times for everything.
Lives life so she has something to blog about.
Suggests Online Stop Watch.
Write an automated email for those times when you need a break, 
that reads something like this:
"Thank you for your comment!
But, in respect of my husband and family, I can't respond like I'd like to just now.
I will read your comment and know that I will pray for you.
If it's an emergency, put EMERGENCY in the header, and write back."

Get back to the basics of homemaking.
Don't look to readers and comments to validate me.
Have friends who don't blog.

Finding God's Purpose for My Blog

Courtney Joseph, Women Living Well
Kristen Welch, We are That Family

I must humble myself and ask God what His will is
And if I am not who I am, in Him, it's fruitless.

There are people waiting on me to say "yes" to God-
they are waiting for me to encourage them.

Find my authentic self and nail it- be that, through and through.
What makes my blog stand out? Become an expert in THAT area.
How do I use my influence to change the world?
This is not my blog, it's His blog. Be peculiar. Unique.
And present something of value.

(I must have felt like doodling!)

Overcoming Obstacles
Sally Clarkson, I Take Joy

What to have in the home everyday: a quiet time and writing about it.

My writing is a sacrifice of praise!

How to have PEACE with a blog in the home.

Purpose: to be faithful to my children and give them a foundation of love and time.
Expect criticism: never listen to good press, never believe bad press.
Accept my limitations. I can't be anyone else or do everything.
Cultivate a heart for God's message. What's my story? Live it.
End well, endure with GRACE attitude.

Boundaries in Blogging
Angie Smith, Bring the Rain

[I am set apart.]

  • Watch what I am reading. Keep my heart safe, well.
  • Rest in ministry that is mine: seek ideas from "put-together" blogs.
  • Have accountability to a friend or several-have them critique/check my heart in my posts.
  • Write from the overflow of a life well-lived.
  • After writing a post, ask myself where I wanna run. To the store? To Jesus?
  • Am I authentic or am I saying things for shock value?
  • As God's bride, I am to wear the ring that he has given me to wear, at all times.
  • Be not pressed between the pages of someone else's scrapbook.

Writing Workshop
Serena Woods, Grace is For Sinners
Bonita Lillie, Encouraging Words for Writers:

  • We are keyboards in God's hands.
  • I can reach the world!
  • Who I am is an instrument.
What is my motivation for writing?
Do I know my audience? Who am I writing to?
Why do they need to hear me?

Does my blog have take-away value?
What does my blog have to do with what Jesus did?

A reader is reading for: "what's in it for me?"
A writer is a minister and mentor to the reader.

Each of my posts is a gift to my readers.
What do blogs give?

What does MY blog give?
Don't give a gift that the reader doesn't expect.

Show, don't tell.
Remove one sense, when writing, to make another stronger.
Use analogies, not clichés.
If there is a check in your spirit before posting, re-read the post and fix it.

My personal after-conference thoughts?

I need to order my day:

1. Time with the Lord.
2. Then family.
3. Then home.
4. Then friends/others.
5. Then my blog.

I will be a good steward of the story of my life and share it.

I think you will find a lot more of me in my writing, from now on.

Thanks for reading what I have to say!

Also, click here to learn about Relevant 2011!


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  1. wow... just found your blog and I love this post. Your notes/thoughts from the conference have touched my heart. What a wonderful perspective to have when blogging - whenther our blogs are instructional, inspirational or simply to share fun experiences there is need for balance and purpose. Lovely, lovely words - thank you!!!

    ~Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

  2. ALL of it is a confirmation of what the Lord has been speaking. Did you notice my fb disappeared? I never had my comments set up to notify me either. I just checked them when I had the free time to blog. Check in the spirit and re-read...frequently. My motivation for writing? The simple joys God brings me on my very own page and the opportunities to encourage others, all of it including my imperfections and weaknesses thrown in the mix.

    This is a very good post. Glad you shared. Blessings!

  3. Great notes! It's easy to get caught up in ministry and forget family. I'm constantly checking with my hubby to see how I'm doing. Thanks for sharing your notes. Somehow I was so caught up in the weekend that I didn't take unlike me ;)

    Take care my friend!
    Love ya!

  4. thanks...I came over from the Relevant linky...this was all such good stuff...I'm behind in all of this because I just really started my writing blog a couple of months ago...and had only heard a little of Relevant and wanted to go, but to quick to work out logistics...anyhow, this is a super main point post as I came over lamenting I missed Relevant and also lamenting that, Lord willing--oh my, what a mess I am, I'll be living overseas as a missionary in Eastern Europe the next Relevant:( and:)


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