IF:Gathering

A few weeks ago, after returning from Utah, I was strongly thinking about what I needed to start the year off right. One of things that I really wanted to find was a) something that was Christ-focused; b) something that focused on the Bible; and c) something that was geared towards women. I didn’t know what that “something” was — was it a conference, a book, a book study or something completely different.

Being faithful ...

I was planning on asking some people for some recommendations when someone in a Facebook group I’m in posted about the IF:Gathering. I hadn’t heard of it before, but as soon as I looked at the website I knew was the “something” I had been needing.

The main IF:Gathering was held in Austin, Texas. In addition to the main gathering, there were IF:Local events held around the world, and the event was livestreamed. I wasn’t able to get in contact with the IF:Local person here in Clarksville, so I just watched some of the Livestream by myself — mostly at Panera. I’m not alone as the Livestreams have been watched by tens of thousands of people.

I wasn’t able to watch all the sessions. I basically watched 2.5 of them. There is a place you can order a digital download of the sessions, and I’m probably going to do that just because there are a few things I want to watch again (and, I would like to catch the ones I missed).

I was blown away by Christine Caine and some of the things she said — specifically about being a servant and not holding on to old fears.

One of my favorite quotes:

“You cannot take hold of the future if you’re holding on to the past. Leave your pain at the foot of the cross.”

I’m blown away.

The other person that really touched me was Ann Voskamp and in ways I can’t even put into words yet.

 

Wanting all the money and all the time

I’m not sure why (definitely need to do a little more introspection and digging), but I seem to be struggling this week with wanting to attend lots of things that I don’t have the time or the money to attend.

This year, I’ve budgeted for two conferences that I’ll pay for out of pocket — MisfitCon in May (of course) and something in the fall.

But, there is so much more I want to do.

I want to go to RootsTech and hang out with the genealogy geeks.

I want to go to Podcast Movement.

I want to go to Dave Delaney’s podcast conference in Nashville later this month.

I want to attend the World Domination Summit.

There are probably 10 other conferences in the next 6-12 months that I have similar “wants”.

I’m hoping these feelings go away, and that I will get back to feeling okay with the awesome stuff I have planned for this year and not be so disappointed in what I can’t do.

My story

StorylineI just spent an amazing three days in the Chicago area for the Storyline conference. I had heard it was a really awesome conference, but other than that I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations going into it. It was amazing in so many ways, most of which are going to take awhile to process.

Towards the end of the day yesterday, I had one of those moments when something became really clear about my story — specifically the story about the abuse I went through as a kid and where I am today. The following three points best summarize how I feel:

  1. I have an amazing story to tell that is unique and if told the right way could bring a lot of hope to a lot of people.
  2. There are people out there who need to hear the whole story.
  3. Now is not the season for me to tell that story.

That isn’t to say that I’m going to stop talking or writing completely about my experiences, but I think for the time being anything public about those experiences will be in very general terms.

Privately, I’m going to be starting to put together something more long form and see where that leads in the future.

And, I have couple of exciting things I’m working on for this blog and some other online venues.

My “ideal” life

About 6 weeks ago, I had an amazing conversation with Berni Xiong (She has an inspiring podcast here – The Shut Up Show). She’s a fellow misfit and totally awesome.

We were talking about my goals and where I’m trying to head with things. For the next couple of days after our conversation I realized something about what I want from life — I’m calling this my “ideal life”.

There are a couple of things that would be true in my “ideal life”:

1. I would be mostly mobile. I might have a “home base” somewhere, but I would be spending most of my travelling. I would be able to spend quality amounts of time in certain places — Utah, California, Oregon, Maine (in the non-winter months), Tennessee and wherever else people I love are living.

2. I would be splitting my time doing three things: helping people connect to their pasts through genealogy / family history; helping nonprofits with their online marketing and online fundraising; spreading a message of how people can overcome physical and other challenges and live a meaningful life.

I have some goals about what I need to do to get here:

a) I need to be debt free. That’s close. If I were to get really focused on it, I could do it in 6 months. It’s probably more like a year away because I choose to do other things than throw all my money at debt.

b) I want to finish my bachelor’s degree.

c) I potentially want to get certifications in both fundraising and genealogy.

d) I want to get healthier physically.

The books I’ve read recently #emptyshelf

While I haven’t been blogging much lately, I have been reading a lot. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with dystopian science fiction and have thrown in some other books as well.

  • Dear Nobody
  • The Purge of Babylon Series (so far, there’s been four books)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell
  • Harry Potter (All 7 books. This was a reread, but super worth it.)
  • The Last Girl
  • Plague Year
  • Open Minds
  • The Atlantis Gene
  • Burial Rites: A Novel
  • Red Rising
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel
  • To the Last Man
  • Oryx and Crake
  • The Year of the Flood

I’ve been reading a book a week and sometimes more. It’s been pretty awesome.