The Declare Conference

Last weekend I headed to The Declare Conference, and I must tell you all that my experience was better than I ever could have imagined!  I met some of the most amazing, godly women I have ever met and I am so thrilled to say that I have now been a part of the conference the past two years.

A thing about me that you may or may not know is that I am an introvert.  One of the UrbanDictonary definitions of an introvert is:

"Opposite of extrovert.  A person who is energized by spending time alone.  Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone."

Most of that is pretty darn true, and normally things like this conference would be slightly difficult for me to attend by myself.  The normal 'me' would play every scenario out in my head about why I shouldn't go alone and try to convince myself to stay at home in my Nike shorts and Ranger's t shirts.  But this time was different.  That thought never crossed my mind when it came to the conference.  And the only thing that I have to say to that is that it was the Lord's doing.

I knew of a hand full of people that would be there and certainly recognized several of the ladies that were there last year, but by no means would I say I truly knew anyone before I got there.  So at 3 pm on Friday I pulled up at the Marriott in Las Colinas in the FJ and after a short pep talk got myself out and headed in.

This conference was such a blessing, and you will probably hear me say that over and over again because it is true!  After I checked in I wandered around a bit then while I was probably looking like a lost puppy I met Meredith from Meredith Sings. She is great and it was so nice to chat with her and feel like I was where I was supposed to be!  Right away I was reminded of the amazing connections that were to come for me over the weekend with all of these amazing Christian women bloggers.

After chatting with Meredith for a long while, Esther from Laugh With Us Blog came over and we quickly became friends.  Let me just say that this amazing weekend would not have been half as great had Esther not walked over!  From there Esther and I walked around all of the vendor tables and got to know each other quite well.  By the end of the two days we could basically tell each other's life story because we heard each other tell it so many times.

At dinner that night we met Sarah from Dancing for the Lord and let me tell you she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met!  From then on the three of us would eat all of the meals together and find each other during our breaks...  these ladies were my life line this weekend and I am so thankful for their friendship!  I love how different all of our blogs and lives are yet we were able to find a common ground in our relationships with Christ and blogging!  Beautiful!

There were far too many amazing speakers and hostesses for the weekend for me to list them all, so I will just share my two favorite with you!

On Saturday we had the beautiful Jill Monaco speak at breakfast and I ate up every word she shared with us.  One of the reasons I connected with her so much is because she too is a single lady, but most importantly she spoke on "What to do when you enter a new season".  Oh hey, Jill, how did you know I am about to enter a pretty big new season of my own called moving into my own house?  Seriously, I felt like she was speaking directly to me the entire time and I am so thankful for her beautiful words.  Empowerment was what I felt that morning after hearing Jill speak!

My other favorite speaker was Abbie Halberstadt from Five days 5 ways.  She spoke about Making the Most of DIY posts and I learned soooooo much!  I was beyond thrilled about this session because seeing as how I am about to get my own place I foresee many DIY posts in my future!  Dear readers, hope you are ready because they are coming!!!

After two full days of blogging, worship, and girl time my heart is so full!  I am so happy that my introverted self went and not only went, but thrived!!  I cannot praise the wonderful speakers and hostesses enough or ever tell you how amazing the food was.  Basically in just a few more words: sign me up for The Declare Conference 2014!


holli said…
Good for you for having the courage to sign up and go alone. HE had plans for you and knew you would fit right in and meet great new women with similar interests. It sounds like lots of fun!
sarah said…
I loved reading your post about the Declare Conference, and I am just so thankful that I got to meet you, eat with you at all those meals, and spend time just hanging out! Can't wait to do it again next year!
Meredith said…
Lauren -- I tried to comment earlier, but my phone doesn't like to remember passwords for me and I got confused. :)

I loved meeting you, and it was so cool that I could hear your voice as I reading it!!

I totally owned Kat's "fake it 'til you make it" advice -- because I am a shy introvert too!! :)

My son, however, who just spent the whole day with a friend, just asked if he could go to another friend's house. DEFINITELY not an introvert. :)