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Women Living Well Blog: What I Learned At The Relevant Conference 2010

Women Living Well Blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What I Learned At The Relevant Conference 2010

It is hard for me to tap on the keyboard this morning. I am sitting in a hotel room and the Relevant Blogging Conference has just come to an end. I am very short on sleep as the company of other bloggers is too good to sleep through! And I'm trying to process all that God is doing in my heart.

I am not sure I am ready to let those emotions flow out through my finger tips quite yet but I do sit here a changed woman...

I have never come to my keyboard with such awe of God. As Ann Voskamp from "A Holy Experience" says, my keyboard is sacred. It is an altar where I come and lay down my life and offer up my blog posts as a sacrifice to God. Women Living Well is my gift to God.

Above is Ann the writer of A Holy Experience and I together.

Then there was Sally Clarkson. She very patiently listened to me as I shared my "blogging" struggles over chicken and pasta. She wisely questioned me in areas that needed challenged. She very lovingly shared her story with me and through her stories I found answers to questions I've carried with me for a very very long time.

She said "Our insecurities make us vulnerable."

"My husband and children are going to be the book that people read."

"Every season gets more full."

"Social media is a fickle boyfriend - he'll love you today and hate you tomorrow."

"Just because it's challenging doesn't mean it's the wrong thing."

"If it's God's will for me to write less, then it's God's will for my readers to read less."

"When women are alone they become a target. With each other, we will maintain our ideals."

"You can't give away what you don't possess in your heart. We must maintain a full heart."

Above is a picture of me with Sally Clarkson and my partner Angela over at Tears come quickly to my eyes when I look at the sweet face of my dear friend Angela of 20 years. I do not deserve such an amazing gift of her friendship. This girl stood in my shadow all weekend long serving me. She was there holding my books, taking my picture with women, lifting me up in prayer, and listening to me chatter on, always with a smile. Her words of assurance calmed me when my nerves were running high before speaking. She was Jesus in the flesh to me and I am humbled that God would bless me with such a gift - she truly lives up to her name - she is an Angel.

And finally, we come to Sarah Mae (pictured above) on-line friend! She was my first blogging friend that I spoke to on the phone. She has popped out of the computer and come to real life and with her amazing vision and compassion for bloggers she (along with Dana and Jessica - who I adore by the way!) created the Relevant Blogging Conference.

This conference was not about increasing traffic to our blogs, or becoming number 1 in our niche - it was about being faithful to come to the keyboard with an offering to God. Ultimately, my calling is not to be a blogger, but to be a servant to God.

And so as I continue to ponder and treasure what God has taught me this week, I say to you my dear reader, I love you so much. Thank you for opening your hearts and your stories to me. It is not always easy to Walk with the King! As one blogger shared, sometimes our walk feels more like a hike! And so as we hike along this journey of life, I pray for you that you would not feel isolated in your love for God, your husband, your children and your home. But that you would find a warm place here where we can sit down together over the sacred keyboard and be filled up. And when our hearts are full we can overflow in obedience to God in our lives.

Walk with the King!



Blogger Shell said...

Sounds like a wonderful conference!

October 24, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Gina Stinson said...

Sounds like God spoke to your heart at the conference! He knows exactly what we need to hear...when and how!

October 24, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Mary Joy said...


I stopped in at the end of my quiet time this morning and saw your post. I am so happy for you! Isn't God awesome! It was over this past summer that He worked in my heart and helped me to understand that my blog is His not mine...He helped me to learn that it is not all about is there to help draw others closer to Him their Savior.

Worrying about what people think about me or if will offend someone with the Gospel ended right there. It was after that 6 week break that I took from blogging that I knew that I was to move from what I was blogging about (whatever topic was popular in blogland at the moment) to sharing His Word and bringing myself and my readers deeper into His Word and challenging them to share His love and encouragement with the people in their lives.

"Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace" is not a "top blog" and I don't know if it ever will be. What I do know is that everytime I go to the computer keyboard to write it is a time of worship and my words are the words from lessons He is teaching my heart and mind. And I feel very good and at peace about that.

It was last summer that I moved to 3 days a week as well so that I could keep my priorities in order.
It wasn't easy but it works well for me and my family. And no one was angry. Just happy for me.

I share this with you to let you know you are not alone...and that I am so happy to hear the thoughts you are sharing this morning. It truly does sound like God is working in you this week. What a blessing! I am so happy for you.

I will continue to keep you in prayer Courtney. God has big plans but they don't always look like we think they will look.

God bless you the beautiful Sunday morning!

Encouraging in His Word for His Glory,

Mary Joy

October 24, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for all you do with your website. You are making a HUGE dramatic difference in my life thus the life of my family and as the Bible says many generations to come. Thank you Courtney.

October 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Courtney, your words about Angela brought tears to my eyes. I got the picture of such a LOVELY and valuable friendship. Thank you for sharing that. And I've been struggling with some things about blogging as well. You shared some things that I will be chewing on for awhile. Again, thank you. Can't wait to hear more about the conference. You're so right. Better to miss a few hours' sleep in the company of precious sisters in Christ. As always, I'm thankful for your ministry.

October 24, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Monica@DailyDwelling said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience at Relevant. I was planning to go but decided a few weeks ago that it wasn't God's will for me at this time. I have a small baby and needed to be home. I'm planning to be there with bells on next year, though!

Loved this...."You can't give away what you don't possess in your heart. We must maintain a full heart."

October 24, 2010 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I can't wait to hear (read) what God has taught you (and thus, taught us as you share) over this weekend!

How wonderful to sit down and speak with Sally Clarkson!! She is a wise and Godly woman!!!

October 24, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

What an amazing experience you all had! I love reading how God spoke to each of your hearts about what is most relevant in our lives - thus what we put on our blogs is HIS-story in our hearts, and home!

Blessings to you as you process it all and share it here!

God bless you!

October 24, 2010 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

In tears-with joy!

October 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger janenes said...

So glad you walked away with such a fulfilling experience. I felt that way last week when my husband and I left the Make a Difference Concert/Tour featuring Max Lucado, Toby Mac, Michael W. Smith, and third Day--inspired, spirit full of fire, and ready to continue to serve joyfully! Thanks for always inspiring me as well!!

October 24, 2010 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Janelle Nehrenz said...

Oh Courtney! I am so excited that you had this awesome opportunity! The smiles in your photos are sooo truly belonged there over the weekend! What an awesome friend you have in Angela, you girls looked beautiful!

October 24, 2010 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Cherie said...

AMEN! Such a joy to have met you!

October 24, 2010 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger D and A said...

It is really fun to read about Relevant! I hope everyone makes a post and adds photos!

Thanks for sharing about your talkl with Sally and I really would really like to remember what Ann said to you all.

Very cool,
Amy @ Missional Mama

October 24, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

It was a wonderful conference! I am so glad to have met you.
I loved meeting these women, too and learning from them!

October 24, 2010 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Gwen Toliver said...

It sounds like you are absolutely overflowing with valuable things learned at Relevant - what a great opportunity to challenge each other as women to serve Him more faithfully!!

October 24, 2010 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Muthering Heights said...

It was a true joy to have you with us...I loved meeting you in person!! :)

October 24, 2010 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Muthering Heights said...

It was a true joy to have you with us...I loved meeting you in person!! :)

October 24, 2010 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Sweet Courtney, it was so wonderful to meet you. Thank you for your encouragement and your sweet, joyful spirit. Just thinking about your enthusiasm for teaching women to walk in the Lord makes me smile

October 25, 2010 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Flamingo said...

Oh how I wish I could still be there. I missed my home and my family, but nothing like experiencing God so fully.

What a sweet, sweet blessing meeting you. Thinking of you as I stare at my morning without a've inspired me to create one.

October 25, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger MelaKamin said...

Courtney - so blessed by your words this weekend, especially pointing me to Jeremiah 45:5 - and your presence. I delighted in meeting you and getting to tell my story. What a joy you radiate! Bless you for sharing yourself and your gifts in this place. It is a Holy offering. ~ Mela

October 25, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Laura said...


You were fantastic at the conference. I soaked in all of your advice, your vulnerability, and your vitality. I could only conclude that God has chosen to lavish you with gifts because He loves you; and you are relishing them and stewarding them so well.
Keep on, my friend! May God establish the work of your hands for you; and may women like me continue to be encouraged by your faithfulness.

October 25, 2010 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Chele said...

I just have to tell you Courtney that your smile is addictive! I want to be friends with people who smile at me when they don't even know me. Because that's what I've been taught to do too! It was so nice to finally meet you face to face!

October 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Myra @ My Blessed Life said...

Ditto on everything you said. My heart is so full, I can hardly speak the fullness.

It was amazing to meet you! You are lovely. :)

October 25, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

I had hoped to be able to attend this conference but couldn't. So, now I am glad to be able to read about it from you and other bloggers who attended. I'm glad that it wasn't about increasing blog numbers, etc. I know that for me my blog Heart Choices in my ministry. I am so grateful for the words the Lord gives to me to share with others.

I hope that you will post more about the Relevant Conference.

Blessings and love,

October 25, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

It sounds like such a beautiful RELEVANT conference. I so appreciate all of you bringing back what you learned to us. I could not attend, but I feel in a small way like I did. Thank you so much, Courtney. I love the thought of my keyboard being my alter. Wow.

October 25, 2010 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I had hoped to be able to go, but I just wasn't able to. I'm hoping they'll hold one next year so I can go!

I am very thankful for those who've been sharing what they've learned and what inspired them via tweets and blog posts. I'VE learned SO MUCH just from that!

Many blessings to you! I hope you'll share more when you're able.

October 25, 2010 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger QuatroMama said...

Courtney, you summed it up beautifully. Loved your quotes in here from Sally. Thankful to have met you this weekend, and been able to hear you share your heart and experiences. I took so much away...

October 25, 2010 at 10:15 PM  
OpenID joyfulmothering said...

It's so amazing to read how many women were changed by this conference and it wasn't all about blogging - in fact, blogging was probably the least of what we learned!!
I was SO glad to have met you, Courtney. Forgot to get a pic with you (and several other ladies. -There were so many!) You are a blessing and I love your bubbly personality!
Looking forward to working alongside you to read Sally's book!

October 26, 2010 at 6:06 AM  
Blogger Darlene Schacht said...

What fun! Isn't Ann amazing? We spent a weekend together at Shannon Woodward's home in Seattle. I got to share a bedroom with Ann, and she was such a blessing! She was taller than I expected.

October 27, 2010 at 1:41 AM  
Blogger Darlene Schacht said...

I also wanted to add that I love this. "Ultimately, my calling is not to be a blogger, but to be a servant to God."

October 27, 2010 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

courtney, i really appreciated your perspective and heart for the Word this weekend. thank you for sharing your gifts!

October 27, 2010 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Courtney.... I am just stopping by to say THANK YOU for your words of encouragement at the Relevant Conference. I enjoyed listening to you and you definitely made me smile. I was the blogger who pretty much sat in the back and just took everything in and wanted to listen to what the Lord had to say to me this past weekend. I would have loved to actually come up to meet you and several other ladies. I also did your Fall Challenge but I haven't linked up for the follow up because I am currently posting each day about the Relevant Conference and what what the Lord taught me each day through each speaker. Thanks again for allowing the Lord to use you.

Anne @

October 27, 2010 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Joy McMillan said...

You're such a blessing, Courtney! Thank you for sharing your heart {vulnerably}, your faith {boldly} and your gift, so sweetly, with us. While I didn't get to go - and have never been to a blogging conference - my goal is to connect heart-to-heart, face-to-face with you all next year. You bless me!

November 1, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

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