What to Expect from The Declare Conference

** This post contains affiliate links–all thoughts and opinions are my own**

Last year I had the privilege of attending The Declare Conference in Dallas, TX. I am so excited that I’ll be able to return to the conference this October and can’t wait for all that I will hear and learn.

The Declare Conference gave me such encouragement but also inspiration with my writing, so I’m really looking forward to receiving that again. The conference is a great way to meet other bloggers, writers, podcasters, etc who share the same passion of telling others about Jesus and sharing His love. I’m also a conference nerd, so I’m excited for a few days away to learn. 

I will link all the conference information below but if you are able to go (and I highly recommend that you do), here are some things you can expect from attending the conference.

You will be encouraged.

There’s really no way that you can’t leave this conference and not be encouraged. From the main sessions, mastermind groups, meeting and talking with other women, your soul will definitely be uplifted.

You will be inspired.

If you’re in a bit of a writing rut (like I’ve been for a few months), this conference is the one for you. Declare helps to re-establish your “why” and purpose, while also inspiring you to be a better communicator. You’ll learn tools for social media and learn how to use programs effectively.

You will meet like-minded women of God.

It’s such a great feeling to be in a room surrounded by women who are all there for the same purpose–to communicate the love of God. I really challenged myself with getting out of my comfort zone last year and I’m so glad that I did because I was able to meet so many women and hear their stories.

You will hear incredible speakers.

I’m so excited about the speaker lineup this year and can’t wait to hear what they have to say. Last year’s speakers were amazing and provided such wisdom, insight, and encouragement for all different forms of communicating.

You will come home with lots of merch.

Last year there were so many awesome vendors at Declare and I came home with lots of books, shirts, totes, and other goodies. 

You will experience amazing worship.

You just will. And you might even cry a little.

You will literally be well fed.

Food was amazing last year and the Declare team was so accommodating with providing meals for those with Celiac Disease–which I do not take for granted. One evening there were also food trucks and a coffee truck that came to the conference.

You will not regret going to Declare.

I promise you won’t. I’m so glad that it worked out for me to go again this year because I know I would have regretted not going.

Join me at Declare!

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Just Be Kind

The last few months I have been reading Generous Justice by Timothy Keller with some friends. This book has been such a good read and has been really convicting in the ways that I think of and treat people. There is value in every single human life and there is no reason at all to assume that my life is more important than anyone else’s. There is a quote in the book that says “when God put His image upon us, we became beings of infinite, inestimable value.” The book then goes on to say that “we must treat each and every human being as a way of showing due respect for the majesty of their owner and Creator.” Ouch. That definitely stings because I know that I do not respond to others that way all the time.

Furthermore, everything we have has not been gained by our own works but has been given as gifts from God. If that is true, which it is, then everything we have is essentially not ours and should be shared with others. Generosity, sharing, and kindness go a long way and everyone, in any season or situation in life, can practice these things.

10 Ways to Be Kind:

  1. Acknowledge someone when you pass them and offer a smile.
  2. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee who is in the same line as you.
  3. Offer a hug to someone having a hard time or day.
  4. Make someone a meal.
  5. Send an encouraging text message, email, or a hand written note to a friend, family member, coworker, etc.
  6. Practice active listening when someone is talking to you or sharing something important.
  7. Donate items that you don’t need to others.
  8. Put someone else’s needs before your own, even if you have to go out of your way.
  9. Leave a gift for someone else to find.
  10. Forgive someone who acted against you or said wrong things about you.

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My Summer Reads

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been associated with reading. When I was a little kid, my siblings and I would all do the summer reading program at our local library–and sometimes we would even try to race each other as to who would finish the quickest. The librarian must have thought that we were some of the most well-read children with how competitive we would be, haha! (What the library didn’t know, though, was that sometimes we read a bunch of kids board books and books that were honestly too easy for us to read–oopsies)

This summer, there are a few books that I really want to read and, like always, I’m going to try my best to have these read by the end of summer.

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

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This novel is set in London during 1939–1942. It was inspired by the letters written between the author’s grandparents during World War II. This novel focuses around the stories of three characters and it is written “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week).

Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

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 After going through the home-buying process, this book is especially appealing to me! I’m excited to learn more about life, organizing, finances, etc., from a Biblical perspective.

Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good For You and Avoid Those That Aren’t By Henry Cloud and John Townsend

2dadd0e5-7e5f-4ad5-9339-dc9d1b73dc39I heard about this book a couple of years ago and really wanted to read it. Based on the title, I think that this is a really important lesson to learn when it comes to relationships in your personal life, social life, and work life. This book will help to identify those who aren’t relationally trustworthy and also those who are relationally safe.

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

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This book seems to be right up my alley. A book about adventure, traveling, and making it meaningful? Yes please!!

What are you reading this summer? Do you have any recommendations for my fall reading list?

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New Hair, New House, and a Season of Big Change.

I can’t believe that it’s been two months since I’ve written a blog post. I have had a few people ask me when I’m going to start again and I really hope that this is the time–because I love this blogging space so much.

Since I have last written, there has been a lot going on. There are a lot of new changes happening in my life right now–both good but also hard. Since my last post, my sweet grandmother passed away and went to be with the Lord. While it has been really hard to accept the fact that she’s not around anymore, it has been such a sweet time of remembering her and thanking God for the legacy that she left behind. Furthermore, in the last week, a dear, dear friend and mentor passed away unexpectedly and suddenly. She was just amazing. Seasons of change that revolve around the loss of a loved one are some of the most difficult to understand, process, and know how to continue on with everyday life. But, I believe that God is good and He carries us through the hardest of times with the grace and peace that only He can provide. If you are going through a season of loss or change in this way–you’re not alone and I would love to pray for you.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”

I don’t write all of that to depress anyone or to ask for pity or sympathy–but to remind you that life is a constant ebb and flow of good times and hard times. It’s ok to have seasons of struggle or difficulty adjusting to stages of life–but you don’t have to do that alone.

As for the good times, I do have a couple of exciting changes to tell you about! Firstly, I chopped off my hair! It’s been such a nice change and these hot, humid, sticky summer months in Oklahoma aren’t nearly as bad with short hair. I can see myself having hair like this for a while.

 

 

Secondly, I bought a house! I’ve been moved in and settled into my new place for a few weeks now and I love it! I have some home blog posts planned and will share those with you soon, but here are some images of little things that are my stamp throughout the house. I have a couple of house projects that are still ongoing and I’m so excited to share the finished result!

 

 

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Pink Things + Encouragement

Good evening! I am currently huddled up at home eating chicken soup because it’s freezing and raining outside. A couple of days ago it was almost 80 degrees–but that’s typical Oklahoma weather for you! Tonight’s blog post is going to serve two purposes–to share with you some pink things I’ve been loving this month (in keeping with the spirit of Valentine’s Day and February) and to share with you some scriptures of encouragement. This winter has seemed to be a little harder than normal, for me, to focus on encouraging thoughts and scripture, so I wanted to be able to share some with you in case you’re having a difficult time as well. I can’t wait for spring, sunshine, and warmth!

7516717296_img_3173Glasses | EyeBuyDirect

2 Timothy 1:7

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

 

1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

7516717296_img_3171Book | Dance, Stand, Run by Jess Connolly 

Proverbs 31:25

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

 

Psalm 46:5

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be movedGod will help her when morning dawns.

7516717296_img_3168Lip Balm | Glossier

Psalm 139: 13-14

For you formed my inward partsyou knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully madeWonderful are your worksmy soul knows it very well.

 

Luke 12:7

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows

7516717296_img_3166Haircare | Kristin Ess 

Let me know how I can be praying for you! I really want to cultivate a community of encouragement and support with this blog, and it’s been really special to see that happen so far.

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