This one is for all my ladies NOT at the cool conferences this weekend.
Y'all. FOMO. (That's Fear of Missing Out for all of you, who like me, had no clue what FOMO was... Thanks to my hip friend Em who educated me). And I have to admit, usually... I'm not hit by FOMO. But this weekend... it hit & it hit hard.
Last year, I had been eying a conference that usually sells out within the first few hours of registration. So I did what any exhausted mom would do... I parked my rear-end on the couch and set an alarm on my phone JUST IN CASE... because let's all be honest... I don't see midnight very often unless it's due to a screaming child. So I sat with my debit card out, computer screen set on the Facebook page waiting for the registration link... and as soon as my alarm went off and I stopped drooling... I was all over that registration link. And 30 minutes later it was all sold out... BUT I WAS GOING. Glory. I did a little jig in my pjs and then I dragged my tired bum to bed to dream of conference goody bags, great speakers, and COMMUNITY. Time with women to actually TALK, to know and be known. I was PUMPED.
Fast forward to now. Life happened and I'm not there.
My children are napping upstairs and I'm blogging in a living room that desperately needs cleaning (thus the blogging... duh). And all the hip women are at some PRETTY COOL conferences this weekend & I'm at home. Not there. Literally, my phone JUST notified me to let me know that a BAJILLION people on twitter were tweeting about it (ok, by a bajillion I mean 3... but still). I mean... seriously? And then I checked instagram and other friends are LITERALLY GETTING TATTOOS during their free time and my FOMO which I was battling to keep at bay, reached an all new level. TATTOOS, coffee dates, cool restaurants, & a conference... y'all. Totes jealy.
So to all of us NOT at a cool conference this weekend... can I just take a second to encourage you (and me)?
Whether's it is because of a hectic work season, financial reasons, busy family schedule, small snuggly littles, health reasons... let me just tell you this. A conference, although it can be a REALLY FUN experience & a great catalyst for growth, is merely a SUPPLEMENT for your actual life. What you're doing at home, at work, here in your community... HAS VALUE. It's important.
And yes being known and personal growth can happen at a conference, but it can also happen in your living room. It can happen with your roommates, your family, a neighbor, or close friends. Choosing to talk intentionally about the Lord and what He's doing can be fostered anywhere (& it costs a lot less). Choosing to learn from others about a topic that you're interested in can happen without going to a conference. Grabbing coffee (EVEN GETTING TATTOOS... errrr sorry for all the yelling... BUT TATTOOS!!!!) can happen here, in your community.
Sure it's a bit messier and if you're a mom you usually have a small child spilling chocolate milk while you're right in the middle of a crucial point or an older child who needs picked up from some sort of practice. BUT those moments, they are important. Because real life is important. And letting real people into your messy real life and having real conversation and asking a very REAL God to come and meet with you... Y'all. That's some powerful stuff. And you don't need a cool band, the latest speaker, and a conference ambiance for that to happen.
Friends, you are by no means left out just because you're home.
We live in an age where podcasts, videos, live-streaming... all of these things... can keep us updated if we so choose. And some of these conferences even have local events, but friends... even if we can't attend those local events... Your work, your family, your spiritual journey is still important. It is no less important than those who are within spitting distance from Jen Hatmaker (Bless it. I love that woman).
Sure you don't get an awesome goody bag, which is a huge bummer. Though, I'd send you each one if I could. Fyi it would have the entire series of Parenthood in it (Bc bless it, I already miss the Bravermans), Paul David Tripp's New Morning Mercies (My daily devotional jam), a gift card for coffee (duh), a Cliff Fruit Rope for a snack, my fav lip balm, and a bottle of water. I'd also put a nap & a magical unicorn in there if I could... but alas, I'm not sending out goody bags.
The point is...
I love a lot of the conferences going on this weekend. I really think they're great - but those of us who are at home can still make good use of our time. Being HERE, being present, being intentional.
This weekend, let's spend time in the Word. Let's spend time with people we love. Let's have intentional conversation about life, love, serving our community. Let's learn something new. Let's not let FOMO get the best of us, and let's pray for our sisters who are spread across the country retreating together. Let's pray for God to move THERE and HERE in our homes.
Have a great weekend y'all!