My family’s transient lifestyle means I’ve said hello to crazy adventure and glorious opportunities I never imagined. It also means I’ve said goodbye to familiar gal pals as I’ve missed get-together good times and camaraderie. I’ve looked at facebook pictures of friends and mentors livin’ it up there while I’m all by my lonesome here.
With the Relevant Conference around the corner, I wonder if some of you feel this way, too? Maybe you read the twitter chatter and facebook posts about it and feel left out? I understand. I’ve never been to Blissdom or several other conferences, and it’s easy to believe I’m missing out while all those friends and mentors I admire are livin’ it up.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to attend those conferences or regretting it when you can’t. But when I choose to sit and stew in left-out feelings, the door of my heart inches more and more open ’til the unwelcome guests of ungratefulness and discontent walk right inside and make themselves at home.
I love how Emily writes of the choices we have in life:
“We have a hand in how this whole thing plays out. You cannot always control your circumstance, but you and you alone make your choices.” Emily Freeman
Maybe circumstances are such that attending this conference or that get-together is impossible this year. I can’t control that, but I can control my reaction to it. So, will I choose to stew in what I don’t have or embrace what I do have?
I re-think my circumstances and remember all the livin’ it up I can do right where I am. My pastor’s sermon from last Sunday comes to mind, the one where he describes koinonia as a hallmark of the early Acts 2 church. The Greek koine literally means “common,” and the idea behind koinonia is fellowship, community, and joint participation.
Perhaps my left-out feelings are just a symptom for what I’m really missing, which is fellowship with friends? Being and belonging in community with others? True, I moved to Colorado only a year ago and don’t have the largest in-my-neck-of-the-woods posse. But maybe I can do something to grow it? Or simply choose to fellowship with the community I have?
The folks of (in)courage have Texas-sized hearts bent on encouraging women everywhere to develop near and dear relationships. That is the motivation behind (in)RL. We cherish this community seeded online, but can you imagine the incredible fellowship potential in growing together offline?
So what if, just maybe, you signed up to host an (in)RL event? Initiated a little koinonia right where you are? Maybe you’re uncomfortable doing it in your home. No worries! Meet at a local Starbucks. Maybe you want to stay in your jammies and not go out. No worries! Invite a few gals to your home. The beauty of the conference that comes to you is you get to be the boss and choose what works for you!
Maybe just the thought of this gives you the jitters. I understand that, too. Maybe you’re more comfortable signing up to attend a meet-up rather than host. Either way, can you picture the (in)courage community holding your hand and cheering you on? Because we are. Just look at all who’ve signed up thus far! Women everywhere will be in it right alongside you!
I may not be able to fellowship at that conference, but I can fellowship in my hometown community. God placed me here at a specific time for a specific purpose. Girls, let’s stop believing the lie that tells us contentment is found in our presence anywhere other than where the Lord plans us to be. Our contentment lies in His presence where we are, wherever we are. And when we choose to believe this, we show ungratefulness and discontent the door as Christ steps in to take full residence of our hearts.
In Him, we are all (in).
Ramp-Up-to-Relevant Progressive Party!
Well before becoming an (in)courage writer, I was blown-over blessed to be the “Hope & Encouragement” sponsorship winner for Relevant. Since (in)courage is the premier go-to place for sincere, God-inspired encouragement, winning that made me bawl from the happy.
In honor of Relevant, (in)courage is hosting a progressive party with giveaways! Each day this week, one sponsorship winner will be sharing her heart as well as a giveaway opportunity. I’m kicking it off by giving away this beautiful DaySpring God Will Be With You Mirror!
It’s mighty swoony, dontcha think?
To win it, leave a comment with an idea of how you fight the left-out feelings funk. For extra chances to win, follow @DaySpringCards or @incourage on twitter and like our facebook pages DaySpringFans and incourage. You receive one entry per twitter follow or facebook like. Just leave one comment per follow or like.
Folks, that’s a total of *6* chances to win! You have until October 31st to enter!
Tomorrow, the party continues at Jennifer’s place, You are My Girls! Jennifer’s blog is a place for women pursuing the truth of their identity – the truth of who they are in the eyes of their Father. I love this because what woman doesn’t need this reminder from time to time? And Jennifer, who leaves beautiful, heartfelt encouragement all over the blogosphere, has unique insights and wisdom on how to make this truth seep deep into your soul. Don’t just visit her place, become a member of her vibrant, growing community! Follow her on twitter here or like her facebook page here.
Kristen Strong, Chasing Blue Skies