Recap: My Weekend in Atlanta

This past weekend I got the privilege of hanging out with other writers who have a passion for Jesus, sharing their story, and doing life with other people. (Did I really just say ‘doing life’? I don’t even like that phrase…oh well!)

We all met up in Atlanta, Georgia at the Living Room Writer’s Weekend put on by Stephanie May of the Lipstick Gospel! It was a weekend full of getting to know one another, sharing best writing practices, and discovering what the heart of our blog is truly about.

I learned a lot during that conference, about myself, my blog, my writing style; but the major win I got from the weekend was simply being able to go. I was sick the week before and didn’t think I’d be able to make it, but God showed up in a huge, unforgettable way that has changed the way I look at faith. That, in and of itself, made the trip worth it. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing about that experience later.

For now, here’s a look back at the #LGLivingRoom experience that I am so blessed to have shared with these amazing women!


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Hey, that’s me!

This is me, post-flight and excited for the adventure ahead. Once I got to Atlanta (after getting up at 4 a.m. for my flight, ouch!) I spent my spare time hanging out at the hotel, drinking coffee and reading. After the stressful week I had, it was a marvelous feeling. After that, I met up with Tiffanie, another one of the attendees who flew in from Florida (so jealous). We explored midtown Atlanta and ate at a small, local diner. It was Ah-mazing! The food was so fresh and so delicious. I wish I could eat there all the time.

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After spending roughly 6 hours as homeless people (since we couldn’t get into our hotel room til 4:30), we finally were able to get into our rooms. Everyone had to meet in my room and no one was allowed into room 1509 because they were still setting things up. None of us knew what that meant, nor why it took so long, but once we got in, we understood.

The hotel suite was turned into a fun, cozy “living room” for the weekend! Turns out we weren’t meeting in a conference room like I suspected. A girl named Suzy was responsible for this amazing-ness. Seriously Suzy, if you ever feel like flying out to Kansas City to decorate my living room, I wouldn’t be upset.

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It was such a pleasure being able to meet Stephanie May. Before I knew about her blog, I was going through a weird time with my own blog. I didn’t know where my blog was going, what I wanted to talk about, and how I wanted my writings to be.

A friend suggested that I check out Stephanie’s blog because she’s a successful Christian writer who has a fun, inviting blog space for readers – something I was aspiring to be. I was instantly captivated. She was exactly the kind of writer I wanted to be. She’s honest, vulnerable, relate-able and an excellent story teller. This past weekend, I was challenged by her words and inspired to create a blog space that is real, inviting and unique. Here’s to you, Stephanie! It was an honor hanging out with you this weekend.

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All of these ladies are so awesome! It still amazes me how after only knowing each other for an hour, we instantly clicked and were able to be honest and vulnerable with each other about our lives. They were very helpful to me in encouraging me with my blog’s theme and core values. They helped me to discover an aspect of my blog that I didn’t realize was so unique or important. Their encouragement was definitely needed and I am so thankful for them.

I’m even more excited to collaborate with them on our upcoming giveaway we’ll be having in June! Don’t worry, you’ll be hearing about that soon, too!

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These pictures were taken by the lovely and amazingly talented Lacee Pelquin who flew in specifically to take professional head shots for us to help glam up our blog. I never realized how your photos could truly make or break your blog. We live in a visual age where the book is definitely judged by its cover. Thank you, Lacee, for capturing these beautiful shots! You can see more of her work on her blog Through Lens and Pen.

Well, that’s all I have for now! I’ll have another new post coming soon about my journey to the Living Room Writer’s Weekend. Also, be on the lookout for a #LGLivingRoom giveaway coming soon! I’m so excited to share all the details with with you that I’m struggling to keep it in! I guess I better stop typing before I spoil it for everyone.

Have a lovely Thursday!

Lottie

LB is headed to ATL! Here’s to the conference I’m attending and the lesson in faith it took to get there

Hello lovely friends!

I have some pretty exciting news. (In my opinion, at least!)

After much debate (and financial scrutiny) I have officially registered for my first writer’s conference ever!

I’m so stoked to attend the Lipstick Gospel‘s writer’s weekend in Atlanta, GA!

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Ahh! I know, right? Exciting! And the crazy thing is, it’s coming up in less than two week. Two weeks!

Alright, I need to calm down. I’m getting to excited about this ;]

Sadly, I’ll be missing my beloved Tulip Time festival back at in Iowa (which is the best small town Dutch festival with some pretty amazing food, by the way) to attend this conference but it’ll be worth it. I suppose I can indulge in many plates of Poffertjes next year. Or maybe my friends can save some for me.. anywho..

I’m positive it’s going to be a great adventure. I have met some of the women who will be attending, and knowing that they all have a heart for God and a passion for telling their story makes me all the more excited. It’s going to be a weekend of networking, sharing blogging/writing techniques, building our platforms, and sharing stories with one another. I’m hoping I’ll be able to come away with a clearer vision for LB and a good start to propelling this blog into a new, fresh dynamic to impact others.

But I didn’t feel this way at first. In fact, it wasn’t until I finally clicked the “check out” button for my ticket that I felt at ease with my decision.

For me it was a huge leap of faith for two reasons:

  1. Lack of money
  2. Lack of trust

Lack of money

I really struggled with this because I have never made such an investment on something I consider to be a hobby. It felt weird to throw down some major bucks on something I thought I only did for fun. But here’s what I learned about that: If it’s something you’re passionate about, you can always afford it. You can make it work. You can cut back on non-necessities, you can drink less coffee, you can pay it off slowly, etc. It’s like they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If it’s something you love, then go for.

For me, this is more than just “blogging”. This is the only way I know that I can best speak truth about God to a wide variety of people. I seek to make this blog not about me, but about God and what he’s doing in my life and in this world. And if attending this conference will help me to be more successful in that, then why wouldn’t I invest in it?

Lack of trust

I sometimes (more often than not..) have difficulty trusting God with huge decisions in my life. Therefore, I become very indecisive. I questioned my own maturity first (am I really old enough to travel by myself to a place I’ve never been to attend a conference with people I don’t know without parental permission?!) I then questioned the safety and security of the conference (what if this is a scam?) Then I questioned if it would even be worth it (what am I going to get out of this? Is this worth spending my money on?) 

I was on a should-I-or-should-I-not boat for about a month-ish. Sometime’s I’d be super pumped and ready to sign up, then other times I’d get too scared of all the unknown factors and exit the registration screen. I kept asking God to write across the sky with a simple yes or no if I should go or not. But here’s what I learned about that: Sometimes you have to take the first step and just do something. 

You’re not always going to get a clear answer from God. I feel like we all sit around waiting for a yes or no when God is saying “you have a brain, so use it!” You’ll know if you should or should not do something (that’s the cool thing about the Holy Spirit) but sometimes I think He lets us choose. And in this case, He wasn’t giving me a definite yes or no. Whether I go or not will not effect his ultimate plan for my life. I could miss the mark and He’ll still somehow get me on the right track. But if I go in sincere faith, expecting God to show up in Atlanta to teach me new things, then how could He not want that, ya know?

So two weeks from now I’ll be off. And I hope you’ll join me on this adventure. Maybe even take an adventure in faith of your own.

I can’t wait to share with you guys all that I learn from this conference. I can’t wait to introduce you to some awesome writers and get you connected with their blogs. I also can’t wait to see what God does in and through me because of this.

It’s called a leap of faith for a reason. If it was a step, it wouldn’t be scary. But the leap is what forces us to trust Him all the more.

I’ll keep you posted, my friends! You better believe a whole bunch of Instagrams and FB pics will be coming your way ;] #LBinATL, baby!

SO PUMPED!

Love,

Lottie

*Picture property of the Lipstick Gospel :)