This post originally appeared on Diana Kerr.
One month ago today, I walked, all by myself, into a gorgeous hotel banquet room full of women I had never met. It was Day 1 of the Making Things Happen Intensive.
All photos by Robyn Van Dyke
Earlier that morning, I had woken up and journaled prayer to God that he would help me go into the Making Things Happen experience with few expectations. I wanted to approach the two days with open hands, allowing God and the process to carry me wherever I needed to go.
The experience that followed is very difficult to describe. Take everything you’ve experienced about conferences you’ve attended in the past and think exactly the opposite. The best way I can describe the two days is this: Day 1 was group therapy, Day 2 was group coaching.
I won’t share all the details of those days because the element of the unknown is part of the process, but I will say that Day 1 quickly became uncomfortable and emotional in the best possible way.
I didn’t leave Making Things Happen with a bunch of how-tos. Instead, the successful Jesus-loving business women I admire so much who have joined with Lara Casey to put on the conference–Emily Ley, Nancy Ray, Gina Zeidler, Amber Housley, Rhiannon Bosse, Katelyn James, Carrie Grace, and Maghon Taylor, among others–didn’t get up in front of us and tell us everything they know about business. They didn’t give us a foolproof strategy for engaging with your Ideal Client on Instagram or tell us how to structure your work day. Nope. Instead, they got up in front of us and shared hard, raw, personal stories, accompanied by lots of tears.
If I didn’t leave with a bunch of how-tos, what did I leave with? A different perspective. Here are a few of the major takeaways I left with. These perspective shifts have changed the way I approach both my life and business:
- There is so much more to steward well right in front of me. Lara asked us to reflect on the question What good will you do with the little bit of earth you’ve been given? and I realized I have so much in my God-given plot of soil that I could be cultivating with more intention. Instead, I find myself reaching outside my space, wanting what others had. (“If I only had a team of people like she does, or an Instagram platform like her . . .”) I have committed to making the most out of what I have right in front of me, right now. First Corinthians 4:2 rings in my ears: Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I am also mindful of Luke 12:48: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
- My vision I have for the business God has given me and the vision I have for our future family are not opposing; they actually go hand in hand. I stood up at the beginning of Day 1 and shared that I was worried my business was an idol–I think about it often, worry about it often, and spend so much time on it. One of my greatest fears for the future is not being able to be a good mom and a good business owner at the same time. At the end of Day 1, though, as all of us laid on the floor in the dark in the banquet room (I told you it’s intense!) and envisioned the future, I realized that the kind of woman I want to be in business and the kind of mom I want to be are the same. I want to lean into the gifts God has given me and pursue them with passion and boldness. I believe I will be a better mom if I can show my kids what it’s like to embrace the gifts God has given you even when it’s hard or messy, rather than shrinking back. As we laid on the floor, I saw my business being a much more integral part of our family life and our family’s legacy than I ever had before. I felt both fired up and peaceful about that picture.
- Obedience doesn’t have to be super icky and ugly; it can be joyful! Honestly, I’ve never been the kind of person who feels like she needs to prove anything to God. (Thank you, Lutheran roots, haha. Lutherans are big on unconditional grace!) Still, I have always felt motivated to be obedient as my grateful response to the salvation Jesus won for me. Truthfully, my obedience was feeling like a chore around the time I showed up at Making Things Happen. Nancy Ray and others made me realize how I was viewing obedience as hard and ugly, and it can be, but it doesn’t have to be! I decided to choose to work with joyful obedience. (Take that, Satan.)
I am so thankful to the many women (and men!) who helped make Making Things Happen possible. I definitely want to return next year! I should mention also that I made incredible friends who I still talk to daily who are a huge blessing in my life! (Yay for friends who love Jesus and love goals!)
Sweet friends, please put this experience on your bucket list, especially if you are a Jesus-loving, action-taking type of woman. 🙂
Let’s make things happen! 🙂