I mentioned to you guys that I would be attending a few conferences in the approaching weeks. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff to keeping a blog blowing and growing. It is way more than you might think. It has been mind boggling to me! It also involves a huge community of friends and colleagues that feed off each other’s friendship, ideas and insights. In preparation, groups of us attending the conferences have begun to “meet” each other online. We have started searching through each other’s blogs and following one another on social media. It’s been a fun way to get to know each other pre-conference.
A bunch of us are new on the blogging scene and have the same excitement and fears about the conference. Many of us are traveling and don’t know a soul who will be there (other than meeting online.) We are the “newbies” excited and ready to learn from the seasoned vets that will be attending and leading sessions during these events. Some of us are new to blogging, some are just new to the conferences. Lots of us have the “what am I doing? I could never be as awesome as_____!” thoughts going on. What do we wear? How to we get from here to there? What sessions should I attend? What if I forget to hand out business cards? What if no one talks me? The list goes on and on. #bloggerproblems right?
Today I wanted to introduce you to a few new friends I have made so you can go over and love on them. Tell them how awesome they are. Encourage them to go and jump outside their comfort zones. Remind them that God has a plan for them. Here are a few favorite blogs/projects/thoughts I have come across so far…I know I will have a ton later! Plus I have a little “newbie” project with some thoughts below, I hope you’ll check it out!
This week the amazingly gifted writer Kelly Balarie from Purposeful Faith is opening her blog to guest writers. Lots of us submitted and her gracious heart decided to highlight ALL of us! She is the self proclaimed “Cheerleader of Faith” and she lives up to this title in word and action. Her heart couldn’t turn any of us away and for that I am blessed and grateful. Please visit her blog to check out the other guest bloggers(use the link above). While your there you might like this article…I sure did! Can’t wait to meet her at the She Speaks Conference!
Rachel with Architecture of a Mom is fun and funny.
Girlfriend has been my organizational go – to for the upcoming Haven Conference. I can’t wait to meet up with her in person and hug her for keeping me in the know! She has yummy recipes and fun DIY projects to pour through on her blog. Check out how to make this easy infinity scarf…
Jenn from The Life of Jennifer Dawn is just precious. I know we will be best buddies once we meet in real life. She is crafty, loves the Lord and has three kiddos just like my crew! Her blog hosts a fabulous link party too!
Ok – I had a hard time deciding which post to link up. I just love Amanda aka The Farm Wyfe. She raises six littles with her hubs on a working farm. Seriously awesome. She is creative, a hard worker, amazing cook and is called to share her love of Jesus. Read about Supermom below. I also love her tater date.
Now on to other newbie news…
My mom (aka Deedles) and I were out one Friday combing garage sales as we are known to do. She really wanted to get my daughter a jewelry box given the new state of her pierced ears and all the earrings that come along with that. We found this ginormous jewelry box (from Lori Greiner of Shark Tank fame) for $3.
Nice find Deedles.
She wanted to paint it and get it all ready for my daughter. I sent her home with some white paint and directions to make her own chalk paint for her new project.
Now, please be aware my mom knows I am about to slam her painting skills. I asked her permission 🙂 (You can check out my praise for her and her insane talents here.)
Paint is not my mom’s medium. BUT… she really loves her granddaughter. Plus she knows I was busy, so she decided to tackle this project herself. She is a newbie chalk painter. After this job I think she might be a retired one too.
Deedles brought back this sad looking jewelry box with globs of streaky rough paint, unevenly spread across everything, including the hardware.
Now, this women can’t sew something without matching the fabric patterns at all the seams and overdoes every sewing trick known to man. She is meticulous. She is gifted. With sewing. Painting, not so much.
I’m pretty sure the pictures don’t do the roughness justice. She begrudgingly handed over her project and gave me a “you do it” plea. So I went to work on our garage sale score to transform it into something more fun and interesting for a 10 year old girl. Mae already has a ton of color in her room, so I choose to glam it up a bit. The details are below.
I joke about my mom’s freshman approach to chalkpaint not to make fun of her, but to remind us all (especially myself) that we have to start somewhere and we are not all gifted in the same ways. The moment mom handed the jewelry box back over to me I had a light bulb moment. A project that I thought was so simple was a burden, not fun and kind of unsuccessful for Deedles. I could visually see that our gifts are not the same, this just flat out isn’t her thing.
And thank God for that!
How boring if we were good at the exact same things. Besides it not being her cup of tea, she is new to the trade. She doesn’t know all the tricks and shortcuts yet. She isn’t even familiar with the supplies and tools. And honestly, I didn’t exactly give her a lesson.
My prayer is that as we all gather together in the coming weeks, we can be inspired and excited for one another. My wish is that the experienced ladies will have a heart to share with the newbies the tricks and tools the years have taught them…better than I taught my mom.
I hope we will appreciate our differences and that no one will walk away feeling less than, not enough, imperfect or deflated. Instead, I hope we look deep inside and examine the gifts God gave each of us individually. We have to start somewhere and starting with the gifts God choose to give you specifically is a pretty good place to begin!
Sometimes we pine after talent that will never be ours, it just wasn’t meant to be. Other times the talent is there, laying just under the surface, waiting to be nurtured and developed. But we want results faster, like yesterday please! No one is instantly a master of anything when they first start. It takes time, perseverance, practice and patience to reach a goal or the next level of whatever it is you are pursuing.
The droves of ladies attending these conferences bring with them a variety of hopes and dreams. Some of us will walk away with more than we expected, some a little disappointed, maybe even a few discouraged while some will be on fire with a new mission. Whatever state we exit our meetings, it is a new beginning, a fresh chapter and an opportunity to move forward in a different way.
First though, we have to make the most of our time at these events and not let one moment slip by while we are distracted from our cause. Often the biggest critic we have to overcome is our own heart. Don’t try to be something or someone your not. Don’t wallow in self pity if others are further along than you and seemingly do things better than you. If any of you feel envy or unworthiness tugging on the hem of your new skirt, trying to steal your joy and attention, think about this little jewelry box and focus on what you are good at, what your purpose is and what you have to offer.
And remember to ask for a lesson.
All these are works of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Corinthians 12:11
For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1 John3:20
Here is how I painted this gingham topped jewelry box :
I covered the entire top with painter’s tape, lined up side by side for even measure.
Then I removed every third strip. I lightly sprayed a coat of metallic gold spray paint over the top.
Next, I covered the top again, going perpendicular. This time I removed every other stripe and sprayed lightly.
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