Wow! What a weekend.
Hopefully you have made it home, gotten some rest (I got Mother of the Year Award when I came home after the 2013 conference, but more about that later) and started to decompress from the weekend.
Conferences, like Allume, are bound to leave you with much to process and digest over the next few days and weeks. But where do you even begin? To get you started, in a way that isn’t too overwhelming, I encourage you to start working through these action steps. When you do something practical like this, amazingly you will start to process as well. Funny how that works. Have fun!!
1: Get social
Go through all of your business cards. Like and follow the people you met this weekend. It’s ok if they don’t write a blog you will read regularly. The point is to network. Down the road, weeks, or even months, from now, someone is going to ask you a question, or need some information that you can provide via your Allume sisters. Be ready because this weekend wasn’t the end of the divine appointments. They just keep coming. Don’t miss ’em.
2: Review your notes
Write them out if you need to. Type them up and store them in your computer. Print them out. Put them in a section of your blogging notebook so that you can review them in the months to come. I guarantee that something you heard and took note of this weekend will be desperately needed in the coming days. Besides that, I’ll bet you can’t remember what you wrote last Thursday night. Go back and check it out.
3: Unpack your books
Put the books you received on a shelf near your bed or desk. You won’t be able to read them all right now, but over the next year, ask the Lord to direct you to the ones He wants you to read. Some will be great. Some, perhaps not as meaningful. But, in that swag bag is at least one thing that you need to read. And if you ask Him, He will show you when you need to read it.
4: Support a cause
If you already have a cause, you are ahead of the game. If not, go through the materials you received either in your bag or at one of the sponsor tables and find a cause that you can support and champion on your site. Pray about your involvement. Keep in mind that it might not even be for you, but for one or more readers who visit your site. Believe it or not, buttons can save lives. Don’t cheat anyone out of their dreams because you are overwhelmed with what we learned about this weekend. Make your blog a conduit for what the Lord is doing around the globe.
5: Keep in touch
You are no longer a newbie!! Yay for you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep in touch with the people you met and even the ones you didn’t from the weekend. Keep talking, encouraging, praying for and supporting one another. Comment on one another’s posts, retweet, pin and show the love. As you do your community will grow and who doesn’t want that?
6: Reach out
Hopefully this weekend showed you that there are a lot of bloggers, a lot of voices and a lot of opportunities to reach others in unique and varied ways. It is also an opportunity to reach out to either a keynote speaker or session speaker that you heard. Send them a note, encourage them, let them know how they touched you, ask a question. It’s time to move on from being star-struck to being part of the community as a whole. Yes, even Ann Voskamp. As I reminded my girls this weekend, she puts her chonies on one leg at a time, just like you.
You took in a lot of information this weekend. It may take weeks to process everything you heard and did. Start praying now, that the Lord will remind you of the things you need. Ask him to help you as you review your notes, count on Him to give you what you got from the weekend, exactly when you need it. He’s so cool like that.
8: Share what you know
For all of the girls who were able to attend Allume there were many more who were unable to attend, for whatever reason. Share what you learned with others through your blog. Whether it’s your notes or your thoughts or your ideas, be sure to share them with your readers so that the light of Allume keeps burning bright. The information will be useless if you do not share it.
9: Accept your limitations
There were a lot of sponsors and speakers and groups and ideas flying around this weekend. If you are anything like me, your heart was tugged by all of them. Your new dream might be to support every orphan, every mission, every ministry and every project. But you can’t. No on can. That’s the beauty of it. We all have a part to play but none of us can do everything. God didn’t create us to do it all. He just wants us to do our part, however big and however small. So accept your limitations. Be ok with it. Because He is.
10: Be thankful
Attending Allume is a blessing. I, for one, have been very grateful that I was able to leave behind my everyday life, even just for a weekend, and spend time in community with other women who love Jesus and blogging, in that order. Totally awesome! Be overflowing with gratitude this week as you get back into the swing of kids, homeschooling, work, meal planning and laundry. Love on your people and remember that God is good. All the time.
I wish you all the best in your reintroduction into real life. Mine came the morning after I got home, when I woke up to find my youngest had hurled all over the floor. I asked him why he didn’t wake me up. His response was, “I tried. You wouldn’t wake up.” That’s right, Mom of the Year, right here. The kids were even shaking me and I was just too tired to wake up. You know, I partially blame my roommates for this. We just had too much fun. My funny bone now needs a 12-step recovery program. Oh well, I can only get better from here right?
Ok, now go out there and ROCK!