***Warning, this is a LONG post :)***

I wasn’t even planning on writing a post about last week… probably my laziness kicking in right there… but as I was reading other women’s posts, talking about their experience, I felt called to do the same this morning. Nothing about this blog post was planned… I just sat down and started typing. The speakers from last week had some powerful words and if me typing them out and getting real with all of you for a little can hit home to even one person then this blog post was worth it.

Where do I even begin…

Two years ago I watched through facebook and instagram as 100 and some women got ready to experience the Pursuit31 conference for the very first time. I dreamed of the day that I would be sitting there among these amazing women. Little did I know that God had plans for me to be there the following year. Last December I talked to a close girlfriend of mine, Sara, about this amazing photography conference full of christian women and asked if she would be interested in flying to Georgia with me that following October. She said YES, and so the planning began.

Sara and I just got home on Friday from this amazing conference and it was more than I ever could have expected. For as long as I can remember God has laid on my heart that I was made for something greater… greater than waking up every morning and doing the same old routine… greater than just being that Sunday Christian… I was made for something bigger than the life I’m living. You would think that since God has laid this on my heart for many years now that my life would be some big adventure full of amazing stories of how God is using me to touch others lives, but you know what… I’m a stubborn child, always have been… just ask my mother, and as much as God tells me to live greater, I look at him and agree yet sit and do nothing. I think I’m finally getting the message though. Everything in life right now is screaming at me that I was placed here for far greater things than I can even imagine, if I only allow God to work through me despite my fears or laziness. From the series that our church, LCBC, is doing right now called Greater, to every single speaker at Pursuit31… each one preached this topic loud and clear. Coincidence… I think not.

As I’m home again, I’m just trying to wrap my head around everything that was spoken to me this past week. It was a lot to take in and I’m so glad I took notes. I’m going to leave you with some of the statements that hit home the most for me.

Karen Stott – Founder of Pursuit31

   – “Do the best that you can, with what you have now, right where you are.”  

I needed to hear this… so many times I get caught up in the “well we can’t start helping there because this isn’t in place yet, we don’t have enough money yet, or we don’t have enough time yet.” We need to start doing the best that we can with what we already have, right where we are NOW!

Bob Goff – Author of Love Does

   – “Love God, Love people, Do stuff!”

     – “We have to START good things for Him to finish good things”

     – “What if we stopped DOING loving things for one another and BECAME love instead”

     – “Do you want to just keep agreeing with God or do you want to do stuff?”

Bob told a story about how he was once flying his small plane and as he was activating the landing gear for landing he noticed that only 2 of the 3 green lights came on, indicating that only 2 out of the 3 wheels were down. Meaning, he might have to land the plane without the front wheel… It was dark outside but he asked the guy in the control tower to watch as he flew by to see if he could see the front wheel. Bob flew by several times but it was too dark for the controller to see if the front wheel was down… it came to a point where Bob had to land his plane no matter how many green lights he had. It turns out that his front wheel was down the whole time and it was just a small light bulb that needed replaced…. but the point Bob made with this story was how many green lights do we need before we land our planes. We all have different planes, but lets strive to land them… no matter how many green lights we have.

Promise Tangeman – Creator of SITEHOUSE Designs

 – “If we are just doing art for art sake or business for business sake we are missing the point”

     – ” What if it was not just business to get rich but business to bless?” 

Can I get an Amen!

Lara Casey – Founder of Making Things Happen and Southern Weddings Magazine

Lara was one of my favorite speakers… she pushed all of us to new limits and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when she was done.

 – “No where in the Bible does it say to follow YOUR dreams…it says to follow HIM”

 – “The goal is not happiness, it’s His glory”  In his glory you will find happiness…

 – “Your playing small does not serve the world”  This hit me hard…

 – “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”  Both Mike and I need to live outside of our comfort zones way more than we are.

 – “You can’t bring everyone to Jesus, but you can bring Jesus to everyone” 

Lara and her team, Emily and Gina, held a mini Making Things Happen conference with all of us. If you have never heard of this look it up and go to one… you won’t regret it.

Hannah Brencher – Founder of the World Needs More Love Letters

I had no idea who Hannah was before she stood up to speak but man did she rock my world. This girl has a heart for God and his people that is so inspiring to me.

 – “May God bless me with enough foolishness to believe that I can make a difference in the world, so that I can do what others claim cannot be done.”

This was her last slide from her speech…

Tonight I want to leave you with some of the questions I’ve been asking myself this week:
 
What are you so afraid of? Has He ever let you down before? What makes you think
He will? Where are you getting your perceptions from? Who let you down that you
can’t let go of yet? Who told you that you couldn’t be salt? Who told you should not be
light, pouring through the cracks of darkness in this world? Who told you not to be
the girl on fire?
 
And then hear God speak through the mess of those questions. Hear Him whisper:
I made you for my good. You are not junk. You are not rubbish. You are not second best. You are
not used goods. I made you for dancing—for words too eloquent to say with more than a
whispered voice—for tinsel delicately strewn on the branches of baby evergreens—for icing,
thick and sugared on the tops of every little thing you touch.
You… You… Every bit of you is precious cargo. I can’t stand to see you dance so hard in a world
that doesn’t understand just what it took to make you.
You are my salt. You are my light. You are my passion live out loud. You are my mustard seed,
my little pencil. I gave you the melody, the pitch and tone was made perfect for you. Don’t you
come to me without having sung your song.
 
Is anyone else in tears after reading that?!
 
Mary talked about when God says “Wait”…
She spoke about how we all get caught up in striving… striving to be more successful,  striving to have more money and the list goes on. She touched on how we always seem to get caught up in someone else’s dream… someone else’s definition of success… She talked about how we get caught up in the problem of more… more money, more stuff, more things. “But the problem with more is that it’s NEVER enough. We become so immune to what we already have.”
 
She had us all open our hands and she reminded us that it’s much easier to give a gift to an open hand… I sat there thinking how many gifts have I missed from God because I wasn’t willing to just unclench my fists from whatever it was that I was holding onto.
She ended with:
There is a difference between waiting vs wishing
and striving vs acting
 
Katelyn spoke about allowing God into your business… handing over what is already his. God knew just what I needed to hear from Him this past week. This is something I struggle with on a daily bases. I know He will take care of Mike and I but do I really BELIEVE it?!
     – “Everyone wants to be known… it’s not about how known you are but about what we do with being known.”
 
     – “If I want to do anything impressive, God has to be apart of it.” 
 
     – “We are not here to just make money and die.”
 
 
 
This past week was more than I could have ever imagined… I thought I was going there to learn about better posing techniques and how to create a better brand for my business but I left with much greater things than that. Sorry about the long post. I just couldn’t sum up the week in a small paragraph. I hope if you took the time to read through it, that something the speakers talked about hit home to you as it did me. Let’s go DO STUFF people! We were all made for far GREATER things!
Thank you to all of the amazing sponsors at this year’s conference!
 
Epiphanie | Think Tank | Kelly Moore Bags | JoTotes | LowePro | FotoStrap | Black Rapid | The Organic Bloom | ProPhoto Blog | Justin & Mary | Jeremy Cowart | Michelle Moore | Ashley Barnett Mitchell (Jen + Ashley) | Hannah Brencher | Jasmine Star |Galer.ee | Beautiful Photo Props | Kraft & Jute | MyPhotoApp | SiteHouse Design |Southern Wedding Magazine | Totally Rad Actions | Blogstomp | Fiducia | Bob Goff |Gina Zeidler | Katelyn James | Denim + Grace Magazine | Chic Critique Forum | L&S Lockets (Lukas & Suzy VanDyke) | The Mason Bar Company | PASS | Pixifi | Jordanne Marie Paper and Design Boutique | Mandipidy Art & Design | Daane Promotional Products 
To find out more about Pursuit31:
     – Conference website – http://conference.pursuit31.com/

 – Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Pursuit31

 

Pursuit31…

  1. You are a good note taker!! I’ll have to come review these again later. hehe :) So glad you were able to make it this year!! xoxo

  2. Erin says:

    I’m bookmarking this page so I can refer back to this! I kept wishing I had more notes and well, now I do. :) Thanks for sharing your story and what spoke to you!

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