The moment when blogs stopped being just this thing online and started being a vital part of my life escapes me. Maybe it wasn’t a moment; maybe it was a gradual thing. Waxing poetic about how blogs have changed my life is a regular occurrence. And, thanks to the Influence Conference this weekend . . . well, the waxing poetic isn’t about to stop any time soon.
Sometimes, building this online life gets a little lonely. Social media is sometimes billed as a great connector and yeah, it is. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s just me and the laptop and a handful of crickets chirping.
But post-Influence, I know with great certainty that I am not alone.
There are women in my corner. These women have big hearts and gave big hugs. They offered big encouragement in some of the darkest areas of my life. With these women, I shared both laughter and tears.
Every woman I met was in the midst of doing great things. Professionally, personally, online and offline . . . breaking ceilings right and left. To call them my friends? My real life friends? Oh, what a privilege! My heart swells and tears fill my eyes. (Tears as I write this. Really.)
If I could shout-out to all 250-ish women, I would. But gosh . . . Heather, Christina, Mary, Amber, Tammy, Annie, Therese, Emily . . . and if I didn’t link to you, you know who you are!! . . . thank you for listening and for loving and for sharing and for connecting. Every woman I met encouraged me as a blogger, a writer, an entrepreneur, a wife and most of all, a child of God. Your stories and your lives warmed my heart. In just 72 hours, you became some very dear friends. Thank you.
Over and over again, women encouraged me and each other to show up and be who we already are. And that, perhaps, is what blogging really is.
Greater still, I was reminded of this great, big God. To him, you matter. To him, what you do matters. What happens online and offline is our divinely-ordained Influence. I’m simply full of praise for his grace when we botch up that Influence and his grace when we succeed.
Friends, if we’re going to do something, we ought to make it count. We ought to make it matter. That is our Influence, our legacy, our footprint. When we consider our big God, and his big grace . . . Influence becomes obvious.
Back to this online world. It’s easy to feel insignificant. As Hayley so perfectly said, “Even when you’re a famous blogger, you’re still just a famous BLOGGER.” So yes, insignificance can be a necessary kick in the caboose. We’re merely part of a whole, part of a greater globe. And yet, what we do carries great weight. Great weight.
Our Influence isn’t to be taken lightly.
On Thursday, I’ll share a bit of how Influence strengthened my mind and heart through the sessions. The end of the conference found me exhausted in the best way, with a mind that had been stretched and a creative process launched. Can’t wait to share.
And PS . . . as soon as tickets are on sale for 2013, I’m buying one. Join me?